Letter: Action needed on land use
January 7, 2016
Dear mayor and City Council,
Each of you ran on a platform that promised to preserve "small-town character." In 2012, the Aspen Area Community Plan was enacted, and it suggested significant changes to the land-use code to preserve community character. As you know, nothing was done, and specifically, none of you did anything to advance the plan from 2012 to 2015.
In 2015, the issue of Aspen's land-use code's performance and consistency with community expectations was called into question in the election, again with repeated promises by those of you running for office that you would actually do something.
Despite widespread acknowledgement that the current land-use code does not reflect the public interest, the council failed to enact a moratorium on development applications. That means there will be more development that doesn't reflect what Aspen wants, which also will require huge taxpayer subsidies since Aspen does not actually require development to pay its own way.
Some of you may want to run for re-election. Think about this (three-plus years after the Aspen Area Community Plan was adopted): What have you actually accomplished? Certainly your voters should ask these questions. You don't have a schedule to promptly reform your land-use code. You failed to enact a moratorium to avoid future inconsistent applications in the commercial core, so that means the same undesirable development pattern will continue. You enacted a developer-friendly, early vesting, land-use provision contrary to the public interest, and it will thwart every effort to make Aspen the place where anyone not wanting a quick profit would want to live. In short, you left your constituents literally out in the cold.
I'm hoping for fluffy snow but also real substance and action, yours, in the new year.
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