Letter: Hotel redevelopment out of character with neighborhood
Dear Mayor Steve Skadron and Aspen City Council,
In The Aspen Times article, “Hotel Aspen overhaul gets continuance,” Karl Herchenroeder reported, “An appropriate balance needs to be met between incentivizing lodging development and preserving neighborhood mass and scale,” Mayor Steve Skadron said. “As proposed tonight, I find this application sufficiently incompatible with the surrounding (residential zoning) neighborhood.”
I fully agree with Mayor Skadron and Councilman Art Daily about the size of the Hotel Aspen development, and I do believe its incompatibility with the neighborhood could be effectively used to argue for a more compatible result.
Councilman Art Daily said that the two free-market duplexes, sized at 3,625 and 3,275 square feet, are well beyond the 2,000 feet allowed. His preference, he said, would be for a design with smaller duplexes. I agree about this assessment. Additionally, to attempt to trade only seven affordable hotel rooms in exchange for a range of serious legal exceptions for these oversized, neighborhood-unfriendly condos seems a poor deal for the City Council.
Finally, this development seems especially unaware of the sensitivity of this parcel with its mature evergreen trees, access to the Rio Grande Trail and participation in the greening of Aspen. It seems these days that most developments in the West End are forced to excavate to add space. I have heard of nothing of this nature in this proposal. Even though this property does not technically fall under historic review, it seems common sense that any new building in the area would need to be consonant with both the feel of the neighborhood as well as the goodwill of the neighbors.
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