Quick Mart expansion wins OK | AspenTimes.com

Quick Mart expansion wins OK

Jeremy Heiman

Aspen Quick Mart is on its way to a small expansion. But, proving once again you can’t always get what you want, the store’s owners were denied the zoning change they requested.

The Pitkin County commissioners Wednesday split the rezoning request away from the land-use application, denying the zoning but approving a 550-square-foot enlargement of the store.

The convenience store and gas station, on Highway 82 in front of Aspen Village, will be allowed to expand by 550 square feet and erect canopies over its gasoline pumps. The remodel will involve moving the restroom entrances indoors and creating a small dining space to accommodate customers purchasing ready-to-eat foods.

With their application for the minor remodeling, owners Don and Linda Crouch had also applied for rezoning from AFR10, the rural residential zone district that encompasses the area now, to B2, a zone that would allow numerous commercial activities. The store has been a “nonconforming use” since the area was zoned AFR10 in the 1970s.

Being a nonconforming use, Don Crouch argued, places a stigma on his business and makes it difficult to borrow money. “As a nonconforming use, we aren’t viewed the same way by bankers and appraisers,” Crouch told commissioners.

But Lance Clarke, Pitkin County’s deputy director of community development, noted that B2 allows many uses that would be considered undesirable in the neighborhood. The Crouches, he said, could open a restaurant and bar, or a car dealership in a B2 zone district.

Commissioner Shellie Harper suggested separating the zoning request from the expansion application, and Commissioner Mick Ireland’s two separate motions to that effect passed unanimously.

Because Aspen Village residents voiced opposition to the stray light the canopies might produce, the board included a clause in the approval specifying the amount of light would be restricted.

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