Just say ‘whoa’ | AspenTimes.com

Just say ‘whoa’

Dear Editor:

Today, the Basalt Town Council will hear the second reading of a proposal for increased density in Willits Town Center, after which there will be a final vote on the proposal.

Isn’t Willits big enough? Consider: Willits Town Center already is approved for 500,000 square feet of residential and commercial development. As it stands, it is slated to be bigger even than Glenwood Meadows (the Target/Lowe’s complex), though crammed into a much smaller area.

The developers are now requesting an additional 150,000 square feet of residential/commercial space (up from 85,000 only two weeks ago), roughly the size of two El Jebel City Markets.

Several questions remain: Where are the infrastructure impact studies on the combined 650,000 square feet of development? Why has Councilman Chris Seldin’s request to study the numbers justifying the proposal been ignored? Willits already suffers from traffic safety problems, and it’s nowhere near built out ” how can council approve a massive increase in density without resolving those issues first? Is council viewing the proposal in light of other nearby developments that are currently under way ” projects that will very soon be adding hundreds of new residences to the area? So far, Willits is a great neighborhood and a successful mixed-use development ” why wreck it?

Sure, having a Whole Foods might be nice, but we know Whole Foods is not requiring the additional density. Whether you live in Willits or not, this proposal will have a broad impact if approved. Density this big could mean miserable levels of traffic congestion, noise and air pollution, plus increasingly crowded playgrounds, parks, schools, pools and other recreational facilities, not to mention overtaxed police, fire, medical and public transportation services.

Basalt Town Council should just say “whoa.”

Julie Comins Pickrell


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