May 2009

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings May 1 - May 21, 2009

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings May 1 - May 21, 2009

269 Park Avenue, Aspen

$8,000,000

5,533 sf

$1,446 sf

6 Bedrooms/6 Baths

151 Heather Lane, Meadowood

$4,425,000

5,578 sf

$793 sf

4 Bedrooms/4 Baths

224 West Hallam, Aspen (SOLD BY JOSHUA & CO)

$4,000,000

3,843 sf

$1,041 sf

4 Bedrooms/4 Baths

1362 Snowbunny, Aspen

$1,900,000

2,356 sf

$806 sf

3 Bedrooms/2 Baths

473 Medicine Bow Road, Aspen

$1,900,000

3,236 sf

$587 sf

4 Bedrooms/4 Baths

189 Maple Ridge Lane, Snowmass Village  (SOLD BY JOSHUA & CO)

$1,600,000

3,325 sf

$481 sf

8 Bedrooms/6 Baths

 

Posted by gary on May 21, 2009 in
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Silver Queen Gondola Opens For Summer

Silver Queen Gondola Opens For Summer
Aspen Skiing Co. will open the gondola for the summer Saturday.  Operating hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm with the last ride down at 4:30pm.  The Sundeck will be open for lunch from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Posted by gary on May 21, 2009 in
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Independence Pass Opens Today At 2pm

Independence Pass Opens Today At 2pm
The shortcut to Denver and Santa Fe opens today at 2pm.  CDOT crews have finished the avalanche control work, removed the snow drifts, fixed the potholes and re-painted the stripes.  The route to Denver is 40 miles shorter than by using I-70.  Independence Pass via Highway 82 is one of the highest maintained roads in America.
Posted by gary on May 21, 2009 in
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Do Your Part To Lower Your Pitkin County Property Taxes - Make A Phone Call

Do Your Part To Lower Your Pitkin County Property Taxes - Make A Phone Call

We all were shocked to receive our our property tax assessments.  Unfortunately, they were calculated at the peak of the market in June, 2008.  You have until May 31st to protest.

Beyond that, the only other process available to reduce you tax burden is to contact the the taxing authorities that collect tax dollars based on mill levies.  Unless these mill levies are temporarily reduced, your taxes will be higher based on the "valuation windfall".  Your property taxes are calculated by mulitplying the assessed value times the mill levy rate. 

Many of these taxing districts were voted into existence when times were good.  What difference did a few more property tax dollars make?  Now, times aren't so good and the taxing districts will receive a 50% property tax windfall while many property owners are trying to stave off foreclosure. 

The local taxing authorities are listed below.  Make a call and express your outrage.  Request that they do the right thing by reducing their mill levy to a reasonable increase of 5%-10%. 

Beginning in August and September, new mill levies will be set by the taxing authorities.  You might want to contact the Pitkin County Commissioners and the Aspen City Council. The area code is 970.

City of Aspen - 920-5027

Aspen Historical Park/Recreation - 925-3721

Aspen Valley Hospital - 544-1261

Colorado Mountain College - 945-8691

Pitkin County Open Spaces and Trails - 920-5203

Snowmass Water and Sanitation - 923-2056

Town of Snowmass Village - 923-3777

Aspen Fire Protection - 925-5532

Basalt Rural Fire Protection - 704-0675

Carbondale Fire Protection - 963-2491

Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection - 923-2212

Aspen Village Metro - 925-3475

Buttermilk Metro Water - 925-3475

Crown Mountain Park and Recreation - 963-6030

East Aspen Metro - 544-5114

Five Trees Metro - 925-3475

Gateway Metro - 927-4262

W/J Ranch - 926-6060

Posted by gary on May 20, 2009 in
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Road To The Maroon Bells Opens May 21st

Road To The Maroon Bells Opens May 21st

Bicyclists take note.  Maroon Creek Road leading to the famed Maroon Bells is set to open May 21st at 2pm.  Currently, pedestrian and bicyclists can go beyond the locked gate and enjoy the road without watching for RFTA buses or cars.

A $5 daily fee is charged to all vehicles until the water and trash services are turned on.  After that, the fee increases to $10.  A $25 local's season pass is available.

Starting June 20th, vehicle traffic will be restricted from 9am to 5pm.  Visitors will be able to access the Maroon Bells via RFTA's bus service.

There is no charge to access Maroon Lake to non-motorized travelers including hikers, bikers or rollerbladers.

