Aspen housing shouldn’t have to be about density

Aspen’s incredible 1800s Colorado mountain mining town history and its lovely historic homes and buildings, still clearly visible in a real town setting, is what sets our town apart from almost every other popular “sun and ski town” in the world.

It’s fair to say that Aspen really is “one of a kind,” with a really good mix of old and new architecture to be admired and enjoyed in our fresh mountain air. But in some areas of town that could come to a screeching halt, bringing a “go Vail or go home” development attitude if the 1020 E. Cooper Ave. project and the proposed land use code change are allowed to proceed, both of which will set new standards for maximum density on small, narrow non-conforming lots (under 6,000sf) and will allow corporate overdevelopment via large multi-unit complexes in Aspen’s already dense RMF/RMFA neighborhoods — where many full-time Aspen residents and workers live.

While it’s absolutely necessary to have housing that’s affordable available for local, year-round workers, setting permanent precedents to allow this much uber-density in small areas is completely irresponsible. When in human history has overcrowding and high-density been what’s best, or even good, for a population? Anyone ever heard of the term pandemic?

The 1020 E. Cooper Ave. project and Bendon Adams’ client’s application for an urgent and permanent RMF code change are not good ideas for Aspen in the long term. Big buildings dwarf history, and I support Aspen Historic Preservation Commission’s decision regarding 1020 E. Cooper Ave. and do not support the code change proposal for Aspen’s RMF neighborhoods.

Multi-family doesn’t have to mean high-density. Who wants to live and play in — or even visit — a crowded mountain metropolis?

Eduardo Bello