ChartHouse review sparks disagreement
Some Aspen City Council members are wondering what the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission was thinking when it recommended approval of conceptual plans for the ChartHouse Lodge.Nonetheless, the council wants the P&Z to take the first look at a revised proposal for the lodge when developers bring it forward.The council unanimously balked at the size of the proposed lodge, which would replace the vacated Chart House restaurant, after a public hearing on Monday. Council members told the developers to reduce the project’s mass and height.On Monday, a couple of council members – especially Councilwoman Rachel Richards – voiced surprise that the P&Z endorsed the project in the first place.Last night, Councilman Torre was even more pointed in his comments.”I don’t know what’s going on at P&Z,” he said. “I think this might raise a larger question: What kind of entity do we have reviewing these applications?”P&Z member Jack Johnson took exception to Torre’s remarks.If Torre wants to know what the P&Z was thinking, he can “read the minutes, figure it out,” Johnson said. The minutes of the P&Z deliberations are forwarded to council members, he noted.The P&Z recommended approval on a 4-2 vote, setting some conditions that Torre criticized as vague. Johnson voted against the plan.At Mayor Helen Klanderud’s urging last night, the council concurred the revised ChartHouse plan should go to the P&Z before it comes back to the council.”By coming back to us directly, they bypass the P&Z with the amended plan,” Klanderud complained.The council had voted to continue the public hearing on July 26. Now, council members intend to reconsider that action when they meet June 28, remanding the conceptual plan back to the P&Z instead.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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