Next generation endangered | AspenTimes.com

Next generation endangered

Dear Editor:I am sorry Connie Harvey takes it as name calling when her views are challenged. I don’t mean to offend a good person but I must challenge the nonsense being put forth in opposition to the Burlingame proposal.The reality is, Aspen is still losing its younger residents at an accelerating rate.Here’s the score in 1990: Number of 22-29 year olds in Pitkin County: 2,541; number of persons over 50: 1,892.As can easily be seen, 20-somethings outnumbered the 50-plus crowd by quite a bit in 1990.Here’s the score in 2003, according to the Department of Local Affairs, state of Colorado: 22-29 year olds: 1,915 (down 25 percent); 50-plus persons: 5,114 (up 170 percent).The 20-somethings are an endangered species fast losing ground while a third of our population is more than 50. The 30-39 age group is also losing ground. In 2000, more than half the remaining 1,200 or so 20-somethings in the city of Aspen resided in a handful of neighborhoods, most of them with familiar names: Centennial, Hunter Creek, Truscott, Snyder among them. About half of all Aspen residential census blocks show no 22- to 29-year-olds at all in the year 2000.Affordable housing has sheltered this disappearing age group from obliteration by the real estate market. Opponents of Burlingame offer no real alternative other than technical ordinances requiring more votes and more lawsuits aimed at preventing even tiny 10-unit projects. In nature, as in society, monocultures that do not provide for a successor generation are not “sustainable” in any real sense. Burlingame provides the best and most realistic chance for our next generation to gain a foothold in the community. Mick IrelandAspen


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