Profits over views? | AspenTimes.com

Profits over views?

Dear Editor:

Those who might wonder about the potential future of Aspen need only to stroll down Main Street to the site of the Stage 3 building, east of the Catholic church.

The story poles depict the building planned as a replacement for the old theater. The poles rise to 39 feet, looming over the adjacent buildings. But those poles don’t tell the whole story. On top of the 39-foot roof is a 3-foot parapet/railing together with planters, trees, etc., on the private roof decks, robbing pedestrians of another 6-8 feet of mountain views.

The new structure occupies every cubic inch of the property in an attempt to maximize the developer profit and minimize the mountain views of Aspen residents and visitors. A recent editorial in a local paper correctly characterized the building as “a monstrosity.”

This huge, view-blocking building meets all building code requirements. If future buildings are also built to this legal height, our mountain view will be reserved only for those able to afford top floor penthouses. Pedestrians will walk through a canyonland of buildings with mountain views only available at intersections. It has often been stated that no one in Aspen is guaranteed a mountain view, but no developer should be guaranteed the unfettered opportunity to maximize his profit if the public is forever deprived of views that are an essential part of Aspen.

Jim Smith

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