Letter: People know what they’re signing

In June 29’s Aspen Times front-page article, Mark Hunt said that it would be “really kind of sad” if the Base2 Lodge proposal were to lose, as it is “something the community is behind.” In our experience out there gathering signatures, it appears that many thoughtful Aspenites are in no way blinded by the promise of “affordable” hotel rooms on Main Street. Petition signers are also not behind tolerating another cave-in by the City Council to once again grant significant multiple land-use variances to a downtown commercial project.

Hunt said he does not “want to fight against people who have not seen the project.” Guaranteed, a majority of petition signers have “seen the project” and are fully aware of the development plans that include a huge Main Street lot-line-to-lot-line box structure (two times the zoning code) at the gas-station site next to Carl’s Pharmacy. On-site parking has been dumped in favor of a bowling alley or other commercial venture in the basement area. The building will generate parking issues!

Yes, it is true that not every person who has signed the petition attended all of the 12 public events to guard against another development proposal so far out of line with the city land-use rules. Could it be that they expected the City Council to hold its ground and instead work out a project that would not be the first lot-line-to-lot-line development along our historic Main Street with no on-site parking? Development along Main Street should harmonize sensitively with the flavor of downtown Aspen.

If the community wants to accommodate more people with less parking (have you tried to park lately?) and less employee housing (housing for 1.63 employees) in the name of becoming more successful, growing with the times or progress, may we do so with care and design for the daily well-being of the community as opposed to being solely one-tracked to provide “more beds.”

Please come to the sidewalk outside City Market daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. so that we can vote on this development along our historic Main Street.

Anne Byard