Here we go!

Peter Grenney & Alexandra George here piloting a new bi-weekly newsletter to capture local government topics to help the community stay informed and be proactive.

In the coming weeks we'll be launching CivicAspen with a website as an evolution of Aspen Deserves Better.

Going forward the focus is on civic health - the effectiveness of how a community solves its problems through engagement and collaboration.

Future goals include programming and collaborative deep dives on important local issues.

What's this about?

This email is a digest of what's going on in local government and adjacent organizations. We have selected important civic issues with opportunities for resident engagement from upcoming city & county meeting agendas. You can see a list of meetings and agendas for the city here and the county here.

We welcome any feedback about this newsletter's structure or content - please reply to this email. 

What's happening...

(ACC - Aspen City Council, BOCC - Pitkin Board of County Commissioners)

🫶 Aspen shows up: in one of the most positive signs of community engagement, there are more applicants (13) than openings (10) on citizen boards! For the Kids First Advisory Board there are 4 applicants for 1 opening. ACC will conduct interviews Monday.

🚸 Passion playground: Local donates $250,000 for new Wagner Park playground structure. ACC will direct staff on how to proceed with the donation offer.

Wagner Park playground concept - theme of exploration within an Aspen Grove

📐 Right $izing: incentivizing right sizing in Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA) housing will be discussed by the COA & BOCC. Example presented is $100k per bedroom: retiring APCHA owner sell their 3-bd unit for APCHA price plus $300k ($100k x 3 bd).

💰 Please don’t pay me more: APCHA renters that make more risk losing their housing when they exceed their unit’s category income. In APCHA ownership housing there’s no monitoring income after purchase. ACC & BOCC will discuss if changes should be made.

⚖️ One rent doesn't fit all: APCHA rents are set by category which creates disparity within the range of incomes within a category. ACC & BOCC will discuss switching to % of income by individual.

⚡️ (No) Energy code changes: 3rd reading by the BOCC of energy code changes limiting exterior pools, snowmelt, heat tape, etc.

🐻 Landfill of bears: BOCC to discuss how to deter bears from the landfill.

🎗 Best (grant) practices: in 2023, ACC awarded over $1.8M in grants to support 111 local non-profits. ACC will discuss updates to the program.

✈️ Airport checkpoint check-up: Airport Advisory board to discuss recent long lines at the TSA security. Citizen-led initiative to push for improvements at ASE launched last week has collected more than 120 signatures, more info here.

📉 Room rates go down: in Aspen Chamber Resort Association's (ACRA) report to ACC, hotels have hit rate resistance and rates are starting to drop due to softer pacing.

🪵 Lumberyard closed, RFQ opening soon: ACC has approved $14,250,000 for the Lumberyard affordable housing infrastructure in 2024, which includes a new stoplight on Hwy 82. The Builders FirstSource is nearly vacant and their new lumberyard in Carbondale is open. Aspen Mini Storage has been given 6 months to vacate. ACC will hear an update on the Request For Qualification (RFQ) for a vertical developer. The project is designed for 277-units, 467 bedrooms, and based on the $424,748,199 projected cost (not incl debt service) is $1,533,387 per unit.

What can you do?

📝 Public comment: Share your comments and feedback with ACC at, and/or the BOCC using this form.

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Jamie Larson