Not worth saving
October 25, 2007
Please give serious consideration to the effect that your decision will have on homeowner’s financial security, when forced designation devalues their homes by huge amounts. The houses the city wants to preserve are generally unworthy of preserving. There is no recognized architectural significance, quality of materials, or design. Most were not built to last. Many are not even accessible to most of Aspen’s citizens or tourists, as they are in outlying neighborhoods, and some are not visible from the street. The logic seems tortured.
As a professional real estate developer, I see the value you are taking from the families who own those homes, by putting such uncertainty in the equation, and offering the gains to developers who can buy them now at a deeply discounted prices. Developers have the skill sets to use the city’s incentives in ways the homeowner cannot.
Requiring that a small minority of owners bear the cost of scores of millions for the benefit of the entire city seems illogical and unjust. The houses in question do not rise to the level of historic preservation merit, and certainly not when the policies cause such economic unfairness.
Please consider a voluntary program to replace the poorly conceived one on the table. Otherwise, please use the amendments to create total economic fairness and extreme care in involuntary votes by requiring supermajorities. And please, clean up that list, which will be a source of scorn.
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