Consultants were brought into Basalt to come up with a master plan for the town. Meetings were held in neighborhoods and in large venues. When I first met the consultants, I said to them, “You can do more harm than good.”
In Basalt’s final open house, citizens were given a plan with a number of options in different parcels in East Basalt for which to express a preference. Not one of the options included either low density or zero development. A developer might as well have been hired and asked to present designs that would make him good money, more money or a lot of money.
I attended a work session between the town council and planning and zoning commission. I was favorably impressed with most of the comments made. They included Commissioner Leavitt saying that low-density options were not offered in most cases, and Mayor Whitsitt pointing out that the Valley has reached the choking point. Numerous comments raised the concern of “quality of life” being affected by so much development.
I agree with Patrick Hunter’s opinion in a letter to the Aspen Daily News (Feb. 4) that the plan the consultants came up with should just be thrown out. Unfortunately, the planners did do more harm than good.