Board blasts halt on Burlingame
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Fuming over what appears to be wavering political support for Burlingame Ranch, housing officials are urging the Aspen City Council to build the project.
The Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt a resolution that recommends the council move forward with the development of Burlingame.
The wording of the resolution “minimally” expresses the board’s frustration, observed board member Joanne Ihrig.
“I support Burlingame Ranch and I resent the stalling and the delays placed on it by political pressure,” said Steve Elliott, board chairman.
The board agreed to forward the resolution to the council, which has scheduled a Dec. 9 meeting to discuss whether it wants to move forward with plans to build up to 330 units at Burlingame Ranch, west of town.
The resolution notes the city spent $915,000 to acquire the housing site and that city voters approved construction of 225 homes there in August 2000.
The resolution also notes citizens are becoming “disenchanted” with time-consuming participation on task forces to plan projects such as Burlingame only to see the developments delayed or denied.
“Why would you go through any volunteer project now?” said board member David Guthrie. He quizzed the board on whether it should strengthen the language to decry “the legitimacy of task forces being undermined.”
Ultimately, the board approved the resolution’s wording without changes.
The council’s commitment to build Burlingame came into question in September when Mayor Helen Klanderud said she wouldn’t support the project, siding with Councilman Terry Paulson, long an opponent of the housing project.
Councilman Torre has held off on deciding whether he wants to pursue the project, as the city is exploring other housing options that have not been made public.
“I don’t want to delay Burlingame Ranch,” Elliott declared. “I want it built.”
[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org]
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