Stick to the codes |

Stick to the codes

Dear Editor:Although I am in favor of a hotel at the base of Lift 1A, there are several things I adamantly oppose. No. 1 is the massive size of the proposed lodge. Not only will it be 11 times bigger than the courthouse, 40 percent of the structure will be 55 feet tall! It is outrageous that the developers are asking for a variance to underlying zoning codes to construct a 175,000-square-foot building which is 100 percent bigger than regulations allow for the neighborhood!Many residents and visitors alike are dismayed at how large and tall the new Limelite and Dancing Bear are. The conceptual drawings did not show ho much of the views of the mountain would be blocked by these buildings. The proposed lodge, being built partway up the mountain to begin with, would most certainly eliminate a huge portion of mountain views. Isn’t one of the unique aspects of Aspen being able to walk through town and admire the mountain?Some people have mentioned the many benefits the town would receive from this development. Yes, a new lift to replace 1A would be nice. However, since it would be built 235 feet farther up the hill, it would hardly be user-friendly for the many locals who currently walk up Aspen Street to the lift.The need for more bedrooms has been cited, and while the proposed lodge will have 80 rooms, a large portion of the project will be given to four, 4,000-square-foot free market condos and 13, 1,000-foot fractional share units.The “gift” of a snowmelt system for Aspen Street would most likely be an environmental detriment. The snowmelt “gift” also includes removing all the existing parking spaces on Aspen Street from Durant Avenue to the lift! How can developers take over city streets? Oh yes, they will build a parking garage, but many of those spaces have already been promised to residents of Shadow Mountain Condos and others.I find it quite disturbing that the developers have threatened that if they are not granted approval for this project as is, including the 100 percent zoning variance, they will build the 14 luxury townhouses and 17 affordable housing units that have been approved. Is this what compromise is about?I encourage the City Council to approve a hotel that is both consistent with the Aspen Area Community Plan and follows the underlying zoning codes.Anne BlackwellAspen