Manage the Basalt boom
Dear Editor:Where will it end? Do the Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council really think it’s OK to allow big city level density within the urban growth boundary? The town has already taken steps to limit sprawl by specifying small lots in developments and maintaining some open space within Basalt’s 3-mile planning area. Now, unfortunately, there are some who feel Basalt must keep growing at a record pace until the town has lost its small town identity and livability. This narrow rural mountain valley with its limited supply of water cannot, and should not, become another metropolis. Everyone probably recognizes that there must be some limit. Presumably, no one wants a couple of hundred thousand people in the valley. If we have to say no at some point, why not say no while the valley is still livable?As for the Willits developer’s claims that he must be allowed to build a multiplicity of units in order to be able to afford a Whole Foods or some other desirable feature, do we have to take his word for it? After all, while the developer’s expenses have gone up, so too has the amount of money he is getting for the existing lots and lofts.Basalt should adopt Aspen’s new policy of requiring developers to allow an independent outside expert review their financial information. After eight years on the Basalt Town Council, I have learned to be very skeptical of developers’ claims. If they have nothing to hide and they really couldn’t build, they shouldn’t object to an outside review of their “books” (keeping the details confidential).It is time for Basalt to realize that it’s in the big leagues and play the game accordingly.Anne FreedmanBasalt
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