Basalt wrestles growth

When you are the first town downvalley from Aspen and Snowmass Village, and stradle the boundary between Pitkin and Eagle Counties, you would expect some challenging planning and community development situations.

Nowadays, just about every where the Town of Basalt turns presents another significant challenge. For example:

  • Last month, one Basalt’s two downtown affordable hotels, The Green Drake Inn, sold for $4.4 million to an investment group that could repeat the trend in Aspen of converting small lodge and hotel rooms to fractional ownership luxury units;
  • The town is working to connect the older part of town to the newer south side with an underpass, since the 6-lanes of State Highway 82 presents a formidable barrier between two parts of town;
  • The booming second-home market is creating a shortage of affordable housing and every undevelopmed parcel in Basalt’s urban growth boundary has a development proposal in the review process; and,
  • The town hopes to complete the update its of 1999 urban growth boundary and master plan by this summer.

No wonder a recent Aspen Times Weekly article by Scott Condon asked ‘What’s happening to my small, quirky town?’

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