Basalt is making the right move |

Basalt is making the right move

The Basalt Town Council should be commended for reaffirming the rapidly growing town’s urban growth boundary this week. We think it’s in the town’s best interest to stem suburban sprawl and to concentrate density in already developed areas. This strategy will, of course, take political backbone and support from the public – especially if council members are to achieve their stated goal of providing affordable housing in and around the town core.We would urge officials and residents to remember and honor this commitment to density in the heart of town – because there is bound to be screaming when bigger, taller development proposals start to appear. We would also urge Basalt to focus its energy on some emerging traffic-flow issues at the Willits development, where the eventual arrival of a Whole Foods grocery store is bound to create more congestion. It seems that nearly everyone in the midvalley is excited that a specialty grocer is coming to town, but everyone must remember that a 44,000-square-foot supermarket will generate a lot of traffic, and that something must be done to ease vehicle movement where Willits Lane meets Valley Road, just off Highway 82 and upvalley from the existing City Market.From a planning standpoint, it’s good news that Whole Foods won’t actually open for another two or three years. This will give town officials time to consider their options and prepare for the thousands of cars and trucks that will pour off of Highway 82 at Willits Lane and either turn left into the Willits commercial area or right toward Orchard Plaza and City Market.We’re optimistic about Basalt’s phenomenal economic development and the cautious approach that town officials are taking. But they must stay focused and keep on their toes if they hope to handle the inevitable impacts.

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