Tell it to the council | AspenTimes.com

Tell it to the council

Dear Editor:Dont toss those old bank statements and tax returns! Turns out the city may require that you produce your personal financial history for inspection. A new compliance program for affordable-housing residents? No, this proposed law targets homeowners and building owners with 30-plus-year-old property, particularly those on the list.As part of a newly proposed law to be voted on by council on Monday, Nov. 26, city government would require inspection of your personal financial records if the city targets your property for potential historic preservation. If you are currently on, or get added to, the list (additions possible in six months), the only way to escape the list under the proposed law is to prove financial hardship. So, be prepared to offer for city inspection: five years of tax returns; five years of bank statements; five years of personal financial statements; how much you paid for your property; how much you paid for improvements; how your personal finances stack up against others on the list; and more.This is the citys proposed new and only method to have your 30-plus-year-old property removed from the list. The city proposes determining whether the potential loss of value in your property upon forced designation will create a special circumstance not applicable to other owners on the list. In other words, if your loss is much greater than others on the list, given your comparative financial status, then perhaps the citys hearing officer will release your property. Dont exhale just because your house is not on the list. If its more than 30 years old, you may have only six months of peace. Previous commitments for a 10-year certificate of assurance of no action have been scrapped. We were surprised that Mayor Ireland endorsed that, given that he had consistently wanted to pacify owners not on the list with 10 years of assurance. Properties can be added to the list in six months if this proposal is passed on Monday night (Nov. 26).If this seems a little far-fetched, please check out the citys official proposed ordinance (revised No. 48) at http://www.aspencitizensgroup.com (documents section). We hope you will take the time to review the details for yourself. We urge all citizens (whether or not you own 30-plus-year-old property) to attend Monday nights council meeting when this matter is scheduled for final vote. It is uncertain whether public comment will be allowed. We assume that the mayor will welcome public comment, because, at meetings end on Nov. 12, he stated that he just had no idea what the community wants in terms of historic preservation of 60s and 70s houses. Apparently, the scores of hours of public comment decrying Ordinance 30 have been insufficient input for the mayor to have a sense of the communitys feelings. We hope that all citizens interested in this matter will communicate their opinions to council.Marilyn MarksAspen