Klanderud, infill are forever linked
In a letter to The Aspen Times on Sept. 21, someone was disappointed that I opted to publicly place blame (or credit, if you think infill is good) for infill specifically on former mayor Helen Klanderud. The author first suggested that blame should be placed on the various local individuals and entities that supported infill rather than on the elected officials that supported, voted for and signed the infill legislation.
The Feb. 16, 2002 Aspen Times editorial captured the mistakes of infill prior to Helen’s supportive vote. A few clips from the editorial follow:
“… we need, once again, to sound a note of caution when it comes to the hot planning proposal of the moment: infill. … The goal is to encourage new retail shop space, plus more affordable housing in the heart of downtown. … Some of Aspen’s more regrettable buildings were created in the years before strict regulations were imposed. These are buildings from the late 1960s and early ’70s that are tall and large … and are widely regarded as scars on the Aspen cityscape. … The views of Aspen Mountain from downtown Aspen are a true gift. …T o heedlessly block those views in the name of the newest planning fad would be foolishly destructive in the extreme. It is a mistake we must not make.”
While I think infill remains a mistake, the letter to the editor was critical of me for placing blame on Helen as the elected official that voted for and signed the infill legislation. The author went on to suggest blame fall on Mayor Ireland and council members Torre and Steve Skadron who were in office for years before the Art Museum was proposed for failing to amend the infill legislation after Helen left office.
For me, the legacy of infill is inextricably tied to Helen Klanderud since she voted for the legislation and in no way falls to her successors who failed to quickly fix Helen’s mistakes.
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A ski season surrounded with uncertainty kicks off on Wednesday. The six inches of new snowfall Tuesday will allow opening of an additional 62 acres on Aspen Mountain, bringing opening-day total to about 160 acres.