Tell the tale of Aspen retail
September 18, 2007
So, what do you think of Aspen’s retail scene? Is there good shopping, or at least window-shopping? Enough variety of food and drink? Too many real estate offices or just enough?Everyone in Aspen has an opinion, and now is your chance to register your opinion with the people who have at least some power to make a difference: the planners and decision-makers at City Hall.From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Hotel Jerome, the city’s Community Development Department will hold another public meeting to gather feedback about the downtown commercial scene, and what, if any, regulations are needed to steer the mix of commercial uses in the core.We recommend that Aspenites attend, regardless of their feelings on Aspen’s existing retail/restaurant mix, new regulations or anything else. The city wants to know how locals feel, so more participation is better.Participants will be able to register their opinions instantly through a wireless keypad, just as they have in prior public feedback sessions.The city plans to ask attendees to “define the problem, if any,” in the commercial core. Then attendees will be presented with a menu of six regulatory “tools” that might be used to affect the mix of uses downtown. They’ll hear pros and cons of each tool, and then they’ll be asked to weigh in.We know Aspenites have strong – and very mixed – feelings on these issues, because we hear from them all the time in letters, online comments and phone calls. Some people want rent control, some want more local-serving businesses, some want fewer real estate offices. Some profess to love downtown Aspen and wouldn’t change a thing. Some dislike the current commercial mix but abhor the very idea of more city involvement. Others think the city is the only entity capable of fixing the problem.Whatever your opinion, this is a good time to make yourself heard. As city officials told The Aspen Times, “The feedback from this session will be presented to City Council as they deliberate on the issue.”Don’t say we didn’t warn you!