Code change would be to the detriment of Aspen |

Code change would be to the detriment of Aspen

Recently BendonAdams, an Aspen-area consulting firm that represents developers, sent out a postcard with a link to a survey regarding a proposed code change. They have a client that wants to build multi-unit complexes on Aspen’s extra-small residential lots (under 6,000 square feet), which is currently not allowed.

Aspen City Council required them to conduct some community outreach so BendonAdams designed this survey and is gathering and tabulating the results. This clearly seems like a conflict of interest.

Shouldn’t an independent party be conducting the survey and doing an impact study rather than relying on the party that has a financial interest in the results to control this process? This is a potentially momentous code change that affects at least 24 Aspen residential properties, nine of which are historic, including the controversial 1020 E. Cooper, another BendonAdams project. Hmmm…

The resulting permanent increase in density would impact day-to-day, year-round life of all residents and would enable developers to make millions while overbuilding already crowded neighborhoods, leading to, among other things, loss of neighborhood green and air space, darker streets and an overall feeling of concrete jungle, big-city living. Is high density in almost every nook and cranny of Aspen and the loss of our cultural heritage found in our mix of home styles really in the best long-term interest of Aspen? Isn’t there a better plan?

But no matter what, this code change shouldn’t be decided until there’s a comprehensive master plan for Aspen growth agreed upon by citizens and not just the city and developers.

Tiffany Smith


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