Waite House builder won’t lose license
City officials declined on Thursday to revoke the contractor’slicense of builder Gary Wheeler over violations of the city’sbuilding codes.But a two-year revocation will take effect if Wheeler fails tocomply with a list of conditions set down by the city’s chiefbuilding official, Stephen Kanipe.Among those conditions is a requirement that he attend a coursein historic preservation techniques, and perform 40 hours of “service”for free for the Aspen Historical Society.Kanipe cut short a hearing Thursday over whether Wheeler shouldbe penalized for his actions at the renovation of the historicDavis Waite House in Aspen’s West End neighborhood. Kanipe saidWheeler had “waived the right to a hearing” and agreed to complywith Kanipe’s findings and ruling in the matter. Wheeler was ordered in January to stop all work on the house,owned by Texas residents Don and Gwen Mullins, after city officialsdiscovered Wheeler had stripped a third of the siding and someof the trim and other historic materials off the house and thrownthem away. The removal and disposal of the historic materialswas a violation of conditions set down by the city’s HistoricPreservation Commission, and of the building permit issued byKanipe’s department.Kanipe recently reached an agreement with the Mullinses allowingthem to continue their renovation of the century-old home, afterthey agreed to pay a $15,000 fee and to work closely with theHPC to ensure that the house is restored as closely as possibleto its historic condition.According to Kanipe’s order, Wheeler “will not work on or supervisework on the historic portion” of the Waite House, but will continueto work on the project in general.Wheeler also “will not undertake any additional historical restorationor remediation work in Aspen or Pitkin County” until he takesa class “specific to builder and contractor responsibilities regardingconstruction work on historic structures.”Regarding the 40 hours of “service” to the historical society,Wheeler must submit to supervision by Historic Preservation OfficerAmy Guthrie regarding any work he performs. And if the work ison historic structures, “Mr. Wheeler shall complete training specificto and adequate for the tasks to be performed.””The matter is settled,” declared Kanipe after reciting his ruling.Wheeler, after shaking hands with Kanipe, Guthrie and others atthe end of the proceedings, declined to talk about the matterexcept to say, “I agree with the order. And now I’ve got to getback to work.”
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Colorado has been hit with a substantial spike in COVID-19 cases, with one in 41 residents believed to be contagious. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, warned during a virtual news conference that Colorado is not alone in seeing a spike in cases and pleaded with people not to travel or gather in large groups.