P&Z still a lonely board | AspenTimes.com

P&Z still a lonely board

Aspen Times staff report

Despite the appointment of two new alternate members Dec. 6, Pitkin County’s Planning and Zoning board is still struggling to come up with a quorum for meetings.The board couldn’t convene its Tuesday meeting at the scheduled time because of a lack of a quorum, despite a full agenda. Though the county commissioners appointed John Howard and Judy Wender as alternate members, when Tuesday rolled around, Howard was out of town and Wender had already withdrawn from the board.With regular members Steve Whipple out of town and Paul Rudnick ill, that left a bare minimum of three, Sheri Sanzone, Peter Thomas and Chairman Peter Martin, to conduct the meeting.But Sanzone, designated to represent the P&Z on the Burlingame Task Force, was at a meeting for that task force. Sanzone had to be called away from the Burlingame meeting to attend the P&Z meeting.Moreover, the meager turnout forced Martin to invoke a little-known parliamentary rule just to arrive at a ruling on one of Tuesday’s agenda items. Thomas recused himself from discussion of the school district housing proposal for the West Ranch Subdivision because he lives in one of the existing school district units there.But with Sanzone voting for a recommendation of denial and Martin for approval, the board was deadlocked. With the looming threat of bringing the issue back at a later meeting, Martin reminded Thomas that a recused member can be called upon to break a tie. Thomas voted to recommend approval of the project and moved it on to the county commissioners.Lance Clarke, the county’s deputy director of planning, said Wender reversed her decision to serve on the planning commission shortly after she accepted the appointment. A business opportunity presented itself, and pursuing that opportunity promised to be so time-consuming that Wender feared she could not commit the time necessary to the P&Z post, Clarke said.The county commissioners will interview more applicants for the board next week, Clarke said.

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