News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

ASPEN ” ASPEN ” Citizens are being asked to help shape a new policy on how Aspen’s historical buildings should be governed, if at all.

Applications to serve on city of Aspen’s Historic Preservation Task Force are being accepted until 5 p.m. on Jan. 31.

The new advisory group is the result of a controversial law, recently adopted by the City Council, which targets properties that are more than 30 years old. Some buildings are under consideration for their historical significance and potential preservation, a move that has upset property owners.

The council is establishing the citizen task force to evaluate and improve the success of Aspen’s historic preservation policies. A major area of focus will be the treatment of properties that are significant within Aspen’s 20th century history.

The council has not set a specific limit on how many members will sit on the task force, but it will hold interviews as needed to create a manageably sized, fair and balanced group.

Applicants need not live within the city limits, however regular attendance at meetings, or other means of actively participating, will be an important consideration.

The task force is expected to convene in late February and meet twice a month for about year, or as long as necessary to formulate recommendations.

For more information, call Amy Guthrie, city of Aspen historic preservation officer, at 429-2758.

ASPEN ” Aspen residents hungry for some extra dough can look to City Hall, which once again is offering a food-tax refund.

Those who have lived within the city limits for all of 2007 are eligible for a $50 refund. The refund is intended to reimburse residents for the approximate amount of city sales tax they pay annually on grocery purchases.

Residents who are blind receive an additional $50. Residents over 65 years old receive another $50, plus an additional $50 senior citizen allowance. Those amounts are cumulative, so residents over 65 and blind will receive $200.

The refund was created as an incentive to encourage voters to support a sales tax referendum.

Those who can prove they were a resident within the city for the entire previous calendar year are eligible. To prove eligibility, residents must show documentation that they lived in Aspen all of 2007, either by providing a lease agreement or utility bills showing the name and address within the Aspen city limits for 2007.

Canceled checks from January to December 2007 with a physical address and valid driver’s license with the same address also will be accepted, as will voter registration ” as long as residents’ addresses listed are the same as their current physical address for all of 2007.

Written notes from landlords, employers and roommates are not accepted, and neither are P.O. box addresses, driver’s licenses, W-2’s or tax returns, and employment identifications and paycheck stubs.

Applications and eligibility information are available at the finance department in City Hall, at http://www.aspenpitkin.com, or by calling 920-5040. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 15.

The paperwork can be mailed or hand-delivered to the finance department, located at 130 S. Galena St., Aspen, CO 81611.

VAIL ” Vail could decide Tuesday whether to move forward with or step back from a developer’s plan to rebuild Timber Ridge, the town’s big affordable housing complex.

The Texas developer is pushing the town to make the multi-million-dollar deal for the land ” perhaps the biggest property for development that the town owns.

The proposal would more than double the number of beds there to 1,264, using only about two-thirds of the 10-acre property. The town would sell 6.2 acres of Timber Ridge for $13.2 million. The remaining 3.8 acres would be saved for future development.

Mark Masinter, a leader of the development group, Open Hospitality Partners/Hillwood Capital, will present the plan to the Town Council on Tuesday. Masinter’s group also wants to rebuild the Lionshead parking structure into condos, hotels, timeshares, restaurants, stores and even more parking.

But some say the town’s moving too quickly on Timber Ridge.

“We’ve got the cart before the horse,” said Margaret Rogers, a Vail councilwoman.

Timber Ridge is indeed the primary spot in Vail for affordable housing, but the town needs to figure out how much housing is appropriate there, Rogers said. (Vail Daily)


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