BEING A PART OF THE SOLUTION, NOT JUST A PART OF THE PROBLEM

The City of Aspen and Pitkin County departments of Community Development are updating the Aspen Area Community Plan (AACP), a document that is supposed to guide development for approximately 10 year periods.B I have attended several small group meetings on various sections of the plan including:B Housing, Managing Growth and Economic Sustainability, and Transportation.B During those meetings, hosted by both City and County staff, the public was invited to comment on the overall goals of the plan, as well as the individual objectives to achieve the goals within each topic.

Truly, it seemed as if planners were hearing what people were saying (not that everyone agreed) and they in fact practiced excellent communications training by re-stating what they had heard and written down as comments from the groups in a 20 minute wrap-up after each session.B Bravo!

Some of the general thoughts I helped to voice were:

1. Overall, much of the plan has a negative tone b many objectives are currently stated with bpreventb, bcontrolb, and bprohibitb and we would prefer a more positive tone.

2. Many of the goals and objectives seem to be a direct response to a market-driven period of somewhat intense redevelopment.B Current market conditions have removed much of the incentive for that redevelopment, so perhaps the goals should be revised for the next 10 b20 years.

3. Participants are somewhat divided over whether growth and economics should be bmanagedb by the governments or left up to free-market conditions.

Final chances for input are next week in larger group sessions conducted at the Wheeler Opera House.B I look forward to being a contributing member of my community, and a part of the solution!

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