More is not better | AspenTimes.com

More is not better

Dear Editor:

Today, the Basalt Board of Trustees will conduct a final vote as to whether the Willits Town Center developers should be granted their request to expand their project from 500,000 square feet to 650,000 square feet. The Basalt Board of Trustees should deny the request for expansion of this project. Here is why:

– Carrying capacity ” The carrying capacity of the midvalley area is already being stretched to its limits, and the Willits Town Center development, as currently approved, is at less than 30 percent completion. (The project consists of 11 buildings, of which only two have been finished.) Traffic in the area is already a nightmare ” just imagine the impacts when construction of all 11 buildings has been completed.

– Lack of demand for commercial space ” The midvalley does not need the amount of commercial space already approved for this project. The developer has not made a compelling argument demonstrating the demand for the commercial component of the development. The developer is asking for an additional 150,000 square feet of residential space in an attempt to “catch up” to an excess of commercial square footage in the initially approved 500,000 square feet. Rather than playing this game of catch-up, the developer should rework the mix of commercial and residential square footage within the initial approval. More is not better ” better is better.

– Supporting the will of the people ” The citizens of Basalt do not support the expansion of this project. Not one Basaltine that I have talked to has expressed their support for the developer’s request for expansion ” nary a one! In fact, the majority of the citizen comments have been as to whether 150,000 square feet can be reduced from the project. The Basalt Board of Trustees needs to honor the will of the people who elected them into office ” not cave in to the specious request of a developer.

Based on the above, I strongly urge the Basalt Board of Trustees to vote to deny the request for expansion by the Willits Town Center developers.

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Greg Shugars

Basalt

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