Letter: Realtors are working to control signs | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Realtors are working to control signs


Dear Editor:

In regard to Roger Marolt’s recent column regarding real estate signs, I feel a response is warranted on behalf of the Aspen Board of Realtors. I appreciate the opportunity for various individuals such as Roger to voice their opinions in the local papers, and I’m the first to agree that as a Realtor community, we always can strive to do better when it comes to the appearance of real estate signs in our community. Roger’s portrayal of the efforts and actions behind the “voluntary ban” on real estate signs is significantly inaccurate, and it’s a total disappointment that he failed to represent reality when it would have been so easy to fact-check with any representative of the Board of Realtors.

The fact is that the Aspen Board of Realtors is composed of nearly 600 members, and our membership is almost entirely local community members — members who raise their families here and who have a vested interest in the success and beauty of our wonderful surroundings. As a board, last year we decided to take a proactive stance on addressing what we felt was a growing concern about real estate signage and the visual impact on our community. The Aspen Board of Realtors does not have the legal authority to ban real estate signage anywhere, and we frankly don’t have the support of all the real estate firms in the area to even suggest a voluntary ban. We do have the ability to educate our membership about local sign codes and the benefits of appreciating our place in the broader community. To this effect, we have made great efforts to help our members understand local sign codes, we’ve been in regular dialogue with the city of Aspen regarding real estate signage, and we have instituted a task force to help report real estate signs that are noncompliant with local codes.

One of the great things about the Aspen Board of Realtors is how intertwined we find ourselves in the community on a variety of levels. Our membership certainly is focused on serving the community’s real estate needs at the highest professional level, and we also pride ourselves on the community involvement of our organization and its members. We have launched new efforts recently to highlight the more than 50 local nonprofits our members support financially and with their time. This year alone, the Heldman/King Memorial Scholarship Foundation, in concert with the Aspen Board of Realtors, handed out $35,000 in scholarships to Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale high school seniors.

Thank you, Roger, for pointing out an area where we know we can do better; cleaning up real estate signage is certainly on our minds and a focus of our efforts at the board level. I can assure you that the Aspen Board of Realtors will continue to find ways to support our community beyond our core business as real estate professionals, and we’re always open to fair criticism and commentary (although factual reporting is certainly preferred).

Andrew Ernemann

President, Aspen Board of Realtors