Councilman protests club rejection
November 29, 2006
Basalt Councilman Mark Kittle protested the direction his board is going by voting with the majority against the Sopris Chase project Tuesday night.Kittle said he felt Sopris Chase was “a really good plan” but he had to vote against it to help keep the council’s actions consistent.The council voted Nov. 14 to reject the Roaring Fork Club’s expansion of its golf development. The majority of the members said they couldn’t approve the project since it was outside the urban growth boundary, an area the 1999 land-use master plan deemed appropriate for growth. Kittle didn’t vote on that project because the club’s expansion plans require it to lease land his parents own.Kittle felt the board erred on the club decision, so he pressed the point on the Sopris Chase vote. “If we’re going to make this fair across the board, that’s how I’m going to vote,” he said while explaining his vote against Sopris Chase.In an interview Wednesday, Kittle confirmed he voted against Sopris Chase to make a point. He actually supports the project. He said the council should have changed the urban growth boundary to support both the Roaring Fork Club expansion and Sopris Chase. Both projects would make significant contributions to Basalt, he said.By not being flexible and accommodating the projects “we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” Kittle said.At the council meeting and in the interview Wednesday, Kittle said the town government must re-evaluate its master plan as soon as possible. Conditions have changed since that plan’s release in 1999. Projects that possibly weren’t desirable then are needed now, he said. Sopris Chase, for example, featured 87 affordable housing units.”It’s time to get the master plan figured out and get the urban growth boundary adjusted,” he said.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.