Land-use planner leaving Aspen for Basalt |

Land-use planner leaving Aspen for Basalt

Downvalley growth is drawing Aspen land-use planner James Lindt to Basalt.The town is bustling with construction plans, and it lost planner Melissa Laeser five months ago. Basalt Town Manager Bill Efting said his department desperately needed to replace her.”We’ve got five potential annexations out there, plus Willits, which has already been approved,” he said. “That takes a lot of staff time.”Lindt, a Carbondale resident, has seen his family grow as well. He and his wife, Brandi, welcomed son Owen on Oct. 10. The planning position in Basalt gave Lindt the chance to work closer to home, saving him valuable commuting time that he can spend with his son.Lindt grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley and attended Aspen High School. He earned a degree in applied geography at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and then worked briefly digitizing electrical maps for a Denver company. But he always wanted to return to the valley, and when a position opened with Aspen’s Community Development Department, he jumped on it. He’s worked in that department for nearly eight years.Lindt said he’s looking forward to the challenge of working in a new community, but he’ll miss the staff in Aspen.”When you work with people for seven and a half years, you’re certainly going to miss them,” he said. “That will be the hardest part about going downvalley.”But it won’t be all new faces in Basalt. Efting used to coach Lindt in basketball and football, Lindt said.Efting called Lindt “a fine young athlete,” but it was Lindt’s work experience that earned him the job.”If you can work in Aspen, you can work anywhere,” Efting said. “He’s been through the wars. He’s been great in Aspen, and he’ll be great here.”Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is

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