Letter: Housing rules are meant to be followed
Regarding what never seems to be enough employee housing, I have a simple solution. Because it was never meant to be retirement housing, when a person or family retires from their job requirement in Pitkin County, they have X number of months to sell the property.
When Aspen was one of the first towns in the United States to start a program like this, it was intended to keep workers and their families in town as part of the community. Now, when the “kids” leave or the working parents retire, somehow they are still in the property and not complying with the rules.
Also, before the local government program, business owners would supply housing for their workers — Mead Metcalf, owner of the Crystal Palace; the local hospital; the ski company; etc.
The other problem is that the housing board somehow turns down proposed existing buildings to be converted from free-market to employee designation for reasons like the apartments aren’t large enough or they don’t have enough amenities. Well, I’ll bet if you are looking for housing and are in town, that itself is a huge amenity.
It is time for new life on that board, working in conjunction with our mayor and City Council for fair and rational results. How many employee-housing properties in this town are in noncompliance? 10 or hundreds?
Lorrie B. Winnerman
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