Letter: Anything would be better
Thank you, thank you, to the good people of Aspen who passed Referendum 1 and gave the citizenry the right to decide the fate of their own town. Draconian? Aw, jeez, I’ll have to look that one up! Anything we can do to slow down this awful acne-like proliferation of big, square, red boxes and a basket has got to be better than what exists now.
Bert Myrin, I hope the clerks are verifying signatures and clearing up the last of the ballots even as I write this and get you the very small number of votes you need to win outright. You and your team have worked very hard on Referendum 1, and you should have the council seat.
Tom McCabe, you would have been a really good man to have on the council. I’m sorry. Probably you recall when Aspen was a “beautiful, dirty little town” and our biggest issue seemed to be the installation of the first stoplight ever, at Mill and Main; Jim Blanning, from whom I take the quote and king of the unpatented mining claims, perched on the courthouse gable roof threatening to jump; and Sheriff Carrol Whitmire, who delighted in kicking hippie butt. Ah, simpler times. Better times. But onward into the bog of variances waiting to be granted.
Now that the people have spoken, it will be cool to see how many more variances are granted to the rush of commercial building applications by Mark Hunt and company. Hunt has been really busy; he seems to be a bad moon on the rise. In my opinion, there have been a few poor calls made lately by the City Council. It may be premature to take the re-election of the two incumbents as some kind of popular mandate.
Mayor Steve Skadron, were I you, I’d be reaching for my rain gear. We may be in for nasty weather.
Oh, yeah — just FYI, here is something I found regarding zoning variances. It is from a report titled “Zoning Variances as Examined by the Courts” by the Planning and Zoning Department of Baldwin County, Alabama, in 2008 — pretty far from home, but it seems to hit the old nail right on; of course, I am not a real city attorney or anything:
“There is no way to predict each applicant’s chances of having their variance request granted, as each case must be considered on its particular facts, evidence, circumstances and credibility. However, the Alabama Supreme Court is of the opinion that ‘variances should be sparingly granted, and that the spirit of the zoning ordinance in harmony with the spirit of the law should be carefully preserved, to the end that the structure of a zoning ordinance would not disintegrate and fall apart by constant erosion at the hands of a board of zoning adjustment or the courts.’”