Letter: Provide incentives for quality housing | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Provide incentives for quality housing

This is in response to the Alpina Haus article in The Aspen Times on Feb. 9.

Is providing a clean and safe rental property with modern appliances the same as overdevelopment? Our carefully crafted permitting process makes no distinction between the two, and I believe that is a core problem in our land-use code.

During a public comment session at the City Council in January (Ordinance 19 redux), I heard Mick Ireland​ say words to the effect that dilapidated properties rent for less, which helps to keep our housing “affordable.” He may of been joking; sometimes it’s hard to tell.

Why doesn’t Aspen have hotel and rental property inspectors and ratings? I’ve suggested this before as a way to encourage property owners to maintain their rentals. This would have a much higher probability of success than the deed restrictions and fee waivers proposed in the original Ordinance 19. You could make it even more attractive by “fast tracking” any permit that seeks to comply with the inspector’s recommendations. It would benefit both the guest and the proprietor by giving our visitors an impartial guide for the essential qualities of a rental (not unlike the “star” system in Europe) while promoting healthy competition between property owners to get the best rating with clean and safe rentals.

Ziska Childs


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