Justice for Basalt taxpayers
Basalt buying out the “nonprofit” Roaring Fork Development Corp.’s 2.3-acre interest in the Pan and Fork river park controversy is not about development or no development — it is about taxpayer justice and providing a clear and expedient path forward.
Basalt funded 72 percent of the joint-venture project four years ago. Zoning the parcel under the existing dysfunctional setup will not solve the problem, as the town does not have enough control. One developer could keep making proposals that do not comply with zoning and keep asking for variances in uses, development size, mitigation extractions, further tax subsidies and the like until the town caves to demands. This could go on for years.
The public deserves and will have a huge upside if council takes control and now corrects this unworkable and unjust situation. No matter what development/park plan is desired, Basalt taking full ownership is a necessary first step. The second and final step is following municipal protocol using an open-market selection and competition. That will allow the most democratic and cost-effective path to completion of the dream.
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