Tonight (Tues 9/23) the Basalt Town Council will decide whether to approve members of a special board that will help make decisions on downtown development. The committee would, according to the Town Manager, “put more meat” on redevelopment ideas. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.
The Town is trying to figure out the best redevelopment plan for several parcels of land stretching over about 13 acres, from the former Clark’s Market Grocery store to Old Pond Park. Town Manager Mike Scanlon says the much of the land borders the Roaring Fork River and moves through the downtown core.
"I think there’s this push and pull in the community over how these areas get developed because they are so prime," he says.
Earlier this year the Town launched an “Our Town” planning process, soliciting ideas from business owners, students and residents on what they’d like to see downtown. The process yielded 3000 ideas. Scanlon says the soon-to-be-formed Downtown Area Advisory Committee will go over some of these proposals in an objective way.
"That’s what having this committee allows us to have. It’s a group of people that can take a more measured approach to the different ideas," says Scanlon.
The Committee will go over issues like zoning and how projects, like public parks, would be phased and financed. It’ll be made up of ten people. The Town’s planning commission will appoint two of its members. Six will be appointed by council members and two will come from the citizen “cabinet” of Mayor Jacque Whitsitt.
"It’s basically a group of people that I asked to help," says Whitsitt. "And I also try to look at a broad cross-section of people that I know and what they represent, or what they appear to represent,"
She’s nominating landscape architect Julie Kolar and Gerrie Terwilliger, who she describes as an engaged citizen who lives downtown. Terwilliger has written letters to the editor in local newspapers about the redevelopment process.
The Town Council will go over the committee nominations at its regular meeting tonight (9/23).