Maroon Creek Caucus needs your help | AspenTimes.com

Maroon Creek Caucus needs your help

Locals and tourists alike all love the Maroon Bells and the change to a rural character after you leave Aspen Highlands and head up Maroon Creek Road toward the T-Lazy-7 Ranch. Unfortunately, that beautiful bike ride, walk, run, ski or drive you now take to the Maroon Bells — perhaps stopping at T-Lazy-7 for an event, horseback ride, or snowmobile tour — is now at risk due to inappropriate development allowed in multiple hazard areas by one of Pitkin County's citizen boards.

The Maroon Creek Caucus, recognized in the Pitkin County Home Rule Charter as the entity charged with "a recommendatory function for all matters directly affecting the caucus area," recently appealed a citizen board determination that allowed massive variances three times that allowed by zoning within hazard areas at the entry to the Maroon Bells. Yet, as a barrier to our participation, we were just told by the county that we would have to pay fees in excess of $1,000 to simply engage in this appeal process. Unfortunately, the county has taken a position contrary to its own 2010 application fee policy, which is about making development (not conservation) pay its own way, and clearly states: "The fee structure is based on the County's policy that development shall pay, in full, the cost of development review in Pitkin County."

As a caucus made up of volunteers, we obviously have no funding to advocate for the future of this important corridor and entry to the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area. While we will continue to assert to the Board of County Commissioners that they ought to waive fees for appeals by their own caucuses, we also need to fundraise in case the commissioners persist in requiring their own constituents to pay appeal fees advocating for land preservation in hazard areas.

This is a cause in which all Aspenites should be interested. The Maroon Creek Caucus needs your help in this fight.

Please send all donations, payable to THE MAROON CREEK CAUCUS, POB 8237, c/o Maroon Creek Caucus, Aspen, Colorado, 81612. Also email us at: marooncreekcaucus@gmail.com.

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