Petition drive aims to rescind Aspen’s new lodging ordinance
Opponents of Aspen City Council’s recently passed lodge-incentive ordinance have launched a petition drive to bring the issue to voters.
The referendum petition is organized by Aspen attorneys Cavanaugh O’Leary and Bert Myrin. According to city code, “Referendum petitions must be signed by electors of the City equal in number to at least ten (10) percent of the total number of electors registered to vote at the last general municipal election.”
The petition drive comes after Aspen City Council passed a lodge-incentive package by a 3-2 vote on Aug. 11. Councilmen Art Daily, Adam Frisch and Dwayne Romero voted in favor of the ordinance, while Mayor Steve Skadron and Councilwoman Ann Mullins cast dissenting votes.
The ordinance is set to take effect by Sept. 10 and sunsets in five years. Among the main components of the ordinance is language that allows developers to propose four-story lodges south of Durant Avenue (toward Aspen Mountain).
The ordinance also includes reductions in affordable-housing requirements and a boost in size of free-market residences included in projects.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.