Truscott plan takes open space |

Truscott plan takes open space

John Colson

When city voters cast their ballots on May 4 to decide whether or not to expand the Truscott Place affordable housing project, that decision will involve the sale or lease of officially dedicated open space.

But the ballot language says nothing about that aspect of the question, a fact that has bothered some local observers.

Mayoral candidate Helen Klanderud asked about the omission of the words “open space” at a candidates’ forum this week, wondering whether it was an “oversight” or deemed an unimportant detail by the City Council.

The issue is ballot question No. 3 in the municipal election, which asks voters to authorize the sale or lease to the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority of up to three acres of ground next to the existing Truscott Place housing.

The land is described as “the dirt storage area immediately adjacent to the Truscott Place Affordable Housing site.” The fact that it is legally part of the golf course – all of which was purchased with money from the city’s dedicated open space fund – is not mentioned.

“It is open space,” acknowledged City Attorney John Worcester this week, but he said the City Council decided it would mean more to voters if it was described by its function in recent years – as a storage site for dirt, fertilizer and seed for the parks department.

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