Shadow Mountain rezoned for smaller homes |

Shadow Mountain rezoned for smaller homes

Naomi Havlen

The western front of Aspen Mountain was rezoned Wednesday to allow only smaller homes.Pitkin County commissioners voted unanimously to change the zoning of the area to allow just 1,000-square-foot homes on 35-acre lots. Previously, a landowner could have built a 5,750-square-foot home in the area known as Shadow Mountain,The designation is called “transitional residential,” a new zoning that is meant to be a transitional zone between the urban development in the town of Aspen and the rural area on the back of Aspen Mountain.”It makes sense, instead of having a hard edge where urban areas meet rural ones,” said Cindy Houben, the county’s community development director. “It also works because of our hillsides in this area.”The concept first arose when a master plan for the East of Aspen/Independence Pass area of the county was adopted in 2003. The plan recommended that some private lands in those areas – including the face of Aspen Mountain – be rezoned to allow low-density development that encourages open space and recreational areas and acts as a buffer between urban and rural zones.Houben said she doesn’t think anyone will ever be interested in developing that area because some of the mining claims on this portion of Aspen Mountain are owned fractionally among a number of parties.”Because of the ownership pattern up there, it would be legally difficult with joint ownerships,” she said. “That’s why people haven’t tried it before.”Also on Wednesday, the county commissioners gave initial approval to rezoning some land behind the viewing platform on Smuggler Mountain. Previously zoned AFR-10, meaning that a 5,750-square-foot home could be built on 10 acres, community development has recommended the land be rezoned rural and remote. The change also comes from a recommendation from the 2003 master plan.With rural and remote, one 1,000-square-foot cabin can be built on a 35-acre parcel. The zoning also allows for special reviews so owners can build driveways, have wind-generated power or use their land for commercial recreational uses.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail is

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