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Inside Aspen
January 2017
What's Happening at City Council This Month

January 3
Council Work Session - Board interviews; Special meeting for Executive Session - Manager and Attorney Evaluations

January 9
Regular City Council Meeting

January 10
Continued Regular Meeting

January 17
Council Work Session - Council Discussion; Quarterly Goals Update; Discussion about Granite Curbs; Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan; Compact of Colorado Communities

January 23
Regular City Council Meeting

January 24
Continued Regular Meeting

January 31
Council Work Session - Topic TBA

Stay current on the City Council schedule here.
City Working on Alternatives to Storing Water in Local Reservoirs

Since 1965 the City of Aspen has held conditional water rights for reservoirs on Maroon and Castle Creeks.  Today, the City’s primary source of stored water is snowpack, which varies significantly year to year.  Reservoirs, however, can store water from season to season and year to year should the City’s water supply system be insufficient to meet the community’s daily use needs.  City Council takes seriously its obligation and approach to protecting public health and safety and providing essential services to its residents and customers.  The Aspen community will face significant challenges as we see increased droughts and lower snowfall levels due to climate change.  Without water storage, Aspen’s water availability for households and businesses will be threated and is a significant factor the City considers when making long-range plans.  

The science confirms that Aspen’s climate is already changing and will continue to do so,” said Ashley Perl, Climate Action Manager.  “Aspen now sees 23 days less of winter than in the years before 1980.  This trend is projected to continue and Aspen’s current water storage – our snowpack – will diminish.”

Because of the seriousness of ensuring municipal water availability into the future, City Council has directed staff to investigate a variety of means for meeting customer demands into the future.  “City Council has asked if we are confident that we can meet water need scenarios in the future without these reservoirs.  The answer is no.  We need to develop reliable alternatives to reservoirs or we will end up with reservoirs,” said City Manager Steve Barwick.

The City Water Department has been working to compile a preliminary list of potential options to provide the water supply and storage systems that will protect the City into the future. Some of the concepts to be included for investigation are:
•    Using mine tunnels for underground water storage
•    Promote legislative solutions to water rights use limitations (for example allow rights holders to not use it and not lose it)
•    Evaluate additional water resources, including wells, mines, other water rights, ditches and reusing water for potable use
•    Engage ditch companies and other agriculture owners/operators in exploring the use of agricultural water to supplement municipal supply
•    Form collaborative partnerships with trans-basin water diverters to retain additional West Slope source water
•    Naturally enrich the watershed to retain water resources longer including enhancements to landscaping, irrigation efficiencies and in-stream flows

While conservation has long been advocated in Aspen, these new ideas take water supply to a new level of investigation.  For example, Aspen’s underground mine infrastructure is expansive and researching opportunities for mine tunnels to hold water may be a significant method for water storage into the future.  Equally important is further refining studies on climate change impacts to local water supply and demand.  With this in mind, the City is evaluating a myriad of portfolio options to meet the community’s daily use demands. Studying these options and their effectiveness will be part of a project poised to begin in 2017.

With Council’s direction to conduct this study, City staff is now drafting a work program to present to Council to seek direction on where to focus staff and financial resources.  The first meeting on the subject is anticipated to take place January 31, 2017.  

A significant element to the work program will be to engage the public to incorporate members’ ideas into the list of possible solutions for long-term water storage.  The community’s voice is critical to the success of this project and to that end, included in the work plan will be public meetings, information outreach efforts, online resources and feedback tools, work groups and stakeholder sessions.

Throughout this process the first priority of the City is to provide water to the community now and into the future.  
Land Use Code-AACP Coordination Update

City Council and the Community Development Department are in the final phase of the process to coordinate the City of Aspen Land Use Code with the Aspen Area Community Plan.  The process is the result of Council Top Ten Goal to, “reconcile the Land Use Code with the Aspen Area Community Plan so the Land Use Code delivers what the Aspen Area Community Plan promises.”

As part of the coordination process, Council is considering six ordinance and revisions to the Commercial Design and Historic Preservation Guidelines and Standards.  The ordinances cover the following topics: commercial and residential use mix, development dimensional standards, commercial design, view plane regulations, off-street parking and growth management.