Posted by gary on May 14, 2009 in
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Independence Pass To Open On May 21st

Independence Pass To Open On May 21st

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been busy removing snow from both sides of Highway 82 leading up to the 12,095 foot summit.

Last year, because of unusually heavy snow, the pass did not open until June 5th.  Typically, Independence Pass opens for traffic on the Thursday before the Memorial Day weekend.

Other local CDOT projects currently underway include the landscaping around the dedicated bus-only lanes near the Maroon Creek bridge and crews are widening the Smith Way median crossover  which leads from Highway 82 to Woody Creek.

Posted by gary on May 13, 2009 in
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Basalt Adds New Regulations on Main Street

Basalt Adds New Regulations on Main Street

The Basalt Town Council adopted sweeping legislation this week designed to regulate how the town will grow in the years to come.  The new rules make it tougher for additional banks, professional services and real estate offices to open on Midland Avenue, Basalt's main street.

These new regulations come on the heels of Basalt's more restrictive growth management system and new, more onerous employee housing regulations.

Make sure you ask your Realtor before buying property in Basalt.

 

Posted by gary on May 13, 2009 in
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Expansion of the Snowmass Village Chapel

Expansion of the Snowmass Village Chapel
A discussion of the controversial expansion of the Snowmass Village Chapel has been delayed until May 18th.
Posted by gary on May 05, 2009 in
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Property Owners Upset At 2009 Notices of Valuation

Property Owners Upset At 2009 Notices of Valuation
Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield Counties have issued their 2009 Real Property Notice of Valuation.  Many property owners are extremely agitated about the increases.  Many Pitkin County property owners are experiencing +25% while Garfield County is +50%.
Taken from the Pitkin County Notice of Valuation, "the property was valued as it existed on January 1 of the current year.  The value of residential property is based on the market approach to value.  Generally, the value of all other property is based on consideration of the market, cost, and income approaches to value.  The appraisal data used to establish value is from the 24 month period ending June 30, 2008."
 
Garfield County states "Market Approach (All Property Types): This approach to value uses sales from the 18-month period ending June 30, 2008." 
To what extent, these new valuations will have on actual property taxes is uncertain.  Please review Steve Barwick's letter to the editor in The Aspen Times dated May 5, 2009:
Dear Editor:

Recently the Pitkin County assessor announced that assessed valuations within the county will be increasing from two years ago and there was inference that tax bills would automatically be going up as well. However, city property owners should be aware that, per City Council direction, the city’s portion of 2010 tax revenues will not increase due to the reassessment.

The city of Aspen’s property taxes are under the limitations of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which is the state constitutional amendment that restricts the growth of revenues for the state and local governments. TABOR limits the growth in property tax revenues to that received from new construction and also allows an adjustment for inflation. If assessed valuations increase by more than this amount, then the City Council is required to lower its mill levy or seek voter approval to retain the additional revenue. While there may be small increases or decreases in city taxes on individual properties whose valuation has changed more or less than the average, or changes between commercial and residential assessed valuations, the average of all such changes must meet the TABOR limitation.

The very minor exception to this is the property tax levy levied for stormwater improvements. This mill levy is .65 mills out of a total city tax rate of 5.467 mills. Voters approved this tax in 2007 and exempted it from the provisions of TABOR. City Council has directed staff to set this mill levy at the lower, TABOR-limited rate for the 2010 budget.

There are a number of overlapping tax districts in Aspen and some of the districts are subject to TABOR property tax limits and some are not. The city of Aspen’s mill levy represents approximately 18.6 percent of the average property tax bill. Property taxpayers should be informed as to how tax levies are being adjusted for all of the other districts for the 2010 budget year.

Steve Barwick
Aspen City Manager
Posted by gary on May 05, 2009 in
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Ella Restaurant in Carbondale Remains Open For Business

Ella Restaurant in Carbondale Remains Open For Business

Rumors of Ella Restaurant closing are premature.  The popular Carbondale restaurant was set to close this Sunday when investors decided to back out.  New investors are being added and, in the meantime, current investors have decided to keep the restaurant open pending a new agreement.

The owners of the restaurant  said that they had planned to close May 3rd, after being open for a year and a half had new investors not been found.

The building where the restaurant is owned at 348 Main Street in Carbondale is owned by the same investors and has been on the market since February 2008.  It is listed for sale by Joshua & Co.

 

Posted by gary on May 05, 2009 in
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