Things to consider about Pandora’s proposal |

Things to consider about Pandora’s proposal

With regard to the proposed Pandora’s expansion, it seems that many people have lost focus on some obvious facts.

First, I do appreciate the concerns offered by a couple commissioners with their views of preserving our environment and protecting it from additional development. However, with this particular application currently being reviewed by the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners, I believe we should put aside our personal biases and look at the good of the whole. Ajax is a ski mountain and Aspen is a ski town. The Pandora’s area is located within the current Aspen Mountain ski area boundary. This is not adding new terrain necessarily — as this terrain is already being skied — but rather improving it. This project will allow for more people to enjoy the terrain and help to better spread skiers out across the entire mountain (and lifts) in addition to cleaning up the dead-fall timber which is a wildfire hazard.

As for the concern of the precedent that might be set in changing the zoning? What is being asked for in this situation is to down-zone the property — to build a significant amount less than what is presently allowed the landowner as a use by right and creating less environmental impacts. Asking to down-zone a property is actually a good precedent.

Finally, the improvements as planned would benefit the community as a whole. If not for the early European skiing pioneers recognizing that Aspen Mountain would make a great ski mountain, most of us would not have transplanted and moved here in the first place. It is skiing that revived this area and brought most of us here, provided us with a living, to raise our families and enabled us to enjoy the mountains doing what we love in an area that we love.

Mark Lewis