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Infill plans too large

The new infill program if adopted in its entirety will change the face of Aspen. The result will once again remove a distinction between Aspen and Vail.

The program calls for taller buildings in the commercial core from 40 feet to 42 feet, and 52 feet by special review. In the peripheral commercial core, building heights will increase in some areas from 35 feet to 45 feet, or even 55 feet by special review. Main Street will increase from 25 feet to 32 feet, and 35 feet by special review.

The lodge base will increase from 28 feet to 42 feet, and 52 feet by special review. The east-end will increase from 25 feet to 32 feet, and 35 feet by special review, and the west end will allow for more density per lot.

The result, a taller Aspen with more density throughout our community.

While I agree with a few of the strategies outlined in the program, like more flexibility for the lodging base, and changes to the downtown core open space review process, much of the building height increases outside of the core will do little to maintain our resort atmosphere. The program is too far reaching, too large in scope, and has no “phasing” component. It’s one big change all at once.

The infill report given to City Council states: “The infill recommendation responds to the overall growth-management goal adopted by the city and the county – less development in rural areas and more development in urban areas.”

The most likely outcome of the infill program will be both increased development in urban and rural areas. A component should be added to the commercial core portion of the plan that would directly tie the funding and purchasing of rural open space to increased building height permits.

It would be easier to live with our town looking more like Vail if we knew more open spaces we cherish were being purchased and preserved as a direct result.

Cliff Weiss

City Council candidate


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