Letter: Restore responsible governance, planning to Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Restore responsible governance, planning to Aspen

The opposition to Referendum 1 is telling. There’s the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, Aspen Skiing Co., Derek Johnson (employed by Skico), a few real estate brokers and a couple of land-use professionals, but no one who is an actual advocate for the public interest (other than Steve Skadron and Ann Mullins, who are the minority vote on a divided City Council).

Why? While Aspen is already quite generous in terms of what is allowed within the downtown core — up to 40 or more feet in downtown, along with massing that is more or less a square box — developers bought property on the speculative side, betting that there could be more than the already very generous Aspen land-use code. And that’s where the chamber, Skico and a few real estate professionals would like to see Aspen go with a “no” vote on Referendum 1 — more, bigger, taller development for short-term financial profit. And also through one-off variances with free-for-alls for select developers, because no one on the anti-Referendum 1 side wants an honest conversation about where Aspen is really headed, assuming it continues its current course.

I think most people want to preserve Aspen for our existing community and also because we all believe the resort is strongest if we still have a place tourists view as special, different and somewhere they would like to visit in the future. I also believe most people want to see responsible governance and planning by City Hall — tourists, residents and second-home owners alike.

Please vote “yes” on Referendum 1, give yourself a vote in the future of Aspen, and restore responsible governance and planning to Aspen City Hall.

Marcella Larsen


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