Kronberg’s top 14 facts
(Editor’s note: This opinion piece was originally a letter addressed to Aspen City Councilwoman Rachel Richards.)I am confused. Are you writing your letters as a lobbyist, a concerned citizen or a city council member regarding “the facts” on Burlingame Village? Whichever role you are performing, please get your facts right and follow the rules. 1. Your letters tell the public “voters have voted on the Burlingame project and approved it.” That is so misleading and wrong! The first city council public hearing ever on the land use for the proposed Burlingame affordable housing project is in four weeks, on April 25. How could Burlingame be approved by either voters or council before the first hearing? 2. Your letters tell the public the pre-annexation agreement vote approved Burlingame in August 2000. That is not true. The city’s own document refers to the pre-annexation agreement as a “tool to set the framework under which future development could occur on this private piece of property upon its annexation into the City of Aspen.” The August 2000 vote asked: “Shall the City Council enter into a pre-annexation agreement with the Zoline family to jointly develop an affordable housing project through the city’s land use process with certain key provisions?” Final land use approvals were not approved by either the voters or Aspen City Council for the Burlingame affordable housing project. 3. Aspen City Code Chapter 9.04.080. False Statements. No person shall knowingly make, publish or circulate or cause to be made, published or circulated, in any letter, circular, advertisement, or poster or in any other writing, or on radio or television any false statements designed to influence the vote on any issue or election or defeat of any candidate, nor conspire to do so. (Ord. No. 43-199, 1 (part)) 4. Your letters told the public not to sign two initiative petitions because the petitions were “anti-Burlingame.” Again, not true.The first initiative asks for City Council not to construct any roads or utilities, grant annexations or final land use approvals for a major affordable housing project before a project’s costs and designs are known and approved by the voters. The project must be 11 units or more and a public subsidy of $100,000 per unit. The key words are NOT TO CONSTRUCT or GRANT before APPROVAL given. Are you supposed to be constructing roads and infrastructure before development approvals are given anyway?The second initiative asks the city not to enter into a pre-annexation agreement which waives any land use requirements or assumes the cost of the private developer’s share of providing affordable housing.The key words are NOT TO WAIVE land use codes or ASSUME developer’s costs in a pre-annexation agreement what you normally would not do. Are you supposed to give away or exempt development from the city’s land use code? Is the city supposed to pay for the private developer’s affordable housing requirements? 5. Colorado State Statute 31-11-114. Unlawful acts – penalty. It is unlawful: (g) for any officer or person to do willfully any act that shall confuse or tend to confuse the issued submitted or proposed to be submitted at any election. 6. You asked voters not to sign the petitions as you have a constitutional right of freedom of speech/opinion to tell voters not to sign. A person has a constitutional right to petition the government asking to vote on something with the right not to be interfered with when collecting signatures. 7. The letters and lobbying effort you have undertaken convinces me that you, and other members of the council, have already prejudged the outcome of the land use before the statutory required public hearings are held where council is to consider public input before rendering a decision. 8. You took an oath of office, as did other members of council, to uphold all laws, ordinances, charters and constitutions. As a council member you are not permitted to: prejudge a matter, take any public position or stance before all the evidence is permitted, allow personal feelings about an application to enter into the decision-making process, communicate outside the hearing or public meeting process on the pending application.You are required by law to “attempt as reasonably as possible to remain impartial and make final decisions only after a full and open hearing based on evidence presented at the meeting.” That meeting is scheduled for April 25. 9. City’s zoning laws, the AACP and environmental standards were not adhered to. 10. The numbers and facts you quote in your letters regarding the annexation of the Bar X Ranch for Burlingame affordable housing keep changing. 11. Your claims of the city owing millions and millions and millions to the Zolines, if the annexation of the land does not occur, is not what is written in the actual pre-annexation agreement. 12. What will be the “real” impacts and benefits this proposed annexation will have on Aspen’s “small” but international community? (i.e. roads, congestion, parking, wormholes, roundabouts, sewer, water, electricity, schools, police, fire, trash, recycling, pollution, job availability, cost of subsidies, bus transportation, wildlife, environment, property taxes, balance of housing program with free market units, urban growth boundaries, open space lost, balance of affordable housing and vitality.) 13. Your descriptions of what the city is planning on building at Burlingame is different from what the city is actually building. Families are not getting 236 houses. The city is building approximately 236 units with 30 single-family lots available.14. SOLUTIONS. You refer to lost opportunities if Burlingame does not happen. Just like the visitor center issue, there are better locations and smarter ways to spend these housing and taxpayer dollars. Didn’t we learn any lessons from the swimming pool lack of due diligence? In keeping with The Aspen Times and the Aspen Daily News policies of keeping letters short, and the Aspen Daily News editorial of “Trying to Tame Toni” before this upcoming election, my next letter will be “really boring but real facts” quoted directly from the legal documents.Voters need to know the real facts before voting begins.Thank you for your consideration of this serious matter.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.