Letter: Something fishy in Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Something fishy in Basalt

In a letter last week (“Corralled into choosing development,” June3), I said that the public is invited to comment on proposed master-plan amendments and development options and that they should expect to be herded toward development. This was in anticipation of the Planning and zoning meeting held at the Basalt Library on June 2.

That expectation was certainly met. Three different scenarios were presented for the Pan and Fork (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention owned parcel), Lions Park (Town Hall location) and Merino Park (former recycle center). Each proposal put a hotel and townhomes, or “flats,” on a large part of the properties. The scale of all the buildings proposed is way out of proportion for Basalt.

The proposals are out of step with what the residents of Basalt have indicated they wanted. In a survey done last year, only 10 percent of respondents wanted to see a hotel on the Pan and Fork while there was support for a hotel in the area of Clark’s Market. The Downtown Area Advisory Committee report did not recommend a hotel on the Pan and Fork. Fewer than 7 percent of survey respondents wanted condos on the Pan and Fork property.

These master-plan proposals are similar to the proposal put forth by the developer Lowe Enterprises for the Pan and Fork property. But isn’t this what you would expect? The firm that was hired by Lowe to do its plan has now been hired by the town of Basalt to plan the three properties. Development is the only thing that firm is capable of imagining. Do you think there is a problem with the town hiring a firm that came up with a plan for a developer to come up with a master plan for the town? Isn’t this really fishy? When that firm is done, will they go back and work for the developer? Do you feel herded? Moo.

Gerry Terwilliger