Base Village parking figures confound Snowmass council
Just how much parking Base Village will require remains to be seen following a discussion on the issue in Monday night’s Snowmass Village Town Council meeting.
“This is a terrible issue,” said Councilman Arnie Mordkin, following Intrawest’s presentation of the complex parking estimates.
Intrawest’s parking plan calls for an additional 1,130 overall new parking spaces to accommodate Base Village demand, including 382 spaces for day-skier parking and commercial uses, and 0.75 spaces per residential unit.
The council and the public, however, were left scratching their heads over how the latter figure was reached, and whether it was an accurate and realistic estimate for future parking demands.
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“We’re not trying to propose something we think isn’t going to work from the get-go,” Michael O’Connor, Intrawest’s vice president of development, said. “We don’t want this to be a failure, we don’t want this to be a mess – we want this to function, and function in the long term.”
The council and Mayor T. Michael Manchester have made it clear they plan to minimize traffic on Brush Creek Road by beefing up public transportation and discouraging future guests from bringing their own cars. But they also expressed fear of potentially having to turn away visitors – both day skiers and multi-day guests – because of a lack of parking spaces.
In other words, is 0.75 space per residential unit enough for Base Village?
“At one point our guests [may] start to say it’s too much of a hassle to take RFTA, let’s take the car,” Manchester said. “Some disincentive [to take a car] I think is a good idea, [but] there is a point where it pushes people the wrong way.”
Mordkin urged citizens to offer their input.
“None of us seems to know what’s right or wrong,” he said. “We can’t just sit in the woods and say ‘I don’t know.'”
Mel Blumenthal, president of the Enclave Homeowners Association in Snowmass Village, said the parking problem needs outside assistance.
“Because the issues are very complex, it’s incumbent upon the town to have an expert come in,” he said. “The issues we have to deal with here are probably the most critical of the whole plan.”
Longtime local resident and former Mayor Jeff Tippett said the current size of the Aspen airport will not support such an influx of visitors, and as a result, more cars will be parked in Snowmass Village.
“People will rent cars and drive from DIA,” Tippett said.
Furthermore, Tippett offered his advice on how to study whether 0.75 space per residential unit will be enough: Talk to any of the managers of condominium complexes in Snowmass Village who have to issue parking permits on a daily basis throughout the year, he said.
Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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