Emma buildings not ideal for food storage hub | AspenTimes.com

Emma buildings not ideal for food storage hub

As a community member on the Emma Store Buildings Steering Committee, I wanted to add some dimension and perspective to the recent article promoting its use by Pitkin County as a food storage hub.

While we all exuberantly embrace the work to reduce food insecurity in our valley, several members on the steering committee did not embrace the idea that these midvalley Victorian gems would be served well by use as a commercial/industrial food hub distribution operation — one that would include many trucks and semis, challenge its structural and historic viability — and exclude use by most of the public at large.

Our suggestions were to find a better fit for the location of such an enterprise, like the nearby Basalt commercial area or property reported to be earmarked for Pitkin County near the Eagle County Community Center, already zoned for commercial use with easy access, parking, ingress/egress — all important factors that can detrimentally impact the rural character of Emma where these buildings sit.

There is still the strong sentiment by many to assign multiple uses to this historic property that might include the scope of artist/cultural, environmental/naturalist, museum, information hub, gathering space, recreational stop for cross-country skiers and bike riders along the Rio Grande Trail, Roaring Fork River overlook/viewing area. And to enjoy the spirit and history of these iconic, turn-of-the-century buildings. I believe it is extremely important to tread carefully with how the community can best preserve, use and enjoy this valuable resource.

Martha Ferguson


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