There are a number of key dates in January where members of the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the policy and regulatory proposals before Council:  
•    January 3 – Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting (4:30 p.m., Sister Cities Room, City Hall)
•    January 9 – City Council Meeting (5 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall)
•    January 10 – City Council Meeting (5 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall)
•    January 11 – Historic Preservation Commission Meeting (4:30 p.m., Sister Cities Room, City Hall)
•    January 17 – Planning and Zoning Commission Lunch Meeting (12 p.m., Sister Cities Room, City Hall)
•    January 23 – City Council Meeting (5 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall)
•    January 24 – City Council Meeting (5 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall)

These meetings are scheduled to be the last opportunities for the public to participate in the AACP-LUC coordination process.
  Additionally, you may visit www.aspencommunitycoice.com or email aacp@cityofaspen.com to submit comments or questions on the proposed ordinances. 
Public Outreach for Affordable Housing Development

Is affordable housing important to you? Join us at the Limelight Lodge this month for an opportunity to learn about and provide input on three affordable rental housing projects sites in Aspen. The properties at 802 West Main Street, 517 Park Circle, and 488 Castle Creek Road, will be developed by the City and Aspen Housing Partners in a public private partnership formed to develop and operate workforce rental housing. 

The open house sessions are designed for participants to understand the background and timing for the entire housing project and to engage in each housing site location. Participants will be given the opportunity to review early conceptual designs for each property and give feedback on many aspects of the project such as incomes served, household types, density, character, scale and neighborhood fit, etc. Users and non-users of affordable housing are welcome as public participation is highly encouraged and a core value to the project team.

For more information on the Aspen Housing Partnership, please contact the project information number at 970-618-5379 or email  info@aspenhousingpartnership.com
or  http://www.aspenhousingpartnership.com/
A New Year Means new Events at the Wheeler!
 
The holiday season is wrapping up, so it’s time settle in to the New Year with some exciting events at the Wheeler Opera House. For our comedy fans who can’t wait for next month’s Aspen Laugh Festival, we’re excited to present Comedy Central favorite Gary Gulman with local opener Glenn Smith on Friday, January 13. Gulman holds the dubious distinction of being one of the few stand-up comedians to have performed on every late night comedy talk show on television.
 
Later in the month, the Wheeler Associates present John McEuen and friends in Will the Circle Be Unbroken, a multimedia concert experience that takes the audience down the path of two driving forces of American Music—The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the music of The Carter Family.
 
Film buffs can feel at home at the Wheeler in January as well, with a screening of Warren Miller’s “Here, There & Everywhere” on Saturday, January 7. The film details an exploration adventure through the terrains of Kicking Horse, Switzerland, Greenland, Crested Butte and more. Our Monday Docs Series continues on January 9 with The Great Alone which chronicles Iditarod racer Lance Mackey’s life, from his troubled adolescence and painful health crisis to the 2013 Iditarod--his twelfth attempt at the race.
 
Finally, for those of you who just need to de-stress and relax after a busy holiday season, the Wheeler is teaming up with Aspen Shakti to present three Radiant Yoga Flow classes on Monday, January 9 at noon and January 16 and 23 at 4:30 p.m. Join local favorites Jayne Gottlieb and DJ Bhakti Styler for rejuvenation, quiet and soulful stillness.
 
For more information on these events and more, visit www.wheeleroperahouse.com.
Coffee Talk at the ARC
Come meet with Aspen Recreation Center Operations Manager Erin Hutchings on Friday, January 20 from 5-6pm in the downstairs lobby.
The Aspen Recreation Center opened its doors in April 2003 and has been a steady fixture for the community and City of Aspen.  

Do you have membership questions or concerns? 
Want to know more about the facility or programs? 
Wondering what new things are coming up?  
Have safety and security questions? 
Want to know more about partnership and rentals? 
This is an opportunity to find out what is percolating at the Aspen Recreation Center.

Coffee and hot chocolate will be provided. 
What's Happening at the ARC?
Outdoor Skating Pond at ARC Open for the Season!
Come play outside in our Winter Wonderland!
Sledding hill is currently open!
We have an incredible sledding hill and miles of snowshoe-friendly trails!
All activities are FREE if you bring your own equipment.
You must bring your own skates to skate on the outdoor skating pond!

We have some rental equipment available:
Sleds: $5 (an adult must sign waiver at front desk)
Snowshoes: $15 rental fee plus $80 deposit (credit cards only!)

Sewing Class at the ARC - NEW!

This class is for those who want to get better at sewing! Start with the basics and progress to more challenging projects under the guidance of our accomplished instructor! Each month will have a different theme! January will focus on sewing basics!
When: January 10 - 31st, 2017 on Tuesdays from 5-7pm, Room 209 at the Aspen Recreation Center
$60 for the month
Must be 15 years old and up.
Bring materials and threads of choice.
Sewing machines, seam rippers, scissors, and pins provided.

High School Swim Meet - Friday, January 20th: 3pm-10pm
The ARC is pleased to host a swim meet for the Aspen High School Swim Club on Friday, January 20th.
The entire lap pool will be closed from 3pm to 10pm to host the meet. Good luck swimmers!
City of Aspen
130 S. Galena St. • Aspen, Co 81611
Ph: (970) 920-5000 • Fax: (970) 920-519
www.aspenpitkin.com
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