Ascendigo would be a good neighbor

Ascendigo Autism Services is a Carbondale-based nonprofit founded in 2004 by local parents right here in the Roaring Fork Valley. Ascendigo’s mission is “to elevate the spectrum by empowering people, inspiring lives and shattering expectations.”

Ascendigo Ranch is an inspiring, thoughtfully designed low-density project that meets the unique needs of individuals with autism by allowing them to enjoy and learn from rural recreational amenities. As proposed, Ascendigo Ranch will have approximately 42,000 square feet of improvements, substantially less than the alternative use, a subdivision of single-family homes. Ascendigo has six buildings planned over 126 acres. In contrast, the single-family home option would have as many as 21 buildings plus two approved ADUs. If approved, Ascendigo will develop the land in a significantly less dense and environmentally friendly manner.

Ascendigo is committed to environmental stewardship, water conversation and storage, and wildfire preparedness for the property. Our team of local experts includes land use planning, water rights advocates and traffic engineers. Extensive due diligence has been done to ensure stewardship of resources, wildlife protection, fire mitigation and open space. Meetings with neighbors and stakeholders have been productive and positive, resulting in a project that reflects concerns from local residents and increases access to services.

As local board members, we are not only aware of the details of this project, we strongly support it. Ascendigo is a local nonprofit, with the goal to create an inclusive space, which we believe will honor Missouri Heights’ rural character and is well-aligned with other uses in the area. We are pursuing a mission that meets a crucial need for individuals with autism and related disorders to belong and thrive. Please learn the facts about the project at Ascendigo Ranch will be reviewed by the Garfield County commissioners as an educational facility, permissible under existing zoning.

Sallie Bernard, Aspen; Peter Bell, Basalt; Larry Butler, Aspen; Pete Hayda, Aspen; Frances Lewis, Carbondale; Julie Manning, Old Snowmass; Kate Weitz, Glenwood Springs