Commercial bustle sparks complaints from east side |

Commercial bustle sparks complaints from east side

Sarah S. Chung

A group of east side residents is claiming their neighborhood is no place for the commercial bustle generated by two businesses within their midst.

And after filing a zoning complaint with the city of Aspen, the East End Concerned Citizens have found a perhaps surprising ally in one of the businesses they claim is to blame for the trouble.

Last month, the group of 30 east-side neighbors filed a grievance with the city’s zoning department about the “extreme safety issue” generated by traffic from Coates, Reid and Waldron and Spalding Properties.

CRW manages the Chateau Roaring Fork and Chateau Eau Claire on Highway 82 on the east side of town. Spalding Properties operates from Chateau Roaring Fork.

Under an accommodations/ recreational zoning permit, CRW, a property management company, uses the facilities at the two complexes to do laundry and maintenance for many of its Aspen properties.

Intermittently for the past three years, as commercial traffic “accelerated” in the neighborhood, neighbors called both the city and CRW to complain about the volume and speed of commercial traffic.

“It became a quality-of-life issue and a safety issue,” said Don Policaro, an East End Concerned Citizens member.

Until recently, neither the neighbors nor the property management company realized that CRW’s zoning only permitted operations for the Chateau Roaring Fork and Chateau Eau Claire.

“After talking to the city, we double-checked our operations and they’re probably right. The neighbors have reason to question the appropriateness of our use,” said Steve Hilliard, vice president of operations at Coates, Reid and Waldron.

On Monday, representatives of the citizens group appealed their case to the City Council, which made no decision on the complaint, pending further investigation.

But regardless of outcome, CRW plans to move some of its housekeeping operations to its Rio Grande offices.

“In the off-season, we’ll shift anything that doesn’t have to do with Chateau Roaring Fork or Chateau Eau Claire out of there,” Hilliard said.

Michael Spalding, owner of Spalding Properties, has not yet seen the zoning complaint or met with city representatives.

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