Letter: Carbondale is looking lovely these days compared with … | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Carbondale is looking lovely these days compared with …

Councilwoman Ann Mullins cited four projects within the past year that “have been approved with no variances.” (The Aspen Times, “Council record debated at town hall gathering,” March 26.)

Variance: (n) an amount of difference or change. — Merriam-Webster

“Developer Mark Hunt’s Base1 lodge concept on Cooper Avenue also won unanimous council approval, but it included leeway on parking requirements. Rather than provide 24 on-site parking spaces, Hunt reached an agreement to lease 15 spots from the St. Regis Aspen Resort for five years” the article says. To me, that would constitute “an amount of difference,” or a variance!

If 24 on-site spaces are needed for compliance, then a variance has been granted. Fifteen rented spaces — five blocks away — does not make 24 on-site spaces!

What will happen in five years when the St. Regis wants those spaces back, or raises the rent so high that Hunt does not want to renew the rent? Was there any public input on this “variance”? How does the council know this was “the type of development the community seeks”?

It is wonderful to see the council complain about variances and offsets for an affordable-housing project at the S-turns, but yet someone/some council approved the box that is the Aspen Art Museum and the gigantic structure going in next to Little Annie’s.

Carbondale looks more and more lovely every day!

John Norman


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