Silence = suburbia
October 1, 2007
The Basalt Council unanimously approved an additional 150,000 square feet at Willits on Tuesday night. Anyone who travels that area, especially at rush hour, knows the tremendous traffic congestion that already plagues that neighborhood. Apparently, this was approved because of the frenzy to have Whole Foods move in OR the repeated, repeated, repeated mantra from some experts on council that there must be density or there will be sprawl.
Approving large, dense projects in Basalt has not and will not change the pattern of sprawl for two big reasons:
1. Land outside of Basalt is cheaper than land in Basalt.
2. Land outside of town is either already zoned for urban levels of density or is up-zoned to urban levels of density when developers ask for it.
The only way that there is density VERSUS sprawl is if the counties are precluded from sprawl developments through governmental agreements or state statute.
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So, let me see … since Basalt is approving enormously dense projects and the downvalley counties are approving urban levels of density, how is this maintaining the so-called small town character that our Basalt town surveys indicate are so important to its residents? If you prefer that the freight train slow down a bit, maybe you will want to contact your town council member or attend town meetings. The silence of Basalt citizens is all that is needed to fast track our town right into midvalley suburbia.
Jacque R. Whitsitt