Letter: Basalt’s better is better
November 23, 2015
Today, Nov. 24, the Basalt Town Council will address the issue of the amount of development on the former Pan and Fork parcel. This past summer, more than 700 residents of Basalt, through the petition process, strongly indicated their desire to have no more than 30,000 total square feet of development on this property. The Rocky Mountain Institute structure already has gobbled up approximately half of that square footage, leaving 15,000 square feet for future development. Some council members have expressed their desire to approve development of more than 55,000 square feet on the parcel, which would be the equivalent of three more buildings — each one equal to the size of the Rocky Mountain Institute. If such development were allowed to occur, it would totally dominate the landscape and turn a potential community river park jewel into just another commercial district.
All across the country, cities and towns are reclaiming their downtown squares for community gathering purposes. In our techno-centric world, what is missing from people's lives are gathering places where they can interact with friends and family — across generations. This newly rediscovered space on the river is our opportunity to create such a gathering place in downtown Basalt. Please don't squander this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by approving unnecessary development at the expense of community open space. More is not better, better is better!