Letter: Let the Midvalley Planning Commission lead | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Let the Midvalley Planning Commission lead

I’ve read and listened to the many sides that make up the current debate on the Tree Farm application. I understand the passion that all sides bring to the discussion, and I feel for the members of the Midvalley Planning Commission because they will ultimately have to make a recommendation to the Eagle County commissioners.

As citizen advisers, they’re asked to digest more than 1,000 pages of application materials as well as listen to and distill the meaning of more than 100 voices that have expressed varying opinions. They then have to try to understand, appreciate and hopefully support the important community goals that we believe in. It’s a tall order and a ton of pressure.

Even with all of this, I have faith in them. I believe it’s their turn to lead our community and do the right thing. They are setting our course by influencing planning efforts. Let’s offer our trust and the support they need to be good leaders.

As they think about their decision, I’d like to offer the following questions. And while I don’t pretend to have the answers, I think these represent the most important concepts to date:

• Does this development belong in the town of Basalt or in unincorporated Eagle County?

• Does this development address the needs for day care and early-childhood education that’s so desperately needed? Or does it exacerbate the problem?

• Does this development close the deficit gap on midvalley affordable housing? Or does it add to the deficit?

• Does this development bring a volume of traffic that will negatively impact the midvalley character and Highway 82 travelers?

These aren’t easy questions or the sum total of questions out there, but I believe they are the most important ones right now. I have faith that the Midvalley Planning Commission will find the answers required to make a decision that benefits us all. We need thoughtful and actionable leadership!

Julie Kolar