Base Village numbers work
I’ve thoroughly reviewed the enormous volume of research data, consultant reports and analysis compiled by the Snowmass Village town staff, Planning Department and the Base Village applicant (Intrawest and the Aspen Skiing Co.).
In short, assuming a bi-nodal commercial core consisting of Base Village and the Mall, all of this data supports the amount of commercial and hot-bed residential square footage contained in the Base Village application currently under review by the Town Council. According to all of the available data, anything less would be a prescription for failure: Think Aspen Highlands.
The leaders of the Citizens for Responsible Growth, the group that drafted the initiative ordinance, states that it supports Base Village, but that it should be further reduced in size by approximately 30 percent.
On numerous occasions, I’ve requested to review the research data used by CRG to support their proposed reductions and to show us how these reductions would ensure accomplishment of the town’s goals. No such data has been forthcoming. As a matter of fact, I’ve been told that no such data exists.
Various members of CRG leadership group, without any agreement or authorization amongst themselves, have proposed a variety of lower unit numbers which they appear to be taking out of thin air and without any substantiation. Others in their group demand a more detailed analysis by the town while CRG offers no credible data to support the various arbitrary cuts they are proposing.
After many long hours of research on this subject and active participation in the review and approval process from inception, I’m convinced that the Base Village application currently under review contains the correct amount of commercial and residential square footage in a layout that provides acceptable levels of density, scale, height and mass.
Obviously, important issues such as traffic, parking and construction phasing have yet to be reviewed by the Town Council; therefore, I will reserve my opinion on these items. However, if CRG can back up its assertions with credible research data, I would be willing to reconsider my position.
I adhere to the advice and counsel of Bob Purvis, one of our village’s wisest leaders, who on numerous occasions has implored all of us to consider building a Base Village that is just big enough. That is, a Base Village that is as small as it can be and still accomplish the town’s goals. Anything less would spell disaster.
Remember, if smaller works, I’m all for it. But if it’s smaller than just big enough, it just won’t work.
CRG, show us the beef!
Mel D. Blumenthal