Letter: “Interpretation” | AspenTimes.com

Letter: “Interpretation”


If you take nothing else away from Wednesday’s “Keep Aspen, Aspen” Aspen Public Radio town-hall meeting, keep that one word in mind: interpretation.

Let’s just pick one example — there were several, but let’s just do one. Current Councilwoman Ann Mullins said there had been no variances granted for the Molly Gibson. Former mayor and current council candidate Mick Ireland came back with chapter and verse how the Molly Gibson had been granted a variance with its floor-area requirement. Mullins replied that the Molly Gibson straddled two zones: One residential and one lodging, and that the code was up to interpretation depending on which zone you chose. If you’ve read even a small portion of the 524-page code, here you go:

“Permitted uses are those land uses which are consistent with other land uses in the same zone district in which they are located and which have been designated as permitted uses for the applicable zone district in Chapter 26.710.”

It’s a bit like wading through treacle in cement overshoes, isn’t it? But what do you do when the proposed project straddles more than one zone? Well, let’s toddle off to 26.710.022 paragraph B. subsection A:

“The use shall be developed by … applying the more restrictive of each requirement.”

OK, sounds definitive, but wait a moment. Subsection B says: “The only exception shall be when the area … designated with the … higher density constitutes more than 75 percent of the entire land area of the parcel.”

OK, time to take a field trip to the Molly Gibson with a theodolite.

Egads, I want more of this, don’t you? Errr … didn’t I elect someone else to do all of this? How much am I paying for city government again? Remind me? Oh yeah. One. hundred. million. dollars.

Ziska Childs


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