Pool above Hallam Lake wins approval
A swimming pool above the Hallam Lake Nature Preserve won approval Tuesday from the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission. After reviewing a tweaked plan, the P&Z voted 4-2 in favor of the proposal.The pool has raised some dander since Jonathan Lewis first proposed it earlier this year. On March 21, 22 members of the public addressed the P&Z, with all but two of those opposing Lewis’ plan to build a pool, a subterranean tunnel connecting the pool to his house and a lighted, canopy-covered stairway connecting the two.By a few feet, Lewis’ first proposal would have infringed into a 15-foot buffer atop the bluff above Hallam Lake. The revised plan submitted Tuesday night did not encroach upon the buffer.P&Z members also had asked Lewis to address lighting, noise and construction staging-area issues.Michael Ernemann of Ernemann Group Architects presented a plan a Florida-based lighting consultant prepared, showing the lighting would be minimal. Ernemann showed how the built-in lighting at the top of the pool was so minimal that it really could not be measured. Additionally, he said, all stairway lighting would be below grade, and the lighting in the tower would point away from Hallam Lake and would be almost invisible from the lake.”The light produced by Mr. Lewis’ house would be much brighter,” Ernemann told the commission.Ernemann also told the commission how all pumping and filtration machinery would be buried beneath a soundproof bunker that likely could survive a nuclear attack.Lewis also bought an adjacent lot and promised, through his attorney David Lenyo, to keep all construction activities within that lot, which is well away from the bluff. Tom Cardamone – director of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at the Hallam Lake preserve – told the commission that he was concerned about creeping development above the lake but he could live with the swimming pool.”We have what amounts to five acres of buffer on the bluff,” he said. “Of the 20-some-odd lots around Hallam Lake, two are unbuilt upon, and Mr. Lewis owns both of those. We are very appreciative of the fact that Mr. Lewis has kept those lots open. He has no obligation to do so. We have been talking with Mr. Lewis, and we appreciate the fact that he has listened to our concerns.”The main discussion within the commission centered on whether the stipulations of Lewis’ plan would apply to anyone who might buy his land.The commission encouraged Cardamone and the ACES staff to visit with Hallam Lake landowners to begin establishing lighting and noise guidelines for the Hallam Lake area.P&Z Chairwoman Jasmine Tygre and Commissioner Mary Liz Wilson voted against the pool, while Steve Skadron, Ruth Kruger, Brian Speck and Dylan Johns voted in favor of it.
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