Shutting down a solution | AspenTimes.com

Shutting down a solution

Dear Editor:Hello, my name is Brian Dillard, I serve as an appointed councilman on Basalts Planning and Zoning Commission.I am appalled at a decision made Tuesday night by the elected officials of our town, three of them anyhow (Divided Basalt council closes door on more urban sprawl, Oct. 24). A lot of grandstanding and side-show antics with elections right around the corner, no solutions.When we (the P&Z) drafted our plan, the Master Plan, we included language for councils use at a later date, if needed, specifically to entertain replacement housing anywhere outside the Urban Growth Boundary, if the proposal mitigated 100 percent. We never identified a select property (as mentioned in your paper and at the meeting). The language was inserted to offer hope and chance to those living in Third World conditions within our town (theres a story). Both trailer parks in downtown Basalt have been identified over the years as our number one priority for relocating residents away from flooding, redeveloping that land for a safer Basalt and to keep our working souls in our community.When I was interviewed and appointed on the Planning and Zoning Commission more than two years ago, I made it clear that priority identified by the town was also a top concern of mine and would work to a solution. While there are many solutions to any problem, you never, never, ever, shut one off. Our elected officials did that.I also am in favor of growth where it fits with current infrastructure, i.e., downtown core, hillside district and Willits however, HELLO both trailer parks are in the downtown core. In order to solve potential flooding issues, also a top concern by the town, we first must relocate the residents of the trailer parks. The need is apparent; it is time to give up the lip service and resolve the problem. We cannot solve the flooding issues, remove the trailer parks and potentially redevelop desirable downtown without first relocating those whom you have said are your TOP PRIORITY.There is language in the now adopted Master Plan that all new applications must offer 10 percent replacement housing within their respective proposed development. Thats great, however, Basalt has no authority, and the trailer park owners have no incentive to prevent new residents from moving in where others left.Thanks to my fellow P&Z Commissioners for giving their time and delivering a well thought out plan. The solution is 100 percent mitigation when the time is right. Council gave up that option; thats a sad state of affairs for Basalt.Brian DillardBasalt

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