Finally, revised AACP poised for adoption | AspenTimes.com
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Finally, revised AACP poised for adoption

John Colson

The Aspen Area Community Plan seems poised for adoption at long last.Moments after Aspen’s and Pitkin County’s lead planning bodies jointly gave their approvals for the revised AACP this week, the meeting room in the basement of City Hall erupted into applause.The outburst was caused by a general feeling of relief that after nearly two years, the process of revising the AACP may actually, finally be completed.At Tuesday’s joint meeting of the Aspen and Pitkin County Planning and Zoning commissions, the latest draft of the new AACP was given a final going over by the P&Z members before they passed it on to the Aspen City Council for final adoption, and the Pitkin County commissioners for their endorsement.The revised plan was not passed without objections from the citizenry, however.Longtime local Connie Harvey asked that the approval be delayed until more thought can be given to the establishment of a “community growth boundary” which, in the draft AACP, extends to a point along Highway 82 just west of the Roaring Fork Transit Agency bus barn.”I just feel that there’s a kind of rush to get this wrapped up,” Harvey said, arguing that the boundary is too far west and that “there’s a natural boundary [that already exists] – that’s Maroon Creek.”Harvey argued the proposed growth boundary is “sort of a forced thing to try to get the Burlingame housing,” referring to the city-owned Burlingame Ranch housing projects just west of the Maroon Creek Golf Club and subdivision.She said that the road leading through the golf club, New Stage Road, is already overcrowded and dangerous where it intersects with Highway 82. She said the problem will get worse if the city goes ahead with plans to build not only the half-built, 200-bed Burlingame seasonal project but also the nearby 200-unit Burlin-game Village.New Stage Road is to be the sole access leading from those two projects onto Highway 82.Harvey lives along New Stage Road, and she said the congestion will worsen to the point that “people are going to get killed there.”She was joined in her protest by her neighbor, Joy Caudill, who said of plans to funnel Burlingame traffic along New Stage Road and onto the highway: “I don’t know how it will possibly work.”Harvey also criticized the city’s agreement to allow the Zoline family, owners of ranch land adjacent to the Maroon Creek Club and the Burlingame property, to build big luxury homes on part of their ranch property. She said that kind of development is in direct opposition to the precepts of the AACP.But despite some agreement among planning commissioners with the sentiments expressed by Caudill and Harvey, the revised plan was passed unanimously by both commissions.The next step in the process is a public hearing at a joint meeting of the City Council and the county commissioners, on Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.The text of the revised plan can be viewed in its entirety by logging onto the city’s Web site at http://www.aspengov.com and clicking on the words “2000 AACP Update.”


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