News in Brief |

News in Brief

Fire bans still in effect despite recent rainPitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis announced Tuesday that recent rains and lower temperatures have not eliminated the risk of fire. A fire ban remains in effect in Pitkin County. All fires are prohibited on private property except in gas grills, permanent charcoal grills and wood fires in permanent (not make-shift) fire pits. Similar bans are in effect on federal lands and in Eagle County.For more information, contact the sheriff’s office at 920-5300.

Lawn guys: ‘Leaf’ us aloneAspen’s crackdown on gas-powered leaf blowers has raised the ire of local groundkeepers, who appeared before the City Council Monday to air their frustrations.The city recently announced it would enforce a noise ordinance that effectively prohibits the use of the gas-powered blowers. Several individuals in the lawn-maintenance business gave the council an earful, calling the crackdown unfair.Chris Tyler, owner of Aspen Lawn and Holiday Lights, Inc., said he owns a gas-powered leafblower that operates at 65 decibels, and a permitted electric version that produces 64 decibels.”It’s really negligible, in my opinion,” he said.Glenn Loper, of Groundskeepers of Aspen, suggested it’s unfair for the city to focus on gas-powered leaf blowers and ignore other sources of noise.”The Harleys in town – sorry, they’re a lot louder than my blower,” he said.The groundskeepers also charged the city with using gas-powered blowers at its Truscott Place and the municipal golf course.”Are we? OK, definitely, we need to have a discussion about this,” said Mayor Helen Klanderud, calling for a meeting between groundskeepers and the city’s Environmental Health Department. The summit will be held Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. in the Sister Cities Room at City Hall. Gas-powered leaf blowers and a proposed ban on yard waste in garbage are on the agenda.

City Council split on ChartHouseA split City Council delayed a decision Monday on final approval of the ChartHouse Lodge, continuing the public hearing on the proposed redevelopment to Aug. 8.Developers have proposed razing the now-defunct Charthouse restaurant and replacing it with an 11-unit timeshare lodge, restaurant lounge and two employee units.Councilman Jack Johnson recused himself, as he reviewed the project as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. That left the council divided, with members Torre and Rachel Richards voicing concerns about the scale of the building, which would have a recessed fourth floor that tops out at more than 46 feet. Concerns about the size of the lodge units were also expressed.The project is slated for the southwest corner of Monarch Street and Durant Avenue.

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