Renewed debate of a ‘flawed process’
Dear Editor:The Sept. 18 article in the Aspen Daily News, “West End home highlights historic preservation debate” reopens a debate that seemed to have lost momentum.Five years ago, three members of the Historic Preservation Commission resigned in protest against a “flawed process” in which about 50 Aspen properties were considered for historic designation. By HPC vote, many of those properties were removed from designation, but according to the current city code:Any of these 50 properties may be reconsidered every five years, repeatedly.All properties over 40 years old can be targeted for possible historic designation.Owners should be notified at least six months in advance of consideration, but the code allows for no advance notice.Properties may be targeted for consideration without the owners’ consent.Properties under consideration are subject to a six-month stay of demolition.Was the eloquent protest of those three HPC members ignored?Aspen is fortunate to have its rich history represented in numerous houses and public buildings in its Inventory of Historic Sites and Structures. These properties set a high standard for meaningful historic value. Any additional properties proposed for historic designation should conform to such a high standard to be worthy of designation. If they did not, they would dishonor the Inventory and Aspen’s heritage.On Oct. 25 a public hearing on the Jordan Gerberg property referred to in the Sept. 18 article will be an opportunity to energize the historic preservation debate. Further information on the current historic preservation city code can be found at http://www.aspenpitkin.com under Community Development, Historic Preservation Plan and Zoning Information.Margo Gubser GardnerAspen
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