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July 8, 2014
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Related seeks five more years of vesting for Snowmass Base Village

Related Colorado has submitted an application to the town of Snowmass Village to extend its Base Village development rights for five years.

The application, which is being reviewed by the town Community Development Department, asks to extend Related’s rights to develop Base Village to Nov. 3, 2019, as long as it meets a series of conditions by certain dates.

The first of those milestones requires Related to submit an application to amend the approvals for Lots 2, 3, 4 and 8 — the latter of which only if Related decides it necessary to alter — by Oct. 15, meaning that the town could still take away the company’s vesting rights before they were originally to expire on Nov. 3.

“We’re not just submitting the extension of vesting and not thinking about what people want in terms of the future of Base Village,” said Craig Monzio, development associate for Related Colorado. “That’s why it’s included as part of this application.”

Related chose not to tie the conceptual changes to the vesting-extension application for several reasons, primarily because it would become a major amendment and the review process would last well past Nov. 3. The town has not yet classified the vesting extension as a major or minor application, although Related submitted it as minor.

The developer also wants vesting to no longer be in question when it submits that application so that it can “have people focus on the actual conceptual ideas ... rather than being bogged down with vesting,” Monzio said.

Resident Arnie Mordkin suggested at a public pre-sketch plan meeting regarding Base Village on June 18 that the town could suspend the vesting rights rather than grant or deny the extension. Monzio said that’s not an option for his company “at this time.” During the three pre-sketch plan meetings, which were open to the public, Monzio said he believed “people overwhelmingly supported the extension of vesting now.” To Related, it’s imperative that the vesting be extended before Nov. 3 for the project to continue.

“When you’re investing in a project, you need to know what your exposures are,” Monzio said. “You need to know what is going to be required of you.”

In the case of Base Village, those requirements include employee housing, parking and the impact on infrastructure such as the Fire Department. Employee-housing mitigation is one that has changed in the town’s code since the planned-unit development was adopted in 2004, Monzio said.

“That’s a significant impact,” he said. “If that were to go away, if those predetermined mitigation rates were to not be in place anymore, financially we would probably not be able to move forward with this development as originally anticipated or imagined and our investors are not looking at the same project they originally invested in.”

Other milestones

Related is not proposing to extend the final deadline for Base Village, which is Nov. 3, 2024. The vesting rights are set to expire this November because it has not completed the phases of development required under the current entitlements.

If the application is approved, Related would agree to commence and complete public improvements by certain dates. It is proposing to begin construction of a roundabout at Wood and Brush Creek roads on May 1 and reach “substantial completion” by Nov. 30, 2015. “Substantial completion” in the application means that the improvements are able to be used by the public, or the owner, in regard to private structures.

The other public improvements Related would commit to are the overlay on upper Wood Road, the snowmelt system at the garage and a “community facility,” what was planned as an aqua center and is being reconsidered.

The first of the private developments that Related would agree to is Building 13B, to break ground July 1, 2015. Related was expected to start construction of the building, which will be the second phase of the Viceroy Snowmass, this spring but did not because it is still selling units in the existing hotel/condo complex, Romero said June 18.

Monzio added that Related needs “to take a step back” to better understand what type of units prospective buyers are interested in, such as larger vs. smaller units.

The other private milestone proposed is substantial completion of Lots 2 and 3 by Nov. 3, 2019.

The Planning Commission will begin its review of the application after the Community Development Department, which has until July 16 to consider it.


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The Aspen Times Updated Jul 8, 2014 07:30PM Published Jul 9, 2014 07:44AM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.