A group of ten families from the Basalt, Colorado Pan and Fork land lease community, which is scheduled for redevelopment, have formed an action committee seeking better relocation options from the owners, which includes the Roaring Fork Development Corp. (RFCDC) and the town of Basalt. The “Workers for Justice and Diversity in Basalt” claims the RFCDC previously promised replacement housing for all the residents. Up until recently the town ordinance required anyone with a project that displaces affordable housing units would have to rebuild housing elsewhere. According to aspendailynews.com that was repealed in Sept. 2013 and replaced with giving financial relocation assistance instead. Most of the Pan and Fork residents are Latinos who say qualified interpreters were not at the town meetings when the rule was changed. Additionally, they claim promises from the RFCDC included new modular housing provided by Roaring Fork, land owned by the Aspen Skiing Co., or a piece of land by the high school. The Workers for Justice say discussions and rumors have been flying since 2002 when the redevelopment plan first appeared. Colin Laird, former executive director of the RFCDC, says plans and options on implementing the town’s replacement housing ordinance was discussed at those meetings, but “To say promises were broken is not accurate. To say plans, intentions, and the town of Basalt’s laws have changed is accurate.” Town officials in the past have suggested that their only obligation is to give residents 60 days notice and no relocation assistance. MHProNews has learned Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon, noting half of the community’s residents have already moved, says he is open to a meeting with the Workers.
(Photo credit: Van Go/leoncountytoday.com)