Hotel should trump townhomes
(This letter was originally addressed to the Aspen City Council.)Dear Editor:Having attended the last Aspen City Council public hearing for the proposed [hotel] development on Oct. 24, I was surprised at the lack of acceptance by the council of the revised design presented when you consider that the developer’s alternative is to construct the approved townhome project on the site.At that meeting, Rachel [Richards] was right when she said that the decision the council makes will affect the character of Aspen for the next 50 years. She is also correct with her view that neither she nor we, the residents of this community, want Aspen to feel and look like Vail. In my opinion this hotel project, especially in this location, does fit in with Aspen’s character. To me the choice is much like what we consider when trying to make up our minds as for whom to vote for when electing various candidates for office. Rarely do any of us support all of a candidate’s position or platform. Most of us vote for whom we believe is the best overall choice!You may have objections to particular parts of the project, but which development is better for the community, the hotel or the pre-approved townhomes? Is having a new, 80-room hotel and improved heated South Aspen Street and new high-speed quad chairlift all paid for by the developer more beneficial to the community, or are 14 more underutilized $6 million townhomes (without the street improvements and chairlift) more beneficial?As a former Aspen business owner, a 49-year resident of the valley (including many years in Aspen), the answer seems clear to me.To not grant approval with proper conditions to this exciting hotel development and end up with townhomes that apparently none of the members of the Aspen City Council wants, will in my opinion go down as one of the most grievous errors that has been made by any of our local governments.Peter GreeneCarbondale
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A management plan for the Marolt Open Space guides the city to largely leave it alone, although a feasibility study will be done for a potential bike park on the south side of the property.