Downtown Basalt proposal misses mark
A recent article in the Aspen Times (June 30) was about the Basalt Planning Commission reviewing a proposed project at the former Clark’s Market site. This is the flagship location to our beautiful quaint town of Basalt.
Basalt town center is not Willits! The proposed design is three stories and nothing else in our quaint main street of town center is over two. This project, even with its “step back” design, will tower over Alpine Bank and the surrounding buildings. Then what the heck is the “Hollywood Squares” design at the rear? Our town center is of western motif, not Willits modern. Any project for this site should be limited to two stories in height and should be keeping with the motif of our main street.
There was also no discussion about parking. Apartment dwelling parking should be underneath the building. The Clark’s Market site shares its parking in common with other owners. They all have parking rights that will be impacted. Retail parking uses “turn over” frequently. Apartment dwelling users park longer term occupying spaces for retail users. Even a one-bedroom apartment will typically need two parking spots for a shared apartment — then maybe they have a boat or RV to park too? What arrangements or permissions have the developers obtained from the other owners that share this parking to alter its use for apartments, and or use of the parking for construction activities? If you talk to any retail, apartment or condo owner in Willits, parking is a problem, as the retail and apartments do not mix well.
What the developers promise is a market for our town center or additional service retail. But what they really want is the apartment building (which will someday be converted to condos) and will promise anything. If a market or additional retail is really viable why has the site been vacant so long? Why are there remaining street front vacancies on main street? Don’t be fooled. Send this project to Willits. It’s too tall, massive and modern and full of future broken promises.
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