Snowmass Village looks to update community plan
October 19, 2016
Snowmass Village resident Greg Rulon told a crowd of about 75 Tuesday night that the people of Snowmass "don't want to be like Aspen."
The town of Snowmass Village held a meeting Tuesday to begin the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan and establishing a vision for the town's future.
To help rework the plan, the town of Snowmass Village has hired the national firm Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative LLC.
The Comprehensive Plan is intended to serve as a long-term policy document to help provide the town with guidance in future growth, development, policy-making and funding.
Through the planning process, the town encourages the community to consider how it would like to see Snowmass Village look in the next 10 to 20 years — what's missing, what improvements should be made and what the community loves about the town, according to a statement from the town of Snowmass.
During an informal public comment period at Tuesday's meeting, Rulon said Snowmass residents feared the prospect of "the Guccis and the Pradas" in the village.
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While members of the Snowmass community would like to have a healthy business environment, Rulon said, they do not want to see the town experience a similar type of "success" as seen in Aspen.
Brian Wright, the planning firm principal who led the meeting Tuesday, assured Rulon that he has heard the same sentiment from other members of the Snowmass community, calling it "unanimous."
"And the runner-up is not Vail," he quipped.
In a Powerpoint presentation before Snowmass community members, Wright identified three key areas whereby he anticipates future improvements: the Snowmass mall, Snowmass Center and the entryway to Snowmass, otherwise known as the rodeo grounds.
Wright said the fact that there are vacant storefronts in the Snowmass mall, which is located near the bottom of "an amazing ski slope," indicates that there is likely room for some improvement.
"We want to do something really amazing, really cutting-edge," he said, while noting that this does not have to mean "skyscrapers and crazy growth."
Wright, along with Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler, emphasized the importance of community members reaching out and sharing their input on what they would like to see happen with the town going forward.
"You guys are the experts," Wright said. "We're just here from out of town helping you guys put your idea on paper."
Some ideas and priorities Wright said he has heard from members of the Snowmass community thus far include revitalizing the mall, combating seasonality, creating more affordable housing for employees, building more diversity in the economy, maintaining the town's "amazing" trail system and determining if Snowmass is a resort first with a community or a community first with a resort.
And, of course, staying on top of the Base Village project and "getting it done," Wright said.
East West Partners Chief Financial Officer Andy Gunion, who was at the meeting Tuesday, said the joint venture with Aspen Skiing Co. and private equity firm KSL Capital Partners LLC to purchase Base Village from Related Cos. is on-track to close by mid-December.
Construction of the Limelight Snowmass is expected to begin in April 2017, Gunion said.
For more information or to stay up-to-date on the town of Snowmass Village community plan project, visit http://www.tosv.com/plansnowmass.