Just blame Texas for Basalt political fight | AspenTimes.com

Just blame Texas for Basalt political fight

Scott Condon
A golf course expansion appears to be deep in the heart of Basalt.

Pitkin County Commissioner Patti Clapper thinks she knows why a golf course expansion proposal has run into a tough time in Basalt. Blame it on Texas, she says.During a meeting between the commissioners and Basalt Town Council this week, the Basalt staff used a map to show where the property eyed for the golf course expansion is located. The ranch is between the Elk Run subdivision and Holland Hills. While members of the two boards were staring at the map on the wall, Clapper reached a shocking conclusion.

“No wonder you’re running into problems,” she exclaimed. “You’re annexing Texas.”Indeed, the 200 or so acres that the Roaring Fork Club wants Basalt to annex has an irregular property boundary that gives it an uncanny similarity to the outline of Texas. (Judge for yourself from the picture of the map.)Just as some people see a likeness of the Blessed Virgin in the concrete of interstate underpasses or others see Mickey Mouse in the hide on a calf’s back, Clapper and others see Texas in the Roaring Fork Club plan.

Basalt Town Manager Bill Efting said he was thinking of the likeness months ago but didn’t raise the topic because he feared people would think he was crazy or crazier.Clapper’s discovery helped ease the mood of the discussion between the boards. Some Basalt officials are sensitive about the golf club plan because a citizens’ group has criticized them for reviewing the proposal when the town’s land use master plan says the ranch should remain rural. The citizens claim they will launch a petition drive to force a related issue onto the town’s ballot.

Clapper gave the Basalt officials a good-natured needling by noting it was fun to see them making headlines for a political controversy for a change.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com


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