Letter: Code is code | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Code is code

My opinion of Base2 would be only my opinion, worth no more weight than the opinion of someone who might feel exactly the opposite. But I do have a gripe. It isn’t about Mark Hunt. It isn’t about whether we need a (possibly, who knows?) affordable lodge on Main Street. It’s that our land-use code has become like an Amtrak schedule — at best a suggestion.

We just had an election in May. The voters sent an unmistakable message that they want the City Council to put a lid on variances in the commercial core, coupled with the message that the voters must approve any such variances. The point was crystal clear. Hello, City Council! We don’t trust you to exercise your authority over commercial-core variances, so we are revoking your privileges. Following directly on the heels of that vote and those messages, what does the City Council do?

It approves a project in the commercial core that requires not just a few minor variances but the mother lode of variances (gee, a name for the project: the Mother Lode of Variances Lodge). And it expedites the approvals as a kind of “up yours” to the voters. At least one of the council members said, in effect, “I’m an elected official, which means I do what I please.”

Again, I’m not qualified to impose my aesthetic opinion about the project on others. I’m not sure I would know a good building from a bad one. But I can recognize a City Council telling the voters, “Just give us your votes, and shut up.”

Maurice Emmer


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