Pan and Fork housing in Basalt would erode public access
The Pan and Fork parcel is primed to become the epicenter of community activity in Old Town Basalt. In light of that fact, I ask the following question: Would privatizing nearly half of this gem for 24 residential housing units, effectively removing approximately 1 acre of public space from future community uses forever, be a community benefit? For comparison purposes, what if there was a proposal to build these units in Arbaney Park? Would that be appropriate? How about Southside Park?
I think the community’s answer would be a resounding no — and these two parks are already in developed residential neighborhoods! Yet, somehow, the town of Basalt has rationalized that the Pan and Fork parcel, our community “Central Park” connection to the Roaring Fork River, is an appropriate location for a new residential housing development.
I say it is not and here is why: 1) the Pan and Fork parcel is the last remaining parcel of land in the town of Basalt that provides a direct connection between the Roaring Fork River and the downtown commercial core; 2) The proposed residential housing component is inconsistent with the other public serving entities already built, the Roaring Fork Conservancy and RMI, and planned, the Art Base and Tourist Information Center, on this parcel; 3) once privately developed, this space will never again be accessible to the general public; 4) If Basalt’s identity is to define itself as a “river town,” then it cannot continue to allow the erosion of public access to areas along the river.
I strongly urge the citizens of Basalt to voice their opposition to this residential housing development proposal — future generations of Basaltines will thank you for it.
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