Letter: Disingenuous developers
I’m a longtime skier, and I visit Aspen as often as I can every winter. And I keep up with Aspen even when I‘m not in town. Through friends and the Aspen papers online, I’ve been watching the Gorsuch Haus developments in the Aspen Daily News and The Aspen Times for months now. For those of us who care about the town and the long-term benefits of smart development, I think the more everyone discusses the Gorsuch Haus application, the better. The real facts and hidden issues need to come out.
From what I read in the papers, It seems to me there are three basic groups in this discussion. The first is the vast majority who apparently haven’t actually read the Gorsuch application. The second is the people who have taken the time to inform themselves about the application. Many of these folks seem to be shocked by the size, scale and lack of regard for community access to Lift 1A.
The third group is the Gorsuch Haus crew and their friends and admirers, who have focused on five months of public relations, feigning to incorporate community input and the sheer audacity to tell people they are doing one thing while actually doing the opposite.
So I read the staff memo to the Planning and Zoning Commission that I found on the city’s website.
As I read it, it seems pretty clear that Lift 1A can actually be redeveloped without moving the lift 123 feet farther up the mountain and without taking land zoned for conservation. It looks to me that it isn’t necessary to pinch the ski return and reduce it to a multi-use road. And it certainly seems to me that this can be done without erecting a five-story building in the middle of the slope that would virtually wipe out both the view corridor from town as well as the Norway ski run.
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But most importantly, it can be done without privatizing the lift and pretty much eliminating reasonable community access to it.
The more people inform themselves about what the Gorsuch Haus is really planning, the more honest and clear a discussion everyone can have about what the right development would be at Lift 1A. I wish the Gorsuch crew would spend their time and money working on how to address the concerns the community has been raising for months (and that the city staff also pointed out more recently in its report quoted in the papers) rather than on their public-relations efforts that ask people to drink their Kool-Aid and avoid the real issues that have been raised.
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