Letter: Protect the investment and lifestyle of all Aspen residents
The recent article in The Aspen Times regarding the proposed plans for the building next to Casa Tua (“Hunt eyes another tear-down project,” Aug. 3) demonstrates the continuing problems our great city is dealing with. It appears all too often that wealthy individuals grossly overpay for properties in the Aspen core. Then to justify their investments, they request the city to grant variances so they can tear down their buildings and rebuild bigger buildings in a manner not permitted without the variances.
In the above case, reportedly the proposed new larger building would require variances because it would intersect the view planes of both the Wheeler Opera House and Wagner Park. Why should these variances be given, eliminating obviously important restrictions just so the developer can make his property more valuable? In addition, the developer is asking to be able to pay the city $549,000 in lieu of the off-street parking requirement of 18.3 spaces. This is great for him, but where is the city supposed to build the extra parking that will be needed for his new building. Parking already is a nightmare in the core. With increased square footage, we obviously need more parking. Money simply doesn’t cure the problem.
Our land-use ordinances and regulations have been adopted to protect the investment and lifestyle of all the residents of the city. Buyers of property within the city should have to comply with then and not be granted variances in height, square footage, parking requirements and other restrictions simply to justify the high prices they may have paid for their property.