News in brief |

News in brief

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Pitkin County has prevailed in a challenge to its rezoning of land on the back of Aspen Mountain in 2005.

Imago LLC purchased land on Aspen Mountain in 2004, and claimed its 50 acres on a prominent point overlooking the Castle Creek Valley was inappropriately rezoned by the county the following year, significantly shrinking the amount of development that is allowed. The Imago property was part of a much larger rezoning of backcountry parcels.

The lawsuit went to trial in Pitkin County District Court in May 2010. Judge James Boyd recently dismissed the lawsuit, and Assistant County Attorney Chris Seldin briefed county commissioners on the outcome of the litigation Tuesday.

Imago, controlled by Bruce Blackwell, also filed suit against the county, the Aspen Skiing Co. and multiple owners of mining claims to gain access to the landlocked 50 acres, a property comprised of six mining claims. The Skico and the county have filed a motion seeking dismissal of that case, Seldin said.

The Imago property is located outside the Aspen Mountain ski area.

An existing access road to the property peels off of Summer Road to the west of the bottom terminal of the Ruthie’s Lift, roughly halfway up the west side of Aspen Mountain. At least 10 mining claims lie between the ski area boundary and the Imago property.

ASPEN – Starting late afternoon on Thursday, Aspen Valley Hospital will begin to prepare for the eventual installation of a new boiler. The project requires structural work on the roof in the northwest corner of the building and will take 24 continuous hours to complete.

Those in proximity of the hospital can expect some noise through the night, as well as exterior lighting.

“We will do our best to mitigate the impacts during the night, but we know we won’t be able to eliminate all noise and light,” said Frank Goldsmith, community liaison for the hospital master facilities plan construction project, in a press release. “We are communicating with neighbors, hopefully to prevent any surprises and to assure them that it won’t last long.”

The hospital won’t experience any interruption in services, but the engineering department will implement back-up plans for power and the HVAC (heating, ventiliation, air conditioning) system during the night.

Goldsmith is available for questions about the boiler prep work, or any other aspect of the hospital’s master facilities plan, at

ASPEN – During the first in a series of workshops to update Pitkin County’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan, more than 50 public safety officials and citizens identified the top four potential natural hazards they could foresee occurring locally.

In order of likelihood, the natural hazards they identified are: wildfire, landslides/mud flow/debris flow, winter weather and floods. The top four potential human-caused hazards identified by the group were special events, aviation, pandemics and terrorism.

Local Emergency Management officials and citizens are working together to update the county’s plan, which is meant to “reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards.” The plan is updated every five years. The update will assess natural hazards that pose the greatest risks to Pitkin County and its incorporated towns.

“The large turnout at our first meeting by our partners in public safety, to address hazard-mitigation issues, speaks volumes,” said Tom Grady, the county’s emergency manager, in a press release. “We continue to encourage participation from the general public at future meetings, as well.”

The next workshop will be held Thursday, July 21from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Aspen City Hall. The public is welcome. The focus will be identifying hazard-mitigation action items.

Go to to view a video of the first workshop and for more information.

Pitkin County is required to have a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan under the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and to be eligible for federal disaster assistance programs.

The county was awarded $60,000 in state planning grants to prepare the current plan update.

CARBONDALE – There will be a memorial service for Linda Sellers on Saturday, July 16 at 10 a.m. at Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale.

The service will be held in front of the barn. There will be a memory box where people can share stories, poems, quotes and photos of ways she affected their life. Speakers can also share a story at the service. Donations will be collected to buy a tree that will be planted in Carbondale in memory of Linda.

Sellers, 60, passed away June 25. She lived in the area for 42 years, roughly 30 years up the Fryingpan Valley and 12 in Carbondale.

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