Letter: Don’t develop Basalt’s last best place
Don’t develop Basalt’s last best place
Bill Kane’s column in The Aspen Times on April 5 (“What will Basalt be known for?” Commentary) has finally moved me to write. I disagreed with him until I got to the part about imagining Aspen without the Jerome. Then I just laughed. A big new hotel along the river would not exactly be a historic icon.
And when I got to the part where he says that keeping the land open would be sterilizing it, I got mad. Since when is a park or green space “sterilized”? Sterilizing is paving precious orchards in Grand Junction over with subdivisions! Sterilizing is what will happen when we develop this last best place along the river.
It was the wisdom of town government and management, in their desire to attract more cash, that created Willits. It cannot be undone, and I wish we would stop treating it like the evil stepmother of the real town. It may remind me of Cherry Creek in Denver, but it is useful, it is the financial base of the town, and it is as much a part of Basalt as the so cutely referred-to “old town.”
You know, Basalt was never really charming, but it was a solid community and the best place in the world to raise a family.
To me, turning the entire remaining river parcel into a park would be doing something for the current residents. It is also the last chance to do something so grand. No other town in the valley has had the foresight to keep such a treasure right in the heart of town. Who knows? It may even attract people and their money from out of town.
The land will still be there should we desire to develop it in the future. But once developed, it is gone.
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