Muzzled by Basalt mayor
At the last hearing on the Basalt Center project (site of the old Clark’s), the mayor refused to allow anyone more than three minutes to make a citizen comment regarding the project.
The fact is the entire Board of Trustees supported this outrageous
stifling of public comment on one the most impactful proposals in Old Town Basalt.
While the word on the street is this project will be approved no matter what, denying citizens an opportunity to make meaningful and helpful comments is wrong and stupid. The trustees should allow for at least five minutes per person starting after they give their name and address.
This proposal does not conform to the master plan as a retail anchor. It is missing 26,000 square feet of commercial area cited in the master plan. It provides 27 excess apartments over the 40 specified in the masterplan. The majority of the units are 440 square feet, about the size of a motel room with a tiny kitchen and a bathroom that would fit in a 737. This is housing that a college graduate or twenty-something would endure for a year or two, but these tiny units will not be homes. Therefore, this proposal does not qualify for rezoning to CSC and must then comply with its current C-2 zoning.
Three stories are allowed in C-2 zone only for affordable housing or hotels, so that extra floor should all be affordable housing. As a town, we are looking for housing that builds community, not seasonal lodging.
For decades Basalt has sought to preserve its small town character. Old Town is the historic core of the small town. It has been damaged by the loss of businesses to Willits, and allowing this project to be built will complete the destruction of Old Town’s small-town character.
One only has to look at the massive industrial-looking town park housing to see how poorly the elected officials have acted in preserving Basalt’s small town character.
Trustees, please allow meaningful comment from your citizens on July 26, and please send this proposal back to the drawing board.