Dear Editor: I’d like to thank Connie Harvey (Aspen Times, March 21) for clarifying that her calling Burlingame Village a “ghetto” relates to its location and housing income restrictions, and is not a description of the project design or architecture. Hopefully, this is in recognition of the quality features incorporated into Burlingame: energy efficiency and construction quality that meets or exceeds national green-building standards. The spacious new residences will also exceed affordable housing minimum sizes and will include resource efficient materials like bamboo flooring and cast iron/enamel bathtubs that don’t need replacement as frequently as shorter life-cycle finishes.Most significantly, the Bar/X Ranch and Burlingame Village master plan will deed restrict for open space conservation 190 out of 252 acres of land – more than 70 percent of the total land area, and includes an additional 12 acres of green space and dedicated parks within the actual housing site. I must however disagree with Connie’s insistence that it’s still OK to call these homes a “ghetto” because they will be “segregated” from Aspen. I may have missed something, but I’ve never seen ads for Maroon Creek Club real estate, adjacent to Burlingame Village, described as being “segregated” from Aspen.Who thinks of Buttermilk, the AABC, the airport, or CMC as segregated from Aspen? Burlingame is three miles from the Hotel Jerome; having permanent community members living that close seems a lot less segregated than a commuting work force sprawled across Garfield County. Connie’s further justification of the ghetto word is that residents of Burlingame will be “segregated by income.” This is absurd; aside being neighbors to the Maroon Creek Club, Burlingame Village households will range from Category 2 (maximum annual family income of $53,500 with one dependent) all the way up to Resident Occupied lots, and disperse this unit mix throughout the site.No one calls the North Forty “segregated by income” although it is predominately Resident Occupied, and its residents were selected by the developer, not through a lottery. And nobody characterizes the North 40 as segregated from Aspen, though it is farther from Aspen than Burlingame. The North 40 is a vibrant healthy neighborhood that has anchored 70 families in Aspen. A chance to buy a home at the North 40 made a lot of people’s dreams come true, improving their quality of life and giving them the opportunity to remain here, contributing to Aspen’s economy, vitality, and character.Likewise, Burlingame Village is our best opportunity to offer a few of our co-workers, employees and friends, including many second-generation Aspenites – our own children’s families – a chance to remain here. It will be home to business owners, managers and workers alike; child-care providers, school teachers and ski patrollers; postmen, hospital, airport and resort employees, individuals who patronize local shops and restaurants and who volunteer for our nonprofit institutions and events. Burlingame Village will be a neighborhood of permanent residents from all walks of life who are the basis of a healthy community, not segregated, and not a ghetto. Rachel E. RichardsAspen
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