Be there for Burlingame
This could be the last editorial comment The Aspen Times offers regarding the proposed Burlingame affordable housing project.
We hope not.
We’d much rather offer hearty thanks all around later in the week, and continue to urge the City Council to move forward with this critical project. Because in the end, that is the right decision, one endorsed by the majority of this community. And it is also the right decision if we ever want to see a “true” neighborhood built close to the city, filled with working residents and their families.
Tonight, at 4 p.m. at City Hall, the council will hold a work session to talk about Burlingame. It is expected that a final decision on whether or not to move forward with the project will be made at that meeting.
Anyone even slightly familiar with local politics knows the burden that Councilman Torre will be carrying on his shoulders today. Mayor Helen Klanderud and Councilman Terry Paulson are both against the project. The other two council members, Rachel Richards and Tim Semrau, are in favor. Torre, ultimately, will be the one who will make the decision to either honor or ignore the voters’ wishes.
While opponents argue that the 330-unit neighborhood is simply an example of ugly urban sprawl, we would point out that there is plenty of dense development along the highway out of town. There’s the Airport Business Center and its housing, the North 40 development, the Maroon Creek Club, the MAA housing ” all further distant from the city limits than Burlingame.
Opponents also say there currently isn’t the need for more affordable housing that there once was, pointing to a number of “rental” units that remain vacant. What they are not saying is that any time a single-family dwelling goes in the lottery there is always a long line of people praying their names will be drawn from the hat.
The Burlingame proposal serves that part of our community ” the people who live here with their families, who want to own their own home and raise their children here. The need for housing for this segment of our town is as critical as it ever was. And only a project the size of Burlingame will ever make a dent in fulfilling that need.
There’s more … but we’ve said it all before. The point to be made here is that this may be the last chance for those families to fight for what they were promised after the 2000 election.
We urge everyone ” and we mean everyone ” who truly supports Burlingame to show up at City Hall at 4 p.m. today and make their feelings known. Don’t let a divided and misguided council take this critical project away from you.
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