City of Aspen to annex hospital | AspenTimes.com

City of Aspen to annex hospital

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The City Council put into motion a plan to annex Aspen Valley Hospital at a Monday night meeting.

A resolution to initiate the annexation was unanimously approved, and a hearing on the topic will be held in less than two months as per state annexation laws. If the resolution is eventually adopted, all of the hospital’s property and the portion of Castle Creek Road from the hospital intersection to the Aspen roundabout would become city property.

The hospital’s board of directors unanimously agreed to the plan in early December. According to hospital administrator Randy Middlebrook, the petition to annex the campus and nearby housing fits into the framework of the Aspen Area Community Plan, a document that identifies a number of urban growth boundaries.

Middlebrook said the plan anticipates annexing lands located within a boundary that includes AVH. In addition, the hospital is working on its own master plan, one that includes a large remodel and expansion project.

Some hospital critics claim that the desire for the hospital to become part of the city’s jurisdiction has more to do with getting a break on affordable housing requirements from the City Council during the expansion. But Middlebrook said the hospital’s master plan is not very far into the planning stages to be considering any affordable housing requirement.

The owners of the hospital property filed the formal annexation petition with the city clerk on Feb. 22. The City Council must negotiate a preannexation agreement with the hospital district before a formal ordinance is considered, and the city staff will meet with the hospital district staff to finalize the agreement.

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