Send Stage 3 back to drawing board |

Send Stage 3 back to drawing board

Dear Editor:We are the owners of Unit 203 in Concept 600, which is located at 600 E. Main St., directly across from the proposed Stage 3 redevelopment project. One of us has been involved in the Aspen Center for Physics since the early 1970s, and both of us have come to Aspen almost every summer since then. Although Aspen has changed dramatically since we first began coming, the City Council and the community have remained committed to protecting the qualities that make Aspen unique compared with other ski resorts, especially Vail: Its character and heritage as a real town with historical buildings, the human scale of its buildings, and the views of Aspen Mountain (and Red Mountain and Independence Pass) that it affords both residents and visitors.If allowed to go forward as currently proposed, the Stage 3 redevelopment project would go a long way toward destroying all three of these qualities. The lack of any setback along Main Street would ruin the “real town” character of this stretch of Main Street. The proposed height and mass of the building would dominate Main Street and ruin the sense of human scale for this area of Aspen. And the proposed height of the building would block views of Aspen Mountain, not only for all of the residents in Concept 600, except for the residents in two of the top-floor units, but also for pedestrians walking along the south and north sides of Main Street and for passengers in vehicles driving along Main Street.In addition, the configuration of the proposed Stage 3 project does not provide enough parking for its residents, employees and customers, leading to further congestion and overcrowding in this part of Aspen.The developer states in the materials he has provided to the city that the Stage 3 redevelopment will improve the Main Street experience and improve Aspen. This is false for all of the reasons given above. We strongly object to the welfare of the community, including long-term members of the community like ourselves, being sacrificed so the developer can make not just a fair return on his investment but extra millions of dollars.The contrast with how the Obermeyer project was done could not be more stark – not only in terms of the decision of the developers not to take advantage of the full height they were allowed, in order to preserve the character of Aspen and the views of Red Mountain for residents in as many units in Concept 600 as possible, but also in terms of the way in which the developers consulted with the community and the project’s neighbors, listened to what both said and then modified the project as much as they could to take into account the concerns of both. The developer of the proposed Stage 3 project has done none of these things.We strongly urge the City Council to deny approval for the project until the concerns that we have expressed in the second paragraph above are addressed.Don Q. Lamb and Linda GilkersonChicago