Basalt council has questions about park-and-ride |

Basalt council has questions about park-and-ride

Scott CondonThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – The Basalt Town Council voted 7-0 Tuesday night to grant first-round approval to a new park-and-ride lot and a bus station, but several members made it clear that they have significant questions for Roaring Fork Transportation Authority officials before a second, required reading.RFTA wants to expand the existing park-and-ride lot on the south side of Highway 82 at the main Basalt intersection as part of its bus rapid transit expansion. It also will replace the two small bus shelters on either side of the highway with larger, enclosed stations that are more comfortable and welcoming. The expansion essentially will double the land for a parking lot in that location and add 123 parking spaces.Some of the land needed for the parking lot was taken from Myers & Co. Architectural Metals in a condemnation action by RFTA and the Basalt town government. Bob Myers, owner of the company, said it cost him $60,000 in legal fees to get to mediation with RFTA. He didn’t offer details, but he said he learned that one needs to get into writing everything that RFTA officials pledge verbally before a deal is struck.”Be careful with RFTA,” Myers advised the Town Council. “This is the point where you have leverage.”There are several outstanding issues between the town and RFTA, the biggest being financial cooperation on a grade-separated crossing of Highway 82 at or near Basalt Avenue. The town is seeking funding for an overpass or underpass to get pedestrians and cyclists across the highway.In the bigger picture, Myers questioned whether the park-and-ride is really a benefit to Basalt. The town already is a bedroom community, he said. The enhanced bus stop makes it easier to get Basalt residents to Aspen, Myers said, and the parking lot is chewing up prime land that could be developed for Basalt businesses.”Some of the best land in Basalt is disappearing,” Myers said.The council discussion is scheduled to continue July 24.In other council action:• The council voted 7-0 to approve a resolution granting amendments to a development application for the Roaring Fork Club. The heart of the private golf and fishing club’s proposal remains the same – 13 club cabins that will combine for 52,000 square feet; three single-family homes that will total 15,000 square feet, and 16 affordable-housing units that combine for 10,000 square feet. Changes from a 2010 approval include resurrection of a Kids’ Camp that will be located at the existing club pool, a spa and fitness facility at the existing lodge and an administrative facility also at the lodge.• The council voted to grant approval to revoke approvals on the Pokorny property in the Southside neighborhood so purchaser Mary Elizabeth Wolfer can build a single-family home. The current owner, Alexander Street Holdings LLC, headed by John Olson, had approvals to build 26 residential units – 12 free-market and 14 deed-restricted. Olson’s company also owns the Flying Fish property at the east end of Midland Avenue. That property has approvals for seven free-market units and two affordable-housing units along with 1,100 square feet of commercial space. The Pokorny plan was approved to meet affordable-housing requirements for the Flying Fish property. Olson said he intends to sell the Flying Fish land and a different plan will have to be submitted to address the affordable

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