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July 18, 2014
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Snowmass should extend Base Village vesting, planners say

The Snowmass Village Community Development Department is recommending that Related’s rights to develop in Base Village be extended, but in a slightly different way from what the developer is proposing.

One of the most significant changes that the department is suggesting for Related’s application is to extend its vesting by three years rather than five, with an automatic extension of two more years in 2017 if all of its agreements are met.

In addition, it is suggesting that Related receive an automatic extension of vesting if it meets the milestones — which include certain public improvements and deadlines for submitting plans for and completing buildings — that it proposed in its application. Related had proposed that the town would be given the right to take away its vesting if it did not meet the deadlines.

“This may sound like an issue of ‘semantics’; however, this puts the burden on the developer to perform, rather than on the town to penalize, which could be ‘politically sensitive,’” said a memo from Community Development Director Julie Ann Woods and Senior Planner Jim Wahlstrom to the Snowmass Village Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission will review Related’s application and the department’s findings during its meeting Wednesday. Related submitted its application on July 1 to extend its development rights, which are set to expire Nov. 3.

The Snowmass Village land-use code calls for development rights to remain vested for three years and for the Town Council to “consider both the needs of the town and the property owner in determining to extend a vested property right beyond three years.”

The Community Development Department is recommending that the council only extend Related’s rights by three years initially to be consistent with the code — or, if the council decides to grant Related’s request, that the council shows that it considered the needs of both parties.

The department also ruled out one alternative that was brought up during a pre-sketch plan meeting with the public, the council, the Planning Commission and Related. Arnie Mordkin, of Snowmass Village, had suggested on June 18 that the town could defer a decision on extending vesting until Related submitted its updated master plan for the project.

“There does not appear to be any language in the land-use regulations that would allow for a ‘deferral’ of vesting,” the memo said.

Some other changes the department is suggesting for the development agreement include the following:

Moving up the completion of Buildings 7 and 8 in the schedule of milestones from 2019 to 2017, in keeping with an agreement made between the town and the current Base Village owner in 2009.

Prioritizing construction of a permanent on-hill clinic.

Moving up the start date for improvements to upper Wood Road by one year to May 1, 2016.

Adding language to ensure that any “construction interruptions,” such as the recession that stalled the project before, would be mitigated.

Extending milestones by one day for each day beyond May 1, 2015, that Related’s overall planned-unit-development amendment is not approved by the Town Council and by one year if delayed more than 30 days (does not apply to roundabout, community facility and Lots 2 and 3).

The Planning Commission meeting starts at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Town Hall council chambers.

jbeathard@snowmasssun.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Jul 18, 2014 12:00AM Published Jul 24, 2014 11:52AM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.