Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Welcome

Welcome to the City of Aspen and Pitkin County blog for the update to the Aspen Area Community Plan. This blog is intended to give you an opportunity to provide feedback on the issues and ideas that are part of the updated Community Plan. The posts are based on the topics that will be in the updated plan, and you are able to leave comments regarding each of our posts.

All the comments will be part of the citizen input record, and will help inform the questions and conversation at our large group meetings in 2009. Sorry, but anonymous posts are not accepted.

To leave a comment, simply click on the "comment" link at the bottom of the post and type in your comment. You will be asked to identify yourself. If you have a google account you can use that to leave a comment, otherwise pick the "Name/URL" option and just leave your name.

Thanks, and enjoy the blog!

1 comment:

Beau Seguin said...

Beau Seguin
Karen Green
Civics 3
November 20, 2008
My Interaction with the Aspen Planning Staff
The first thing that stuck out to me was when our presenters informed us that the city of Aspen has 13 planning staff members and some larger cities do not even have a planning staff. This was shocking to hear considering that these people seem like a large portion of Aspen’s government.
Transportation was the first group I attended, with Jessica, and I had already had my thoughts on where I wanted Aspen to be in the somewhat near future. My visionary idea is to have no more gas powered vehicles in the city limits of Aspen. The idea is all planned out: First there would have to be a massive underground parking garage at the intercept lot or further down valley. From that spot there would be an electric or magnetic powered speed train that made trips every 20 min. The main track would have stops all along the way, and branching off from every stop would be smaller train cars that serviced to all the same places roads do. I know that is extremely realistic but I came up with another plan incase that plan does sink. By a certain time all the cars in aspen will have to be hybrid or pure electric cars. When I attended Bobby Kennedy’s speech at the Aspen Institute recently, I learned that Israel will soon have a 100% electric car system. Instead of gas stations there in electric stations and commuters can fill themselves with enough electric power to travel much further than what they travel every day. This is the probable plan I hope Aspen to take part in.
The lifelong Aspenite group was next and I fit right in, because I am a baller. In the Aspenite group we focused on schools and day cares with Sally. The hardest question to answer was what to do with people who commute up to Aspen and put their baby into a daycare center. Because of the massive number of people doing so, the daycare centers are only 6% away from becoming fully occupied. After a ton of gibberish that went around the table we came to the conclusion that that the answer to this problem is a tough one, and we did not figure it out. The whole group agreed that the educational system of Aspen is magnificent compared to other schools. We have to been one of the only schools in the world with a smart board in every classroom, faculty members that are just as well your friend as mentor, a 99% graduation rate, IB classes that are hard to find offered by any school, and the greatest teacher in the world, Karen Green. So we came to the conclusion that the Aspen educational system is fantastic.
Environmental quality matters more to me than most other things on this planet. Keeping Aspen winters as cold as possible is something worth fighting for. The main topic we discussed with Drew was how to make winter colder? We started by discussing the airport and how along with the tourists, money, and fame it also brings pollution to our city. The most effective way to get rid of the pollution form the airport would be to, well, demolish the airport. However, this would only instigate more drivers and making matters worse. Our final conclusion was brought to a point that would lower emissions from the airport and keep the big money popin’. Raising the price for gas or simply charging private jet owners much more money intending to keep them on the ground more often. A ton of water, as I was recently informed, is being taken out of our rivers and sold to other places. When I first had this I thought it was a good idea to make some money for the city and I thought of course there would always be enough water in our rivers. The rivers still flow, but the amount of water being taken out has increased the sediment percentage in our rivers making it harder for our fish to survive. I believe experiments need to be done to determine the exact amount of water that can be sucked from the rivers with keeping a sediment level that will not harm the fishes. Starting to make houses “green” houses is a very probable idea as well. Making a law that states every house built from now on needs to be built in green fashion.
Economics is not my favorite subject so when I met with Sally I was satisfied after we discussed a non-number side to the harkening subject of economics. Instead we discussed how the shops in Aspen need a makeover from pretty to itty gritty. We are all sick of the mainstream shops like Prada, Gucci, Louis Vutton, and McDonalds. The local shops help portray the true culture of our town. Locals are inspired off of their experiences in Aspen and the few who do have shops reflect Aspen as it is from a local’s point of view. Small eateries like Big Rap, NYP, and Johnny’s represent the real Aspen, as well as local merchandise shops like the Ute, Radio, Yellow Jump Suit, and local art galleries. This is not the thing that comes to mind when I think economics, however, this is what Sally talked about so it must be right.
Art, Culture, and History are topics that we run into every day. Jessica told us that there are over 25 art galleries in Aspen, 25! That is an awesome number. People need art, like those commercials that tell us, you know, those ones. I feel the history of Aspen is a very important topic because Aspen has such a unique history. Incorporating it more into our leaning I believe is vital for an Aspenite. We need to know our unique history so we can become one with the sacred place of A-Town. The way we live and the culture we are a part of is defined by all the above topics mentioned in this paper. Our culture is defined by the choices we make for what kind of companies will space in our town, and how we want to deal with pollution, and the decision to be more of a tourist town or a self sufficient town all define our culture.
Another large topic we covered was concerning second home owners. They guzzle up energy, put up massive hallow houses, and only live here a few weeks out of the year! The law that must be past either to kick these selfish Richey Rich people out or make them stay is making it illegal to stay in the house for less than six months a year. The one main theme I learned from these sessions was that everything is connected. They are different subjects but they all tie together more so than we can detect. Every decision to change one part of Aspen will affect every corner of the town. I learned that every decision must be thought through thoroughly-that’s a tongue teezer-and carefully before being put into action.