Tag Archives: Aspen City Council

Aspen retail Dior Gucci

Aspen Mulls Retail Programming

Aspen’s version of globalization angst has spurred some interesting debate of late. With Aspen City Council in the midst of policy discussions on new commercial regulations for downtown, a proposal has surfaced to curtail the proliferation of high-end retail chains. But whether it goes anywhere is now the big question. Continue reading

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The Aspen Development Chessboard Update

There’s been no shortage of big sales, strategic moves, and bureaucratic action on the Aspen development chessboard lately, where, just like in chess, every move seems to affect the others. The major players of late? Mark Hunt, Aaron and Michael Brown, Bert Myrin, and Jeff Gorsuch. Here’s the skinny: Continue reading

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Aspen’s Election — The Analysis

Aspen voters went to the polls on May 5 for the annual municipal election, handily re-electing Mayor Steve Skadron and Councilman Adam Frisch. But the second council seat that was up for grabs, Dwayne Romero’s (he chose not to run), wasn’t won outright by any of the remaining six candidates. Instead, attorney and real estate agent Bert Myrin, who received the second-most number of votes, and former mayor and county commissioner Mick Ireland, who came in third place, are now facing each other in a runoff election on June 2. Also on the ballot, Referendum 1, which gives voters the power to decide land-use applications with variances approved by City Council, passed with 53.4 percent of the vote.

So what does this election mean for Aspen and its future? And in particular, what does the passage of Referendum 1 mean for development, since it has shifted control from Council to the electorate over future commercial development applications with more height or mass, or less parking or affordable housing than what’s required by code? (More on the recent history of legislating variances can be found on this Skinny post.) Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Land-Use Changes

Aspen’s land-use process with regard to variances is changing, although exactly how remains unknown until the May 5 municipal election.

Aspen City Council recently passed a change in its land-use code limiting variances. But the code change could be superseded if Aspen voters say yes this spring to Referendum 1, which would change the city charter to trigger a public vote in certain cases where developers ask for variances. Here’s how each potential scenario would work: Continue reading

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Lodging Incentives Back on the Table

Back on Aspen City Council’s agenda is a revamped package of incentives aimed at bolstering the city’s short-term bed base. Round 2 of the city’s lodging incentive program process began on December 1, with a public hearing that revealed a slimmed down, simplified proposal, based partially on months of public outreach after the threat of a referendum scuttled the first attempt. The council is set to vote on a resolution outlining the program on December 8, which will then trigger another round of meetings on the specific land-use code changes.

It’s become a complex and divisive issue (as many things in Aspen related to land use tend to be), so we’ve tried to simplify and clarify what’s happening — past, present, and future — as well as offer resources to learn more and get involved. Based loosely on the five W’s of telling a story, here goes: Continue reading

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Aspen’s Lodge Incentive Program: Details and Critiques

The “meat” of a proposed incentive program for lodge and condo property upgrades was discussed at an Aspen City Council meeting on July 14, with at least two more public hearings scheduled on the matter: July 28 and August 11. The million-dollar question is: Will this package of proposed incentives truly be enough to encourage Aspen’s small and mid-priced lodges and condos to stay in the rental pool?  Continue reading

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TIDBITS: Skiing Again!, Lodge Incentive Update, and Base Village Planning Underway

Just when we thought we were moving toward summer, skiing and riding are back in the picture, with the opening of the road to Independence Pass and the reopening of Aspen Mountain for snow sliding, in addition to summer operations. In Aspen, lodging incentives are once again in the news and in Snowmass, Base Village is in the public eye. Read on … Continue reading

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Aspen Getting Serious About Lodging Incentives

After months of informal talks about how to encourage more lodging development and redevelopment, Aspen City Council is nearly ready to look at potential code changes to further the goal.

At a work session scheduled for this Tuesday, May 20, city staff is seeking Council’s blessing to move into a public-hearing process to discuss potential policy changes for its lodging incentive program. Council will also be able to comment on the proposed changes as they currently stand after several work sessions on the topic. Continue reading

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New Hotel Aspen Approved, though Unlikely to Be Built

The Hotel Aspen secured Aspen City Council approvals this week to redevelop and expand the lodge, adding three free-market homes to their property — but the project as approved doesn’t have the economic viability to get built.

And the long-term implications of the decision — a vote of 3-1 in favor only after the free-market component was whittled down — are not good for a lodging community with an aging stock that needs to consider how to remain viable in the long term. Continue reading

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Two questions for City Council

A new Aspen City Council was seated this summer, after Aspen voters chose Steve Skadron as their mayor in the spring election, as well as council newcomers Art Daily and Ann Mullins. Adam Frisch, who lost his mayoral bid, is fulfilling the second half of his four-year term, and former councilman and Dwayne Romero — who came in third in the race for two council seats in May — was tapped by a four-person council to fill the fifth, vacant seat.

In the wake of a lot of focus on Aspen’s economic vitality, The Aspen Skinny decided to survey the new council on two key questions: goals and economic sustainability. Here’s what they said (except for Art Daily, who declined to participate in the questionnaire). Continue reading

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