Who doesn’t need more space? | AspenTimes.com

Who doesn’t need more space?

Dear Editor:I was pleased to read in Charles Agar’s piece, “Planners look at ‘invisible’ home” (June 25) that Mr. and Mrs. Smith the folks who want to build a house the size of an airport terminal on McLain Flats, have decreased the size of their proposed structure to 13,250 square feet from 15,000 square feet, a loss of 1,750 square feet. This new proposal is, however, 7,500 square feet more than the zoning allows – more than twice.The Smiths and their advisors expect to garner some sympathy because “We happen to have a large family – five children and five grandchildren – and we need a home that works size-wise (sic) for our family.” The term “home” suggests that these people actually live here. They don’t; they’re second-home owners from Texas. They say that they’ve “had a ‘home’ here for 35 years; we’re not outsiders.” I guess somehow they’ve failed to notice that we have a little housing problem here in the valley. The guy who puts them on the chairlift in the winter spends three quarters of his take home income to live in a closet with no window. The people who’ll build their manse will probably be commuting more than 100 miles a day because they can’t find one of those nice closets to live in. Show of hands: Who gives a rat’s ass about the size of their brood? It’s an insult to the intelligence of every man, woman, child, dog, cat and canary in the valley for them to try to get sympathy by playing the we-really-need-the-space card. Someone should have told them that. They obviously haven’t spent enough time here in their 35 years of owning a vacation home to figure it out for themselves.The only way these people can build a monster the size they propose is to use transferable development rights, TDRs. Their architect, Charles Cunniffe, wants to make the house “‘an example’ of TDR use and efficiency,” he wants the project to be a “love-fest.” I think this situation should be an example of why things are zoned the way they are. If there was ever an instance of a location where zoning should be enforced to the letter, it’s this site on McLain Flats.Smith has said that some people just don’t like big houses. You can take that one to the bank. The only thing we like less than big houses is the people who think they have to have them.You can snow some people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but never, ever, think that the Woody Creek caucus speaks for all Woody Creekers. If this project gains approval the message will be simple and clear: Zoning applies only when you don’t have the money to buy your way around it. Just as it should be in George Bush’s America.See you at the lovefest.Michael CleverlyWoody Creek


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