Housing should come first | AspenTimes.com

Housing should come first

Dear Editor:

I had the opportunity to attend the ZG meeting Wednesday, March 12, regarding the proposed development at the Zupancis-Galena properties in Aspen. Nice job on putting on a great lunch and finding room for all the people that showed up. It was jam-packed.

I know a lot of time, energy and thought went into this presentation. And it showed. I like the proposed project. I think it takes a space in the core of town and makes it that much more functional for the benefit of the community as a whole. The art museum is a great amenity to Aspen, and I would love to see them have a world class facility. It is even more impressive to see that the museum’s board is willing and ready to back their move.

The affordable housing component is vital. Without that, I would not support this project. An individual made the comment in the meeting that the housing didn’t fit into this area because this is a municipal area and trash, toys and such do not reflect well on the other parts of the project. Fortunately, most people disagreed. This is the biggest need in this community! And should be the driver of this project, not the tail end of the project. If, at any time, the housing is compromised, I would pull my support. Funny how most people at the meeting don’t live in the plaza but had objections to the housing, yet the person I was sitting next to does and she will lose her views to the housing but she loved the affordable housing and didn’t mind losing her views.

I didn’t get a chance to ask my question, but I will ask it now. If the city of Aspen and the county are going to support, propose and push this project, will they agree to solve the Entrance to Aspen as well?

When you consider the impact this project will have on the core, from construction to final employee use, you can not ignore the fact that traffic will be affected, and you have to solve it. I would state that the entrance solution be part of this proposal and without it you can not do this project.

Casey McConnell