New century, new plan in Basalt | AspenTimes.com

New century, new plan in Basalt

Aspen, CO ColoradoBASALT Basalt officials finally have a plan to wrap up a process that will settle the fate of several large developments proposed near town.The Basalt Town Council approved a staff proposal calling for an update to the town’s 1999 land-use master plan by April. The council approved funds for a consultant and gave planning staff its blessing to make the master plan update its priority.”We need to get our marching orders, and we need to get marching,” said Town Manager Bill Efting.The marching orders include holding extra meetings to gather public opinion, as well as holding a major public hearing near the end of the process to unveil the final proposal. No meetings have been scheduled yet, but dates will be announced.As another tool to gather public opinion, the town will conduct a short Internet survey that asks a few questions on critical issues.The town government will also solicit input from business owners who don’t necessarily live in town or get involved in political matters.”I think we’ve come up with something that works,” said planning consultant Tim Malloy, who is heading the master plan update process.Councilman Mark Kittle urged Malloy and town planning director Susan Philp to stick to the proposed timeline and not let work on the important plan lag. “In my opinion, we need to move on this,” Kittle said.The master plan update holds the key to the fate of projects like the Roaring Fork Club expansion and the Sopris Chase project, which would add 87 affordable housing units west of Basalt High School.Both applications faced defeat last month because they are outside what the master plan identifies as the urban growth boundary. The council majority said residents clearly conveyed while working on the 1999 master plan that they didn’t want growth in those areas.The applicants pulled their projects from consideration before the council had a chance to reject them.The master plan process will re-examine if growth can be accommodated where the Roaring Fork golf club and Sopris Chase want to be.The update of the master plan will similarly affect other looming development proposals.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com.

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