Change came before 9/11 |

Change came before 9/11

Dear Editor:

Kudos to The Aspen Times for your editorial April 12 reminding Aspenites that there are rational reasons behind the current building boom.

A small error was thinking 9/11 was to blame. Our downward spiral began in the late 1990s ” 9/11 was just the last straw. An editorial around 2000 stated “you could shoot a cannon down Main Street during season and not hit anyone.”

Council, the [Aspen] Chamber and the [Aspen] Institute responded by forming an Economic Sustainability Committee, and for maybe the first time ever master planning included the economics of our plans and goals. The growth spurt that everyone is bemoaning is really the result of 20 years of pent-up need. Remember talking about how Don Lemos can make more money renting his vacant downtown lot for parking than building anything under current city code? We began to realize in our zeal to control, we were killing our vitality.

It is scary seeing all the changes. Particularly when so much comes at once. But if you have ever built a house, then you know how wonderful it is planning the house on paper and how awful it is during the process of actual building. We are in the awful stage now, and hysteria ” though understandable ” is still an immature reaction.

City Council and city staff are implementing the master plans that the citizens wrote and directed. Council listened, then and came to understand the health and character of a community is about more than views. What is important is not the minutia everyone gets focused on, but the big picture the Economic Sustainability Committee painted. Embrace growth when it maintains Aspen ” and only then.

Shellie Roy


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