County loses dedication with Martins resignation |

County loses dedication with Martins resignation

Eben HarrellAspen Times Staff Writer

Peter Martin, a seven-year member and former chairman of the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission, has resigned.Martin, 71, a retired lawyer, submitted his resignation to the county commissioners in a Dec. 30 letter.He said his resignation was not made in protest. His commitment to other causes, such as the preservation of the Redstone Castle, coupled with the long commute to Aspen from his home in Redstone, led to his decision.At a certain point, you just get pretty tired, Martin said.Martins decision coincided with what he calls a natural break in the P&Z itinerary. After presenting its master plans to the commissioners on Jan. 6, the planning commission will now begin its code review process.Martin estimated he has put nearly 7,000 hours into his unpaid position, helping guide the county on contentious issues such as the proposal to build nearly 800 units of affordable housing at the W/J Ranch and the 2000 countywide development moratorium.During his tenure, Martin said he believes the commission made strong progress.Im proud of the P&Z and how much weve accomplished, he said. Weve established a sense and feeling that we are judicial and fair. We received that feedback even from people who got turned down by us.Peter Thomas, current chairman of the planning commission, said the group supported Martins decision and wished to commend him for his service.Peter Martin is a man of few equals, and hes left some big footsteps, Thomas said. When you look around Pitkin County, everything you see in this county has occurred under his leadership.Hell be known for his devotion, knowledge of issues and diplomacy with the public.If he could have a parting wish, Martin would like to see the P&Z given greater authority. At present, it can only advise the county commissioners, who ultimately have the final say. Martin believes the current process is inefficient.The BOCC could save a lot of work if P&Z got the final authority over most decisions with only a limited amount of opportunities for appeal, he said. Thats a policy a lot of other counties have adopted. I think it should be considered.[Eben Harrells e-mail address is]