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Aspen: "No Complaining" Clause For Penthouse Atop Nightclub

According to the Aspen Daily News, Aspen City Council is considering slapping a "no complaining clause" onto the redevelopment proposal of 420 East Hyman Avenue after a string of noise complaints were field with the police by owners of downtown penthouses annoyed with street noise from bars and restaurants. The council is wary of the proposal for 420 East Hyman, which would tear down the building currently housing Zocalito restaurant as well as a pet store and a bakery and replace it with a three-story mostly glass building with commercial space in the basement and first floor, three affordable housing units on the second, and an 1,800 square foot penthouse on the third that would fetch somewhere around $4 million on the open market. The building currently houses the Escobar nightclub, which stays open til 2 am, and sits on Aspen's "Restaurant Row," the pedestrian mall section of Hyman packed with restaurants offering outdoor seating til 10 pm. Two condo owners there have called the police eight times since July to complain about the noise, and the Aspen Brewing Company has been issued two citations for breaking the 60 decibel noise level so far. Last year, the Silver Queen bar was sued by the upstairs neighbors for noise and "noxious activity," and eventually shut down.

The city hopes to have an idea of what a no complaining clause by their September 9th meeting, which you'd think they might keep handy in the future in their ongoing battle to keep penthouses from outpricing and out-complaining local businesses out of downtown Aspen. The Zocalito building redevelopment was submitted just before Aspen's rulings were issued prohibiting further third-floor and free-market penthouse construction downtown. Maybe more of these owners should heed the advice of Aspen restauranteer Jimmy Yeager regarding living downtown: "Join the party or move to Starwood."

· Proposed penthouse faces a request for 'no complaining' [Aspen Daily News]