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300 Square Foot Gallery Opens "Local Serving" Business Debate

[Via Nugget Gallery Facebook]

Aspen's Nugget Gallery is a 300-square foot art gallery set up in a hallway in a Hyman Avenue office building that is only staffed at night, and which has lived on by 6 renewals of its temporary use permit. According to the Aspen Daily News, this winter the planning office recommended the permit expire when it runs out this July, which means that if the L-shaped hallway were to be rezoned as permanent commercial space, Nugget owner Ross Kribbs would have to pay $100,000 in affordable housing fees to legitimize his tiny business, which is currently a public hallway during office hours. Mayor Mick Ireland suggested a new zoning law be created that would allow "local serving" businesses, like shoe repairmen and galleries selling only local art like the Nugget, to be able to operate in public spaces. Opponents are afraid that without strict guidelines, landlords will simply cash in on the new deals by leasing hallways and patios out high-paying retail stores. The real question is: would the new zoning allow for warm hallways with bathrooms be rented as "affordable housing" for minimum-wage lifties?

· Rezoning to save local art gallery thrown into question [Aspen Daily News]
· Nugget Gallery