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Inside Aspen
December 2016
What's Happening at City Council This Month

December 5
Regular City Council Meeting

December 6
Council Work Session - Civic Space Discussion; Manager and Attorney Evaluations

December 12
Regular City Council Meeting

December 13
Council Work Session - Council Discussion; Uphill Economy Update; Caslte Creek Bridge and Hallam Street Improvements

Stay current on the City Council schedule here.
Public Outreach for Affordable Housing Development
This week the Aspen City Council approved a community stakeholder and outreach process regarding the development of three land parcels scheduled for affordable housing development.  The parcels, 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.
Last year the City held various public outreach meetings about the best use of the parcels and included discussions regarding density, allowance of dogs, long-term versus seasonal rentals among other topics.  
The public outreach efforts will now center around proposed designs, zoning, project budget, proper mix between free market and affordable units, and category mix.  The process is set to begin in January and run through March.  Look for initial community meetings on January 5 and January 11 that will reintroduce the public to the project, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.  They will also focus on initial concepts for each of the properties including appropriateness to neighborhood context, mass, height, density, scale, parking, architectural style, character, landscape site improvements, and unit mix.  Again, this will be the first of many such meetings.  Stay tuned for more information.  We look forward to your input.
Aspen Among 37 Cities Persuading President-elect Trump to Act on Climate Change 
The City of Aspen is one of 37 U.S. cities whose mayors have signed a letter asking President-elect Trump for bold action on climate change policy.

The letter, initiated by the U.S. Mayor’s National Climate Action Agenda and signed by Mayor Steven Skadron states, “We ask that you lead us in expanding the renewable energy sources we need to achieve energy security, address climate change and spark a new manufacturing, energy and construction boom in America. We ask that you help provide American businesses the certainty to invest through continued tax credits for electric vehicles, solar power, renewables and other clean technologies. And we ask that you shift to embrace the Paris Climate Agreement and make U.S. cities your partner in doing so.”

“Reducing our emissions as a City has long been a goal of Aspen and we are not alone.  Not only do our citizens support our efforts at becoming an environmental leader, but our values and concern are shared by small and large cities across the country including Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Park City among others,” said Mayor Steven Skadron.

The letter asks President-elect Trump to work in partnership with the cities to support clean air, strengthen the economy, and support local initiatives with federal funds for transit, energy, infrastructure, and real estate development.”

“It is incredible to see the large number of cities that have come together over their shared vision for building more sustainable communities. These cities also share a common voice, one that gets louder every day. Local communities have always been on the front lines of fighting climate change, but this role will become increasingly important as federal climate action weakens,” said Ashley Perl, Climate Action Manager for the City of Aspen.

While the signatories make it clear that their commitment to climate action is unwavering, the goal of the letter is to push for strong leadership and action from the highest level of American government.

A full transcript of the letter can be found here.
Children’s Health: A Priority for Kids First
At Kids First our priority is to promote the availability of quality, affordable early childhood care and education and to provide early childhood information and resources to our providers and parents.  Included in these goals is the opportunity to foster the health of our children.  That’s why the Kids First team includes registered nurse Robin Strecker, as our Nurse Consultant.  She is a great asset for local early childhood programs and the families they serve.  Her services are available at a substantially reduced rate to all the childcare programs in Pitkin County.  

You may be wondering, what does a nurse consultant do?  The list is impressive.  For childcare providers some of her services include:
•    Monthly childcare visits, assessments and written reports
•    Medication administration classes, standard precautions training, including information about sanitizing and  disinfecting in group settings.
•    Delegation and supervision of special health procedures and chronic health conditions such as seizures, diabetes, severe allergy management, or asthma care
•    First aid/CPR classes
•    Immunization records review and reporting
•    Illness policy development and consultation
•    Availability to the staff to discuss all health concerns.

In addition, Strecker offers parent health workshops, monthly health newsletters, and child dental, vision, and hearing screenings.  These early screenings can make a significant difference in a child’s life when early interventions correct a problem before the child starts Kindergarten and may have needed special services. At the very least these early screenings also give families peace of mind. Kids First works in partnership with the Basalt Lion’s Club, Community Health Services and the Aspen School District in offering these screenings. Our process has just begun, but here is a short video showing a successful outcome for a young girl as a result of a 30 second vision screening.

The result of these services increase childcare programs’ quality because accurate health and licensing records and having teachers properly trained in medication administration and first-aid improve the health and well-being of the kids in their care.  Sharing information and news with parents help them be on the alert for any signs of illness in their children and screenings can catch certain health conditions early.  

