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Preserve park, relocate center

Debra Moore

After attending six COWOP meetings and more than 18 hours on the redesigning of the recycle center, all of us realized that recycling is a must in our community for the betterment of our environment. However, there are too many reasons why this proposed center does NOT fit on the tiny little parcel owned by the City of Aspen, nestled in the heart of the Rio Grande Park. The reasons are as follows:1. There are too many whistles and bells and perks required to make this a world class, showcase example of environmental excellence! We are trying to fit 10 pounds of potatoes into a one pound bag! Maintaining the feel of what Aspen stands for should be of most importance! Keeping low profiles and preserving mountain view planes are more valuable than a signature structure that stands in the way of our mountain views forever. 2. The current location doesnt fit in with its intended land use. The beauty of the Rio Grande Park should be preserved and continued along the river. Under no circumstances should the Land Use Code be changed to interrupt recreational activities or spoil the enjoyment along the riverside from the John Denver Memorial Park, Art Park, Newberry Park and continuing on to Herron Park. 3. The Rio Grande Master Plan is supposed to be the guide for site improvements to the Recycle Redevelopment (stated in the lease agreement between Obermeyer and the City). The goals and guidelines have been ignored by this COWOP group! If the city council adopts these recommendations from COWOP, then they are violating the Rio Grande Master Plan guidelines. The current COWOP recommendation does not (and dont let the City fool you with their rhetoric): Retain and optimize park and recreation uses Preserve view planes to the River and Independence Pass Design a low profile development Consider impacts on neighbors and concerned citizens Construct a facility partially below grade (COWOP voted on a design that can only be dropped down one foot as opposed to four feet) Limit the development to one story = 12 (Cottle Car & Yaw (CCY) proposed a 24 foot roof at one time and a sod roof which adds another foot. An aesthetically arched roof also adds on more height)) Limit the facility to 5,200 square feet (CCY said its now 14,024 square feet plus – almost 3 times what was recommended) Reconsider other locations for the recycle center4. A recycle center does not promote public health, safety and welfare (referring to Resolution No. 19 (series of 2006)). A drop off site for trash to be recycled is not usually considered the healthiest atmosphere, nor is it considered a safe environment when you mingle kids recreations with the congestion of cars and trucks pulling in and out of a busy center. By constructing a partially enclosed building with sod on the roof, you are enticing and inviting all kinds of deviant behavior, from kids trying to climb onto the roof, to hiding within the structure. An obvious healthier, safer and more appropriate environment could be a fountain or pond with creative landscaping, benches and picnic tables incorporated with the expansion of the skateboard park and/or other recreational ideas.This proposed recycle center doesnt fit on the site for many reasons. Even though it has been in this location for many years, it has always been considered temporary for very good reasons! To change the land use code to allow a permanent recycle facility of this sort on this site is ridiculous, costly and a huge mistake! Yes, we definitely need an efficient operating recycle center. There are other locations to consider! Please dont let the City limit our future options by forcing and rushing this project through without more careful review! Isnt that what our current City of Aspen moratorium is meant to do? Why isnt the moratorium applicable to this development?Come to the public hearing on Monday 6/26/06 at City Hall 5 p.m. and help save the Rio Grande Park!


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