· March 5, 2019 – the Lift One (aka 1A) Proposal passed by 26 votes. Jim DeFrancia of Lowe Enterprises and Norway Island LLC, a part of the Gorsuch Haus team, along with Lift One Hotel and SkiCo, spearheaded a well-funded campaign to win the election. Part of the deal with the City of Aspen, who agreed to help fund a portion of the 1A project, was that each of these entities had to provide mitigation for employee affordable housing.
· January 11, 2020 – Chris Bendon of BendonAdams, a real estate development consulting firm, sent Ben Anderson, Long Range Planner for the City of Aspen, a “proposal to amend the City of Aspen Land Use Code (“Code”)” so that multi-unit complexes can be built on RMF/RMFA lots smaller than 6,000sf, which is currently against code unless the property has a designated historic resource. Mr. Bendon had identified “roughly 24 properties” that met this criterion, 9 of which are historic. The proposal was submitted on behalf of Tri Dal Real Estate, Ltd with no mention of what this client plans to do.
· February 9, 2021 – Per City of Aspen Memorandum of this date, as recommended by Phillip Supino, Community Development Director, City Council approved BendonAdams’ Resolution #016 that provided BendonAdams the “Authorization for a private party to pursue an amendment to the City of Aspen Land Code”. The private party is Tri Dal Real Estate, Ltd., which appears to be a small Texas-based subsidiary of a large excavation and utilities services company, Tri Dal, LLC, of Southlake, TX. This resolution authorized “BendonAdams, on behalf of Tri Dal Real Estate, to submit an application for a proposed amendment to the following Land Use Code Sections: 26.312.050 – Non-conforming lots of record; 26.710.090 – RMF Zone District; 26.710.100 – A (RMFA) Zone District”. And stated that “The applicant and staff shall pursue an appropriate community outreach effort on the proposed code amendment that will include a recommendation to City Council from the Planning and Zoning Commission on the proposed amendment.” In Staff discussion, it was mentioned that “Staff does believe that this type of amendment could be consistent with conversations that Council has had related to coordination of the Land Use Code and Affordable Housing goals”, however the timeline didn’t “meet the needs of Mr. Bendon’s client” so they are seeking “the code amendment as a standalone item”. Again, there’s no mention of what or where the client plans to build, nor why the code must be amended before the City releases its package on Land Use Code and Affordable Housing.
· Feb 10-Mar 5, 2021 - BendonAdams wrote the narrative and questions for a survey, which Ben Anderson, Principal Long Range Planner for the City of Aspen, reviewed and approved. He asked that his name and email be on the survey postcard in case residents had questions. Only Ben Anderson’s name appears on the postcard and BendonAdams is not identified in any way on it. And on the survey, only BendonAdams’ “BA” logo is present, and there is no other reference to or explanation of who they are and what their stake is in the proposed amendment to the LUC. Nor is their client, Tri Dal Real Estate Ltd. mentioned either on the postcard or survey.
· March 6, 2021 - BendonAdams mailed the postcard to all homeowners in RMF/RMFA districts. The postcard asks how the resident feels about increasing residential density in the city and states that “The City of Aspen is considering a zoning code change to allow greater residential density on small lots in the multi-family zone districts”. The card has a QR code and a typed web address for their survey on SurveyMonkey. No survey closing date is stated on the card or the survey.
· March 15, 2021 – RMF/RMFA Residents started receiving the postcards and taking the survey and also began organizing an effort to defeat this proposed code change.
· March 23, 2021 - Residents and neighbors gathered and decided to form a non-profit organization called Save Aspen that is dedicated to defeating this code change that would affect 24 small Aspen properties and to ensuring that Aspen’s natural and necessary growth is done in a wise and reasonable way that respects its culture, citizenry, history and natural setting and that it is to the benefit of all Aspen residents, current and future.
· March 25, 2021 – Save Aspen’s website was launched with a mission statement.
· March 30, 2021 – Save Aspen holds its second meeting.
· April 20, 2021 – BendonAdams will appear before Aspen Planning & Zoning at their regularly scheduled twice-monthly meeting to apply for the code change. Public Comment will be allowed.
· May 25, 2021 – The code change application will appear again at the P&Z Second Reading. Public comment will be allowed.
*RMF – Residential Multi-Family/RMFA – Residential Multi-Family Amended