Pot calling the kettle black | AspenTimes.com

Pot calling the kettle black

Dear Editor:Over the past weeks, several letters have been printed in the local papers containing misrepresentations about the proposed redevelopment plans for the old Stage 3 property. These letters are from a small number of Concept 600 owners upset about the obstruction of their unprotected views of Aspen Mountain. It’s time to set the record straight and correct these misrepresentations.The proposed 625 East Main St. building is a well designed, mixed-use building that complies with every requirement of Aspen’s land use code, including those established for the C-1 zone district and does not require a single variance from the city. The new building provides all necessary parking on-site, as well as needed affordable retail and office space, and four new second floor affordable housing units. The proposed building is not as tall as several neighboring buildings and is actually three feet below the maximum height limit for this zone district. For those who might argue that the height limits which resulted from the City’s Infill legislation are too high, it should be noted that the proposed building falls within the old height limits for the property as well. The proposed 625 East Main Street project is a great example of responsible redevelopment of old, obsolete buildings located in downtown Aspen.The developers of 625 East Main St. have gone out of their way to address concerns of neighboring land owners. The only opposition to the project has come from a handful of Concept 600 owners. Ironically, the Concept 600 building has stood for nearly 35 years as a mammoth structure dominating the east end of Main Street that exceeds the current allowable height limit and is over two and a half times as long as the proposed 625 East Main Street building. In recent years, these owners have opposed responsible redevelopment of surrounding properties to selfishly protect their views while living in a building that has blocked other’s views for years.The Aspen City Council has carefully created view corridors to protect views in downtown Aspen enjoyed by the public. The proposed redevelopment of the Stage 3 property does not impact on any of these protected view corridors. In fact, the City Council was once asked by the Concept 600 owners to designate a protected view plane from in front of their building and the notion was soundly rejected.To allow a few private property owners to use the City Council as a vehicle to keep an adjacent (on the other side of a 100 foot right-of-way) property owner from developing their property in the manner encouraged by the city’s land use code would be an inappropriate confiscation of one private property owner’s rights for the benefit of another private property owner. This would be a precedent that should not be allowed in Aspen. The public and the City Council should not be fooled by these Concept 600 condo owners who have a very selfish agenda.William Small Managing directorFrias CommercialAspen