Plans for the pan and fork park |

Plans for the pan and fork park

I am dismayed by the negotiations for the river park property. This is such a beautiful open space that I can’t understand why anyone wants to build on it. It was my understanding that any development on this land would have the objective of increasing vitality in downtown Basalt, but how can 22 second-homeowner condos possibly contribute muchto this goal? And what about six employee housing units here? Give me a break! Another restaurant? Basalt already has great restaurants and I doubt any of them will welcome more competition. This land can be put to much better use as part of our river park, which will be a great attraction just as parks in other towns are. What would Aspen be like without Wagner Park or Telluride without its town park, which plays host to many music festivals? Our park can become such an attraction.

So, here are my suggestions. The town should purchase this land and build a new Town Hall adjacent to the Roaring Fork Conservancy building. The rest should be used for the park. To offset the cost, we can sell the current Town Hall site and Lions Park property to a developer and let them build their 22 condos here with a requirement that the developer contribute to the construction of more employee housing over by Stubbies.

The park can be used for a multitude of events that should create more vitality than a bunch of condos ever will — the Sunday (and additional day) Market and all the Wednesday concerts. If we’re trying to promote downtown vitality, why do we have any of these in Willits where it’s already busy all the time?

Bring back River Days. It should be successful with an appropriate venue. An imaginative event planner should be able to create all kinds of attractions for Basalt.

Please, Basalt Town Council, do the right thing and preserve this spectacular open space. Future generations will thank you.

Mike Petrie