Letter: Brewery hypocrisy
The Aspen community strongly supported the Aspen Brewing Co. in the legal battle with its penthouse neighbors on Hopkins Street who complained about noise and tried to change the long-standing rules to suit themselves at the expense of those who were there first.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, how quickly they forget. The Aspen Brewing Co.’s plans for the Old Power House include being “operational morning, noon and night, 365 days a year” to “host countless community gatherings throughout the year,” to “attract new, interesting events to make sure the Power Plant has a full calendar, year-round” and to “be an attraction for locals and tourists morning, noon and night.” This is hardly appropriate for a quiet, long-standing residential neighborhood that was there first.
Furthermore, the brewery’s tenancy will necessitate a change in zoning from the current R-30 residential use to something far more intrusive, such as commercial or perhaps even industrial.
The Aspen Art Museum was able to occupy the Old Power House under the current residential zoning because it was granted an overlay, specifically for “arts, cultural and civic” uses. Any one of the local nonprofit entities that applied for the space could inhabit the Old Power House with this same overlay.
Every property north of the Roaring Fork River in Aspen is zoned residential. To change the zoning of the Old Power House sets a very dangerous precedent for future zoning changes. The rules should not be changed to suit a newcomer’s commercial ambitions.
Please protect the Old Power House property. This iconic public facility should be granted to a nonprofit group whose mission fits within the current zoning.
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