By increasing childcare quality in the area of child health, Kids First and the nurse consultant are creating healthy environments for our kids to thrive.
Land Use Code Update Public Input
City Council is in the final phase of the process to coordinate the Aspen Area Community Plan with the Land Use Code, and your input is important to that process.  To date, the planning staff has conducted over 20 public outreach events, receiving over 400 individual comments on the coordination process and the community’s vision for the future of development in Aspen.  As Council considers draft amendments to the Land Use Code, there will be additional opportunities to make your voice heard on these important issues. 
There will be public hearings on January 9th and 23rd, 2017 where Council will consider amendments to the following areas in the Land Use Code: commercial and residential use mix, development dimensional standards, commercial design review, the Commercial Design Guidelines, off-street parking, mountain view planes, affordable housing mitigation and growth management.  Public comment will be accepted at both hearings.  Additionally, you may visit www.aspencommunitycoice.com or email aacp@cityofaspen.com to submit comments or questions on the proposed ordinances. 
Living Lab Gets Winterized.  

Last summer the City of Aspen experimented with a project known as the Living Lab Experiment on Castle Creek Bridge.  The test was an effort to improve pedestrian and bicyclists’ safe passage on Hallam Street between Cemetery Lane and 7th Street.  By extending the width of the north walk and putting temporary barriers in place, the City provided a corridor that felt and worked more like a trail extension than a sidewalk abutting traffic.  As a result, the traffic lanes were slightly narrowed.

The experiment proved to be very successful and public input has been so positive that a permanent design in progress.  In addition, traffic studies indicated that the narrowing of the lane widths did not have a negative impact on vehicle users, while the project provided a great deal of benefit to pedestrian and bicycle users.

To see how the sidewalk widening experiment will work under snow conditions, the City will be implementing a Snow Lab this winter.  It will also include bollards to separate walkers and bicyclists from the traffic.  The layout will look similar to the one this past summer. The experiment will also allow Aspen Street and Parks departments to experiment with snow in this new configuration and will also provide information on any impacts the extension will have on RFTA vehicles.
In addition to the bridge, there will also be bollards placed on the northeast corner of Hallam Street and 8th Street to simulate a bulb out to allow RFTA to test bus acceleration movements along the north BRT stop prior to completing construction. The two experiments implemented this winter will lead to improvements in design and will be only temporary measures lasting a few weeks.  There will be a public input component of the Snow Lab project.  Stay tuned for more information about this and we look forward to hearing from you.
December Brings a Winter Season of Music, Magic and Memories to the Wheeler!
We can feel the holiday spirit in the Aspen and we’re celebrating all December long with our Winter Wonderland series! Everything kicks off Saturday, December 3 with a bluesy and soulful performance by Americana singer-songwriter and “American Idol” favorite Crystal Bowersox.

Both of our Beach Boys performances on December 28 might be sold out, but there are still a number of big music groups for you to enjoy. Performances include gospel crooners The Blind Boys of Alabama on Friday, December 16, the Australian group The Ten Tenors on Christmas night, as well as a special New Year’s Eve performance featuring The Doo Wop Project.

Lovers of theatre and variety performance need not fear, as the Wheeler’s December line-up even includes shows for them. Catch movie star and comedian Kevin Smith in one of his notorious Q&A appearances at the Wheeler on Saturday, December 17. Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol comes to Aspen in a brilliant production on Friday, December 23. Then, just in time to ring in the New Year, experience a new generation of magic with Broadway and TV star Adam Trent for two performances on Thursday, December 29.

For information on these performances and more,  vist the all NEW website at www.wheeleroperahouse.com.
   This December: Get Five Free LED Light Bulbs

Aspen residents can receive the gift of 5 free LED light bulbs for completing a quick survey about our two-year energy program, the Aspen Energy Challenge. Visit www.AspenEnergyChallenge.com to take the survey.  Then, as part of ACRA’s 12 Days of Aspen event, stop by the Environmental Health and Sustainability Office (2nd floor of Aspen City Hall) from 11 AM - 5 PM on Wednesday, December 21st to receive your LEDs. You can also take the survey at that time.

Energy efficiency is a gift that keeps giving. LEDs provide year-round energy and utility bill savings, consuming about 75% less energy than traditional bulbs and lasting up to 17 years.

Thank you for working hard to save energy with us!  This promotion is in limited supply and only available to Aspen residents during the month of December.
What's Happening at the ARC?
New Text Messaging Program:
Would you like to be notified of upcoming events at the ARC by text message?
Please text code EZAHN64927 to phone number 313131 to join!

ARC Holiday Hours:
Christmas Eve (12/24): 9am-6pm
Christmas Day (12/25): CLOSED
New Year's Eve (12/31): 9am-6pm
New Year's Day (1/1/17): 11am-6pm

City of Aspen
130 S. Galena St. • Aspen, Co 81611
Ph: (970) 920-5000 • Fax: (970) 920-519
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