Letter: Protect Aspen’s history
The intention of assisting small lodges is an admirable one, but the Hotel Aspen proposal is not the way to do it. The unintended consequences are permanent and not something that can ever be corrected in the future — if the critics are right — and could set a precedent that could do serious future damage.
The variances requested are not minimal and will change the character of this neighborhood and Main Street forever. Bleeker Street has a life of its own with the Yellow Brick School and the young children playing on the playgrounds and the summer children’s programs that use the facilities directly across the street from the proposed project.
The 9,500 square feet over the allowable amount and the height request will take away the views from the playground and they also may cut into the sun the playgrounds receives for a good part of the day. It also is overpowering to the restored Victorians on the block and the neighborhood that has been protected so lovingly for more than 100 years.
The small lodges do need help, and waiving fees for renovations and updates is one strong option, but there are other ways that do not involve damaging a neighborhood. Another option would be to earmark a percentage of the marketing funds that the city collects from every guest who comes to town, and use targeted funds to work with the Gems of Aspen and all of the small lodges and Aspen Skiing Co. to get the word out that they still exist and that Aspen still honors and protects its history.
Please honor the historic West End and Main Street by truly honoring its history.
I have also sent this letter to each member of the Aspen City Council.
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