Letter: Ignoring lessons of the past | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Ignoring lessons of the past

As an activist emeritus and former Planning and Zoning Commission member who fought outsized development in the ’80s, I remember how difficult it was for a developer to get variances.

In my day, a parcel had to have 27,000 square feet to even be considered for planned-unit-development or statistical-planning-area status — the only avenue for the kind of variances that have been granted routinely under Chris Bendon’s reign.

Back then, variances were granted by the City Council, and only after endless hours of debate in public hearings, in return for “public benefits.”

One of my proudest moments was convincing the council then that no public benefit could outweigh the granting of variances that would be to the detriment of the public, and Alan Richman, the city planning director of the time, saw it my way, also.

All these years later, those rules have been turned inside out, allowing the development director the power to corrupt our community plan at will.

Keep up the good work, Maurice Emmer.

Marina Rainer


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