Letter writer should be ashamed

Karen DeGeurin, from Houston, who wrote that the developer of affordable housing that is being proposed should be ashamed, and that he is only in it to line his pockets: You are the one who should be ashamed for writing such a letter (“Developer should be ashamed,” April 12, The Aspen Times).

I moved here nearly 50 years ago, and spent my first 12 years working 40 hours per week at a bank, then a design firm, at an athletic club and then as a real estate agent, as well as having two side jobs in order to afford living here.

For the past 40 years, I have been a self-employed mortgage broker. I spent my first three years in Aspen “home-hopping,” usually having two to four roommates, trying to make rent while working full time at respectable jobs. In 1985, our county finally was able to convert the Silver King Apartments to sell to locals at affordable prices, and then built the Centennial affordable-housing project that allowed locals to purchase here. I consider myself lucky to have a place to live in this town I moved to after college because of these projects.

Nearly every house in the West End now has Victorian “fronts” of the original historic homes, but have been built out to the full square footage that is allowed, leaving no lawn or space between homes. And the frustrating thing is — no one seems to live in them most of the year. The same is happening throughout what was once a lovely town of locals and tourists alike.

Take your own words, Ms. DeGeurin: “The historic cabin(s) should be a highlight in this area, not just an overbuilt lot.” That sentence applies to nearly every new home here that has taken down another that was once someone’s home who worked here, servicing the restaurants, working in our hospital and schools, delivering the mail, cleaning the streets, and keeping our fire and police departments open, staffed and our citizens safe.

The nice thing about the proposal at 1020 E. Cooper Ave. is that it keeps the miner’s cabin intact with two affordable units. And the developers you are so critical of are actually adding parking to the neighborhood.

Marilyn Foss