Not a new problem | AspenTimes.com

Not a new problem

Dear Editor:Aspen’s problems with McMansions and the loss of mom-and-pop shops is not an unintended consequence of city planning. The accelerating appreciation in the prices of real estate and rents was observed by local officials in the mid-1970s. The direct and indirect socioeconomic costs of this were a tradeoff accepted by city and county officials. Once started, every landowner began to benefit. None of them has ever seriously proposed that the community loosen up zoning and land-use codes to make it easier for lower income locals to live here.Open space programs, golf courses, the Red and Yellow Brick purchases, the upgrading of the Wheeler Opera House, parks, open space and trails, the new rec building and other asset management costs have reduced development at a never ending, increased cost to local government. Today, Bob Morris (bless his generous heart) mounts the Soapbox and suggests subsidizing mom and pop commercial tenants in downtown (“A new solution for dwindling local businesses,” Soapbox, Sept. 24).We like Bob because he joins other independent locals who are smart enough to keep on increasing the costs of living, working and playing in our Shangri-La. Controlling growth here has funded our retirement. We do get old and sell out, at a very good profit. When we move away are replaced by the wealthy we have pretended were Aspen’s enemy. Property-owning locals don’t have a problem with growth that money and the American Dream won’t fix.KNCB MooreAspen/Santa Barbara