Letter: City is hypocritical about development

So many locals seem to be so happy that the council is “finally listening” and are commending our mayor and City Council members for stopping development applications in the core of town. What astounds me is that not one person has come forward to protest the 70,000 (yes, that is 70,000) square feet the city is designing for City Hall and the Police Department. Their answer seems to be that this will serve the community for the next 50 to 100 years. So, those of you who successfully stopped a new small lodge: was it 9,000 square feet? Or maybe 10,000 square feet with how much is below ground that you would not see? If the city is serious about height restrictions and floor-area size on each lot and continues to downzone the private sector, then wouldn’t it be prudent to do the same on the government buildings? The White House for our entire country is 55,000 square feet. It serves as a beacon for America. Are you kidding me that a town of 6,000 needs a building of 55,000 square feet? Plus a police station of 15,000 square feet? To help you with perspective, the Wheeler Opera House, a beloved icon in our town, is 26,384 square feet. In designing the Aspen Area Community Plan, no one wanted a building that big. The Hotel Jerome, another historic landmark, is 113,282 square feet. Truthfully, can you imagine a government center in Aspen about half that size?

It is time to come forth, because if you let this slide by then the private sector has a real lawsuit when city officials stop them.

Lorrie B. Winnerman