Is it time to rethink Burlingame dog ban?
A ban on dog ownership at the city’s Burlingame Ranch worker-housing project may be ripe for reconsideration now that there won’t be grazing cattle in the vicinity.The city and the Zoline family, owners of the Bar/X Ranch, agreed there would be no dogs at either the worker housing or free-market homes slated for the adjacent ranch when they worked out a deal for the developments. At the time, the Bar/X still ran a small herd of cattle in the summertime and dogs were deemed incompatible with the operation. Dog ownership was to be permitted only at the ranch house itself.Now, sale of the Bar/X to developer Greg Hills is pending and the cattle are gone. “The cattle operation disappears,” Hills said. “They have not brought the cattle back.”Hills’ intended purchase from the Zolines includes the ranch house compound on the Bar/X – it will become part of one of the 13 free-market lots that will be sold once the Bar/X transaction is completed in early June.Hills said he’s open to reconsidering the dog ban, which was formalized in a preannexation agreement between the Zolines and the city.”I think it would be a good idea to sit down and have a dialogue about it,” he said. “I definitely think we would like to work out a dog program that works for our homeowners and works for the Burlingame folks.”That doesn’t mean dogs running loose – on either the Bar/X or at Burlingame, Hills stressed.”I don’t necessarily think we want dogs running everywhere.”Mayor Helen Klanderud acknowledged the issue may resurface, but said the dog ban at Burlingame was not tied solely to the cattle operation. Wildlife in the nearby back bowl of Deer Hill was also a consideration, she said.”It’s not just about the cattle. It’s also about wildlife concerns.”Dropping the ban would likely please some potential bidders on the Burlingame units but dismay some environmentalists, Klanderud predicted.”I see a dilemma here,” she said.Cindy Christensen, housing operations manager for the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority, at one time pushed for a provision in the Burlingame preannexation agreement that called for reconsideration of the dog ban should cattle ranching at the Bar/X cease.”I tried and it just didn’t go anywhere,” she said.Now, Christensen said, the dog issue is out of the housing authority’s hands and it won’t be the housing office that brings the issue up. Rather, she said, that request should come from the public.”I think it’s something that the council needs to readdress,” Christensen added. If asked, the housing office likely would recommend that dog ownership be decided by the homeowners themselves, she said.The first phase of Burlingame, to include 97 residences, is now under construction. Several lots already have been sold, but buyers for the bulk of the phase one units will be selected through lotteries late this summer.While Christensen said she doesn’t anticipate a shortage of takers for the homes, some prospective buyers will be swayed by the dog issue.”I think [the ban] definitely reduces the pool of people going for the units,” she said.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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