It’s about zoning
As I sat here this morning reading about John Sarpa’s pledge to house 100 percent of the employees his development will create, I started to write a letter to all of you in response to the developers’ latest proposal. After about a half hour of thought and writing, it became apparent that I simply don’t have the necessary time to finish my letter. I just can’t put into words a complete enough description of all of the negative impacts both proposals for development in that area will have on this town, and my own personal feelings of how both developments will impact one of the greatest pleasures I have in life ” skiing 1A. So I have distilled all of it to the following:
It all comes down to zoning. Please do not grant any zoning variances! On one hand, current zoning ordinances will limit the impact of these projects if they are ever approved, as they were intended to do so; or on the other hand, they might eliminate the proposed developments by making them unfeasible economically, exposing the reality that, as limited by current zoning laws with no variances, the developers paid too much money for the underlying real estate in the first place. This community has worked hard over a period of decades to develop appropriate zoning ordinances to preserve this town’s character. There were those long before any of us were around who were part of this process and their opinions should be respected, as they are reflected in these ordinances ” especially those ordinances related to the 1A area of this town. If any developer, the Planning and Zoning or any of us thinks a lot of work, consideration and money has gone into the consideration of any single project, they should know that their efforts pale by comparison to the collective efforts of those who have preceded them. It is arrogant and ignorant to think granting variances from laws and ordinances developed over the decades will benefit this town more than what the collective minds of many of those who have preceded us thought was appropriate, as reflected in the current rules. Please do not grant variances!
Contrary to what developers would have any of us believe as they promote their projects by espousing the community benefits they will create for all of us if we will only grant them their approval, this town is thriving without their proposed developments! In all of my years as a citizen and as a small business owner, I have never seen the people of this town experience more prosperity! The balance of too little or too much is perfect in Aspen today. “More” is simply not warranted, and I sincerely fear that dramatic developments such as the lodge at 1A can only degrade our experiences here.
I urge you not to approve the lodge at 1A. It’s bad for Aspen today and sets a horrible precedence for our future. And more important, I urge you not grant zoning variances for these or any future developments in Aspen.
Thanks for your consideration.
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The Wheeler Opera House will remain dark into 2021, with current COVID-19 public health orders in place. Meanwhile, the masonry work on the exterior of the building will continue into July.