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Don’t hide master plan

Dear Editor:On Tuesday night, Basalt held a joint Town Council/Planning & Zoning meeting during which they discussed possible revisions to the town’s master plan.The meeting was mostly constructive, with thoughtful input from all who attended. However, one discussion caused me great concern. At one point, Councilman Chris Seldin asked the town attorney, Tom Smith, to clarify what legal role our master plan serves. It was a great question, and very relevant to the topic being discussed. Given the central role the master plan plays in planning and development in our community – to say nothing of the large amount of time and resources the town dedicates to developing and refining it – it sure would be nice for our town’s decision makers and the public to have a common understanding of the master plan’s legal reach and limitations. Unfortunately, Smith urged the council to consider deferring that question to an executive session where he could respond behind closed doors. Regrettably, the council capitulated and moved on with their meeting, leaving Chris’s question unanswered until they are debriefed in secret.Later in the meeting, several council members voiced their intentions to make Smith’s response public, but only after first hearing what he has to say behind closed doors. I understand the reasoning for this, even though I thoroughly disagree.Regardless, I would urge Basalt’s citizens to encourage our councilors to stick to their stated intention of publicly clarifying the legal role our master plan plays.David CramerBasalt


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