Man looking at Mount Hayden
Courtesy of the Aspen Historical Society

Building Department Training the Week of March 5th

The week of March 5th is the annual International Code Council training in Colorado. Inspectors, plans examiners, code officials and construction industry representatives throughout the West participate.  All City of Aspen Building Department staff will be attending at various times during the week.  While there will be no interruptions to inspections and administrative staff will be available, Builder of the Day assistance will be very limited, and the Permit Coordinators will not be available Wednesday, March 7 through Friday, March 9.  

Professional Services Requested:  Lift 1 White Paper

The City and a number of stakeholders, including the Aspen Skiing Company, are currently completing a feasibility study on a number of options for bringing Lift 1A and skier loading further downhill.  A possible implication of this work would be removal of some or all of the remaining elements of Lift 1, Aspen’s first chair lift.  The historical significance of the original lift equipment and preservation goals related to this landmark designated resource needs to be addressed.
The City of Aspen is seeking assistance with the writing of a white paper on the history of Lift 1.  The paper is to be delivered to the City by April 30th and the consultant must present their work to Council on May 7th.  The full project description and requirements are posted at:

Proposed Amendments to the Land Use Code

On February 26th, City Council approved a policy resolution giving direction to potential amendments to the Land Use Code.  Over the next several months, Community Development staff will be working to update several sections of the code to improve format, clarify regulations, and correct omissions and technical errors. 
Non-Conformities & Variances

The first of what will likely be several ordinances in response to these updates will be considered by Council on March 12th for First Reading.  Second Reading is currently scheduled for March 26th.  The public is encouraged to reach out to Planning staff for more information and to attend the Council meetings to make public comment.
The amendments proposed in Ordinance 6 are limited to three chapters of the code and are relatively minor in scale.  First, in the Non-Conformities chapter (26.312), there are timelines established to replace non-conforming uses and structures in the case of non-willful (an act of nature) destruction. The proposed changes extend the deadline for both uses and structures to 24 months and would require submission of a building permit to meet the deadline, as opposed to the current requirement of issuance.
Similarly, in the Variances chapter (26.314), a one-year expiration period of a variance, currently requires issuance of a building permit to meet the deadline. The proposed change to this section would instead require the submission of a permit to meet the deadline.  In both the Non-Conformities and Variances chapters, it had become clear that the complexity of design, the seasonal development realities in Aspen, and review requirements were making the meeting of these deadlines onerous for property owners, the design community, and city staff.
Lastly, and purely technical in nature, a recent update to the mountain view plane section of Chapter 26.435 incorrectly identified the elevation of the origin points of each of the identified view planes. The proposed amendments will remedy these errors and return the view plane elevations to the correct height.  This does not change applicability or review processes for properties located in a view plane.
If you have questions about any of these proposed changes please contact Ben Anderson, Planner, at 429-2765 or
Miscellaneous Regulations

Also at the February 26th meeting, Council directed staff to continue to pursue amendments to the Miscellaneous Regulations section of the Land Use Code.  The principal focus of these amendments is to improve the functionality and clarity of Calculations and Measures, Section 26.575.020.  Staff continues to work with a focus group of 10 professionals to develop these amendments.  Following work with the focus group, staff expects to present Council with ordinances for first reading in Spring 2018.  If you have questions about any of these proposed changes please contact Phillip Supino, Principal Long-Range Planner, at 429-2767 or

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