Council trio stands up to infill codes |

Council trio stands up to infill codes

Dear Editor:

Our mayor, Mick Ireland, and Councilmen Torre and Steve Skadron should be commended for the steps they took to lower the heights in the commercial core to 28 feet. This has come after hundreds of residents signed petitions and several community clicker sessions over the years have drilled home the same message: Return to a small-town character, and change the land-use codes.

People are fed up with “infill.” It didn’t work! We’ve lost restaurants, local shops and small hotel lodging, only to have dead zones throughout our entire commercial core.

Free-market penthouse residential has been a disservice to our community and downtown commercial core. While it benefits developers financially, it does little to contribute to the vitality the downtown needs.

A recent study in the commercial core and C1 zones has shown that the population in the downtown core has declined by 27 percent over the years from 2000 to 2010. That’s almost one-third of the former vitality we had before infill was created. Not only has it ruined the town – it has robbed Aspen of its character, former population and views.

Unfortunately, Adam Frisch and Derek Johnson have little foresight or understanding in what drives rapid development. If they had supported Torre’s emergency ordinance in February, they would have prevented this present onslaught of development permits coming in under the old infill codes.

They campaigned under preservation of small-town protection, but their wavering only shows their lack of political will and sound understanding of preservation in terms of an emergency ordinance. Here are two councilmen who need to put action to the words on which they campaigned. Doug Allen was right in his recent column: “We can now blame them and unfortunately say ‘we told you so.'”

In the meantime, we have a rush of new permits under the old code, which will only drive out more businesses and promote more dead zones, creating more lack of vitality in our community. We know whom to blame, and we know whom to thank: the mayor, Torre and Steve, who have the strength of their convictions to do what is best for this town.

Junee Kirk


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