And these are the development days of our lives |

And these are the development days of our lives

Boomers of my vintage born when Haberdasher Harry was in office who grew up in Beverly Hills used to reminisce about how great it was growing up there and bemoan the fact that the town was taken over by money grubbers and tourism. So the latest poll of Aspen locals feeling a loss of community and affordable everything is nothing new.

But Aspen’s not alone. Basalt is not far behind. The sleepy drive-through of the ‘70s will soon complete its transformation into a crowded, expensive, no parking, tourist trap full of mountain toy stores and real estate offices. Couldn’t require underground parking because of the water table? C’mon, have you ever been to London? Then there’s Willits’ hyper-modern new construction of rectilinear flat-roofed boxes for all the SoCal emigres to feel right at home. Not just in Willits, either. West Two Rivers Road into old Basalt looks like a portal into Snowmass Village.

Snowmass Village? The formerly not-Aspen mountain village now transformed into a mid-rise eruption of glass and steel? Wait ‘til they rebuild the Snowmass Center, the Mall and the transit hub up Carriage Lane. Vail’s downtown will seem small in comparison, but at least in Vail the parking works.

It never stops. Carbondale still has that messy vitality, which bypassed Basalt during the Pitkin County Diaspora of the ‘90s and came to rest in Bonedale. But have you seen those unfinished ticky tacky boxes lining the 133 from the 82 to the roundabout? The brave new world of transit hub clustered worker hive living. It’s only going to get worse until we stop building. But we’ve too many affordable housing sacred cows, contractors and real estate brokers to feed. Which means it’s only going to get worse. After all, we are the locusts.

Barry Vaughan

El Jebel

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