Survey: Basaltines support Pan and Fork development

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times

favored uses for old pan and fork

Keep it as park: 39.1%

Develop like Riverside Plaza: 19.1%

Develp larger than Riverside Plaza: 4.6%

Develp smaller than Riverside Plaza: 24.5%

Hotel at any size: 10.2

Other: 2.5%

The majority of Basalt residents support some level of development on the former Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park site, according to results of a survey.

And a much greater percentage of residents want the former Clark’s Market site toward the center of town redeveloped. Nearly one-third of respondents said any size of development was acceptable as long as it included a grocery store.

The town government hired an outside company to perform the survey as part of its “Our Town” planning process to determine what types of uses residents want to see on downtown properties. ETC Institute received 481 completed surveys and said the margin of error is +/-4.4 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

“In other words, if this survey was repeated 100 times, 95 times of out 100 you would see the same results within +/-4.4 percent,” said a memo to the Town Council.

The survey was being touted as a way to help determine what residents want to happen at the Pan and Fork site. The town government relocated more than 50 families from the property in 2013 and earlier this year. The town owns the half of the 5.5-acre site closest to the Roaring Fork River. That portion will be made into a riverside park.

The other half closest to Two Rivers Road is being eyed for possible development or expansion of the park.

When residents were asked how the half of the Pan and Fork site closest to Two Rivers Road should be used, 39 percent said it should be a park.

About 58 percent supported development at some level. That included 19 percent that want it developed with buildings similar in size to Riverside Plaza, the mix of residences, restaurants, shops and offices at the intersection of Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue.

Another 24.5 percent want the Pan and Fork redeveloped with buildings smaller than Riverside Plaza. Another 4.6 percent want buildings larger than Riverside Plaza.

Another 10 percent of respondents said any size of building is acceptable as long as it includes a hotel.

Respondents could only choose one response for redevelopment at Pan and Fork and one response to development at the former Clark’s Market space.

When asked how the Clark’s Market property should be redeveloped, 32 percent of respondents said any size of building was acceptable as long as it included a grocery store. Another 11.6 percent said size didn’t matter as long as it included a hotel.

Twenty-three percent of respondents want buildings similar in size to Riverside Plaza; 15 percent want buildings smaller than Riverside Plaza; and 6 percent want buildings bigger than Riverside Plaza.

Town Manager Mike Scanlon said a few results surprised him.

“There’s clearly support for a hotel, but not overwhelming,” he said. “There’s more support for a grocery store.”

When survey respondents were asked to pick what uses they wanted at Pan and Fork, hotel was selected by 29 percent. Restaurants were the leading choice at nearly 35 percent. Respondents were able to give multiple answers.

The same question was asked about uses at Clark’s, with multiple responses allowed. The top response was a grocery store, with 57.6 percent. There was substantial support for more retail space, as well.

“Even with vacancies downtown, there’s support for more restaurant and retail,” Scanlon said.

The results were released to town officials Wednesday and to a committee of residents working on a recommendation for downtown uses. That committee meets today to work on its report.