Council opposition unjustified |

Council opposition unjustified

At the Jan. 19 meeting of the Snowmass Village Town Council, the mayor and the four Town Council members were quite vehement in their condemnation of the initiative proposed by the Citizens for Responsible Growth.

Their condemnation centered on the “unintended consequences” arising from an adherence to the town’s existing comprehensive plan and land-use code.

Their vehemence is unjustified when measured against CRG’s suggestion in mid-2003 that if the comprehensive plan was an inappropriate guide to redevelopment, that the council should impose a moratorium on development and invite the community to join in the development of a new comprehensive plan. Needless to say CRG’s suggestion was scornfully rejected.

The first unintended consequence in the minds of the mayor and the council is that it will create uncertainty for developers. Apparently this is bad because developers would be less likely to submit proposals that exceed town standards. This is CRG’s main point. The initiative contains an intended consequence.

Far from creating an uncertainty, the initiative would make it clear to developers that the comprehensive plan and the land-use code matter, and that there is a limit on how much the council is willing to bend the plan and the code on its own.

According to the Town Council, the second “unintended consequence of the initiative is that it would hamper important redevelopment.” That seems strange to CRG.

The initiative provides margins that the Town Council could use to approve reasonable variations from the comprehensive plan and the land-use code. It has done this in the past without the citizenry’s outcry.

The Town Council is essentially denouncing the initiative for what it is designed to do: Make explosive development less simple to approve. To be sure CRG’s initiative welcomes smaller development.

That is why the many people who support the initiative could well become enthusiastic supporters of a smaller, less intrusive Base Village.

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