Letter: Vote “yes” on Base2, ballot question 2A

In the next week every voter in Aspen will have the chance to make a significant contribution to Aspen’s future. The votes that are made will help to shape the quality of life for everyone in the valley, including visitors. We have the opportunity to improve the health, education, longevity, and diversity of our community. A “yes” vote on Ballot Issue 5A, allows Aspen Valley Hospital to continue the high level of care they already provide the residents of and visitors to our community. Our community also benefits from an excellent school system and is able to consider additional support of the district. Vote “yes” on Ballot Issue 3A to support our youth as they develop into healthy, educated, and responsible adults. And that leads us to the most contentious and least understood Ballot Question 2A (Base 2 Lodge). On the street and in the papers there is a lot of information and misinformation about the zoning specifics that are part of the application, the motives of the developer, and the city process that resulted in the approval by council of this application. For almost two years the application has been at city hall, reviewed by staff and council, presented to the public through council work sessions and meetings. Anything in question can be verified or explained by a phone call or email to the city. It was the council’s decision, guided by the Aspen Area Community Plan, to approve a use on this prominent site that would contribute to the diversity and vitality of the city rather than passively accept a use that could potentially compete with local businesses, duplicate existing services, and perhaps cater to limited segments of the city population. I supported the Base2 application in Council Chambers and I support a “yes” vote on Ballot Question 2A because it is looking to the future of Aspen. The city will remain a resort community no matter how the recreation emphasis changes dictated by climate change, the setting will always be one of the most beautiful in Colorado, the cultural offerings will remain rich. We can close the door to newcomers, we can stymie development so that only a few can access our city or we can look to the future. By allowing a development such as Base2, we will be introducing and sharing our city with families with young children here for a hockey tournament, young professionals here for a ski weekend, international visitors on tight budgets, older people returning to visit a place they have loved. Looking ahead 30 years, these are the people, along with those already in town who will keep our city relevant, vital and dynamic.

Ann Mullins