County board to address Pandora in January

Staff report
The U.S. Forest Service approved Aspen Skiing Co.s proposal to develop the Pandora's lift and terrain. The area is located to skier's right of the existing Walsh's run on Aspen Mountain. The project is under review by Pitkin County.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

Aspen Skiing Co.’s application to expand the ski area on Aspen Mountain won’t be addressed again by Pitkin County commissioners until January.

Skico officials decided last month to sever the application for the Pandora’s expansion area from the general Aspen Mountain Master Plan, which were being simultaneously addressed by commissioners, after board members disagreed on how to move forward.

Commissioners Steve Child and Kelly McNicholas Kury indicated they would vote against rezoning the property on the upper east side of Aspen Mountain so it can be used for skiing. Commissioners George Newman and Greg Poschman said they would vote for rezoning. The fifth member of the board, Commissioner Patti Clapper, has recused herself from discussion about Aspen Mountain because she has family members who work for Skico.

Child said he was worried the rezoning undermines the county’s restrictive Rural and Remote zoning designation — which must be overturned for a majority of the acreage Skico wants to develop. McNicholas Kury said she’d like the Pandora’s application to be assessed under the East of Aspen/Independence Pass Master Plan.

In asking for a three-month extension to bring back the Pandora’s application, Skico Vice President David Corbin said the added time will allow the company to assess its direction and consult with the county.

The Pandora’s proposal has brought out strong opinions from community members on both sides the project.

Commissioners approved the new Aspen Mountain Master Plan in early September.