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More thought must be given to all demographics

To the town council of Basalt:

Is there such an overwhelming fear of possible gentrification of our community that we seem to be over-compensating by moving in an opposite direction? If we are to be a truly diverse population, more thought must be given to all demographics. Having now canvassed by foot almost all of the multi-family and otherwise affordable dwelling options in Elk Run, East and West Sopris and Homestead Drive and being aware of other affordable housing on the highway, behind the high school and in Willits, I have to question what appears to me to be an unreasonable pursuit of additional space for only one socio-economic group hoping to join our community.

Add to that the recent announcement by Ski Co looking to build 120 units of employee housing in the Mid-Valley. I don’t believe that it is our mission to provide affordable housing for the entire valley that would be disproportionate to our overall space. If this seems personal, it is! I don’t qualify for affordable housing. As such, my options for continuing to live in Basalt have shrunk considerably. There seems to be little or no interest in a (my) demographic that is retired, residing full-time, community involved, philanthropic and culturally and physically active. There are a lot of us up and down the valley and beyond who would like to call Basalt home. It seems clear that we’ve fallen off the town’s radar!

The present CDC application continues to be unfairly characterized as “a wall of development” in an effort to stoke fear that it will become another Gold Rivers Court. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The last iteration depicted a real attempt to create a village-like atmosphere AND to integrate it visually and architecturally into the normal circulation of our downtown corridor.

Something that arbitrarily expands the park space to include the polygon and then to Midland Spur fails to do on all counts. It’s time for the council to have its “come to Jesus moment” and decide just what makes sense for the future of this parcel and for the town. Proposition 19 was not a license to steal but a concept to be discussed and, if need be, brought to the electorate for a vote.

Despite the possible political concerns, is there a plan in place that will provide for the park space (within the CDC parcel) at the corner of Midland and Two Rivers Road that also:

Does justice to a “view plane?”

Identifies what purpose or activities might occur there?

Provides the amenities that support the visitors’ experience?

Can be landscaped to become a welcoming entrance?

Does not displace the village-like atmosphere of the developed area by relegating it to a space beyond the natural circulation of the downtown?

Justifies the expenditure for additional space beyond the “V?”

Includes how it would continue to support activity from mid-November until mid-April?


Steve Chase, Basalt