Base Village vote tomorrow
A final vote on Base Village will be rendered by the Snowmass Village Town Council on Wednesday. The council, town staff and representatives from the Aspen Skiing Co. and Intrawest, partners on the project, met Monday for a first reading on the plan. The meeting was basically to review any remaining issues. The second reading will begin at 2 p.m. tomorrow and will be followed by the vote. The meeting is open to the public. Most of Base Village is slated for the bottom of Fanny Hill. The partnership has said the project will add 640,000 square feet of residential space and 64,000 square feet of commercial space. But those figures only include net interior space and do not take into account hallways, lobbies, elevators, etc. If approved, Base Village will actually add more than 1 million total square feet, according to figures released by the town’s planning staff in April. There is also a building cushion to account for “unforeseen modifications during the construction of the project,” which could add an additional 40,000 square feet to Base Village, according to town staff figures released earlier this month. Wednesday’s vote will put an end to three years of review from the Town Council, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Base Village will be put to bed. Even if the council approves the project, citizens of Snowmass Village can launch a referendum to draw a final vote from the community.The council unanimously approved Base Village in a preliminary vote in August, and Snowmass Village Mayor T. Michael Manchester hinted that Wednesday will bring similar results.”This project will make a huge difference in our future,” he said after the meeting. While the town has been largely split over the project for the past few years, a poll conducted in September indicated that more than 60 percent of Snowmass Village residents were in favor of Base Village. Opponents blasted the survey, calling it a scare tactic from the partnership to discourage a referendum. Jeff Tippett, chairman of Citizens for Responsible Growth, which has been opposed to the project’s size from the beginning, recently conducted a survey to determine just how much of the community would support a referendum. “We got back several hundred responses,” Tippett said, adding that he would not release the survey results since it was meant for internal use.”People who we mailed to are overwhelmingly in favor of doing a referendum,” he added. “And we have a high quality of responses from people who will help a referendum campaign.” Tippett said if the project is approved, he and others will begin collecting the required signatures – about 190 – needed to launch a referendum. “I’m convinced that the community needs this,” he said. “A lot of people took the time to write me and I’m convinced there are enough people out there that want to see this happen. “I’ve got to do what I need to do.” Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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