Basalt developer’s last request tough to digest
The 11th hour request by a Basalt developer to delay construction for up to seven years of a restaurant and patio overlooking the Roaring Fork River on the old Pan and Fork site is threatening a years-long community process.
The process resulted in consensus for small-scale development, a large city park and a restaurant to stimulate social vitality and economic activity.
The developer has told the Town Council and the planning commission all along that the project, including the restaurant, as illustrated in the plans, could be completed within three years.
That tune changed abruptly at the first reading before the council, leaving the council two weeks to decide before the second and final reading on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Similarly, Basalt mayoral candidate Bill Infante would throw out the years of public meetings, during which time he was not even a resident, discussions, past council directions and the recommendations of a Blue Ribbon citizens committee. That process approved of the city buying an extra acre of parkland, small-scale development and a restaurant.
Neither the developers’ last-minute about-face — nor Bill’s intent to scuttle what the town put so much time and effort into — should be tolerated by the Town Council. Bill’s claim is that because he handpicked supposed experts, without naming them, and they told him to ditch the extra park, “I would have to defer to those experts.”
That is nonsense, considering that none of these unidentified “experts” has ever made a presentation to the Town Council, the public, or been subject to questioning or debate.
The council should not be hurried into a final decision on Feb. 25. It should negotiate with the developer and develop several options, including buying the restaurant site, building the patio and allowing local restaurants to run food carts and trucks there all summer.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
I would like to make a comment to Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority, city of Aspen, Aspen Skiing Co., etc. with the ongoing Lee Mulcahy drama that has infested our community. In fact, it really applies…