Citizens group planning Base Village referendum
A referendum on Base Village is in the works after a group opposed to the development picked up the required petitions from the town clerk Tuesday morning. Jeff Tippett, a former Snowmass Village mayor and chairman of Citizens for Responsible Growth, said he believes a referendum is in the best interest of the town’s future. “We’re not happy with what the Town Council approved,” he said. “I think the majority of the community is not happy with what was approved.”Base Village would add more than 1 million square feet of development to the town, mostly at the base of Fanny Hill.In order to launch the referendum, 173 signatures must be certified by the town clerk, Rhonda Coxon.Due to an apparent abundance of phone calls inquiring about the nature of the referendum, Coxon on Tuesday released a fact sheet outlining the specifics, which are: all signatures are of public record; signatories must be citizens of Colorado and Snowmass Village and must be registered to vote; and before signing a petition citizens must have read the proposed referendum in its entirety and understand its meaning.The petitioners have 30 days starting from when Base Village garnered final approval to obtain signatures and submit them to the town clerk.But that stipulation will be challenged by Tippett, since the petition was not made available until nearly a week after the project was approved.”The statute says the town clerk shall deliver the petitions promptly, and while she did the best she could, a week delay is hardly promptly,” Tippett said. “Given the challenge we have of gathering signatures at an offseason time of year, we need the extra days.”While it has been the understanding that a referendum will draw a final, clear-cut vote on Base Village, it’s not that simple.In order to approve Base Village, the Town Council had to create three new ordinances that changed certain aspects of the town’s build-out chart and land-use code. All three of those ordinances will be part of the referendum. Tippett said a simple yes/no vote on the project would not suffice, and the community needs to eliminate all three new ordinances “in order to put Base Village to bed.” “Right now, we need to get everyone to sign three separate petitions,” Tippett said. “[But] there will be a single referendum with three questions on it.” Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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