I take great pleasure in reawakening the long-lost voice of Johnny Boyd as evidenced by his letter to the editor in last Thursday’s edition of the Aspen Daily News (Both sides of Base Village). As was traditionally the case when Johnny and I sparred on a regular basis earlier this decade, Johnny is still off the mark with his comments, but it’s a joy to have him back in the fray once again. Although I can’t make him happy by apologizing, hopefully he’ll find a bit of joy in my rare admission of an error in believing that developers and architects have our best interests at heart and never distort visualizations of their projects to their own benefit. Although I doubt that I had the degree of clout with the powers that be that Johnny attributes to me, I do appreciate the fact that many in the Snowmass community, as well as staff members (current Town Manager, Development and Public Works Directors excepted) and elected officials over the years have in many cases agreed with my observations and input. Just Big enough is right on as a metric for our village but the metric went south with town staff and elected officials who over time continually granted additional horizontal expansion and vertical height variances to the developers that in the end I’m afraid have created a claustrophobic entry to our resort core which blocks the views of our beautiful mountain terrain. Unfortunately, more of the same is waiting in the wings as another five planned buildings begin to take shape in Base Village and as the Snowmass Center comes forward with its monstrous redevelopment plans. As opposed to Johnny’s delight in all the new big city urbanized touches taking hold in our fair village, I still like the rough-around-the-edges lifestyle we’ve enjoyed for the past 50 years.
Johnny, I look forward to keeping up our dialogue on a regular basis.
Mel D. Blumenthal, Snowmass Village and Santa Monica, CA