Pitkin County, Colorado, Considering Reduction In New Home Sizes (Aspen Snowmass)

Pitkin County, Colorado, Considering Reduction In New Home Sizes (Aspen Snowmass)

Aspen

Pitkin County, Colorado, Considering Reduction In New Home Sizes (Aspen Snowmass)

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Pitkin County, Colorado, home to Aspen and Snowmass, is considering implementing a 5,750 square foot limit on house sizes, according to The Aspen Times. The limit, which may be recommended by the county’s 26-person Community Growth Advisory Committee, comes as an effort to increase residents’ quality of life while lowering the negative environmental impacts created by massive homes.

Most of Pitkin County currently allows for houses to be built up to 15,000 square feet on residential and agricultural parcels, though in some areas that number has already been reduced.

“Less construction, less waste from construction, less services, less energy, less employees, less traffic, it’s that simple. We are feeding an industry that is bigger than tourism in this valley and house caps will at least keep that industry from growing out of control.” – Committee member Cliff Weiss

According to a 2019 study, 47% of greenhouse gas emissions in Pitkin County are from residential buildings. While only 13% of single-family homes in the area were over 5,750 square feet, those large homes accounted for 43.7% of energy use emissions. Newer homes also tend to use more energy per square foot than older homes, as they often rely more on cooling and heating systems, feature larger windows, and include more technology. In total, large homes accounted for 29% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Pitkin County in 2019.

The committee is scheduled to meet again on December 14th and present policy recommendations to the county’s planning and zoning commission in early 2023.

“I think that this is an opportunity to look at what the resettlement of this community looks like, not redevelopment, resettlement, and where are our priorities to establish a community that really honors the values that appear in this room.” – Rick Stevens, committee member and former mayor of Basalt

Image Credit: Pitkin County Government via Facebook, Snowmass via Facebook, Aspen Snowmass via Instagram

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