Better, not bigger |

Better, not bigger

The polarization between developers and neighboring property owners has been clear in recent letters and newspaper headlines. Developers who would like to develop their land beyond the limits provided by our land-use regulations continue to frustrate and infuriate neighboring property owners who rely on those very same regulations to set their expectations for the character of their neighborhood.

If developers accepted the existing height, density, setback, affordable housing, parking, open space and underlying use regulations, there would be much less polarization between developers and neighbors because all parties would have their expectations clearly set out in the regulations.

When property owners find they can no longer rely on their city staff and council to uphold land-use regulations, the tendency nationwide is to move out of the city core to a subdivision with an extra layer of covenants. This typically results in a city core absent of residents. Locally, the result would speed the trend of timeshare owners and timeshare offices replacing locals and the businesses locals frequent.

I urge our city staff and our elected officials to abide by our underlying zoning regulations to effectively end the polarization between developers and neighbors. As the Aspen Area Community Plan states, let’s “endeavor to make our community better, without getting bigger.”

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