Some thoughts on Burlingame | AspenTimes.com
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Some thoughts on Burlingame

All five Aspen City Council members need to be recognized for their articulation of astute and clearly thought out reasons for their individual votes on the Burlingame project Tuesday night. Their generally professional deportment, clarity and thoughtfulness reflected well on the community who elected them.

What I hope is not missed by the majority was the validity of the concerns raised by both the members of the public who spoke against and the minority opinions on the council. Three-hundred thirty or 110 units brought on line in a one- to two-year timeframe WILL have impacts on this small community, particularly during a period of economic slump.

What was not said, due to the wooden nature of public hearings, was that the much-admired 70 units at the North Forty were built over three years. During the explosion of affordable housing in the late ’80s and early ’90s we did get ahead of the need.



The result was vacant units were rented to people not committed to the community, but drawn to inexpensive housing in a place with decent wages. Multi-bedroomed houses were sold to single individuals.

Start Burlingame now, but build at a pace that reflects long-term needs. The Burlingame Ranch is a special place and should be treated as a community resource. Resources are best used with regard to the future as well as the present.




Evidence was brought by the BOCC to illustrate the effect the community will see as working locals living in free-market retire. What was also important information in that piece was the number of working locals who do live in free market.

We must be cautious that subsidized housing does not price out any incentive for non-subsidized housing owners to buy rental units for the purpose of renting them. We do not have enough tax money or land to provide government-built housing for everyone who lives and works here. We need the free market to play, too.

And of less importance, but as a point of clarification, the BOCC does not have any intention of “helping” the city financially with the Burlingame project. The policy of the county is to avoid financial backing of projects, groups, etc., over which we have no jurisdiction.

Again, I want to commend the council and all the members of the public who spoke regarding the Burlingame project. It was a meeting that we all can be proud of.

Shellie Roy

Pitkin County Commissioner


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