Letter: Lowe Enterprise’s Proposal for Basalt
I want to say up front that I like many parts of Lowe Enterprises proposal for Basalt’s Pan and Fork property. The plan’s amphitheater and green area do provide a window to the river and the building designs are quite nice. However, Basalt might be wise to look at Aspen to see the future of runaway building height and size. The proposed sixty hotel rooms in addition to private residences is too large for the amount of property when built in conjunction with forty condominiums. The architects proved this by having to design buildings four-stories tall, a height which exceeds the municipal code, which states, “A third story may be allowed by special review if the entire building is a hotel.”
The vision of our town is primarily two-fold. First, to bring more people into downtown Basalt to help increase economic vitality. And second, keep the feel of a small town centered around our rivers and parks. These two goals can both be achieved beautifully by scaling back the hotel to 40 rooms and the number of condos to 25. Also, when the height of the buildings is brought down to three stories, they will more closely match the Rocky Mountain Institute and also open up more green space between condos. The density proposed for this property is just too high.
What does Basalt really want for our downtown area; huge buildings and too many people crowded into a small area (starting to sound like Willits), or do we want this project to enhance our historic town so that Basalt’s core becomes vibrant, green and even more beautiful? Lowe Enterprise just needs to scale back their plans to a reasonable size.
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