Deerbrook Townhomes return to Snowmass Village Council with pared-down plans |

Deerbrook Townhomes return to Snowmass Village Council with pared-down plans

Applicant adapts after last year’s proposal deemed more than “small amount” of development

Deerbrook Townhomes in Snowmass Village on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Around this time last year, a proposal for new development at the Deerbrook Townhomes on Wood Road had the Snowmass Village Town Council pondering the definition of a “small amount” of development as established in the 2018 Comprehensive Plan.

The proposal the council ultimately denied at a Jan. 6, 2021, meeting included plans for six new residential units on the property, a 40% increase over the existing 15, plus a new three-level parking structure and exterior renovations to the property.

Council and the town’s Planning Commission both determined that was more than the “small amount” of development, but they didn’t specify by how much. Developers had to submit new plans to figure out whether they met the mark.

That’s exactly what developers did, and this time around, the proposal for Deerbrook development isn’t nearly so big: The plans council will review at a regular meeting Tuesday night don’t include any new residential units and no multi-level parking structure, according to the agenda summary for the topic in this week’s council packet.

“The revised project described in this application is a substantial departure from the improvements sought with the prior application,” according to an amended sketch plan narrative prepared by consultant Tim Malloy that was last updated on Oct. 27.

The revised plans were submitted last summer and updated in the fall, still with some renovations and added amenities but without any of the new residences developers had initially proposed. (Developers had hoped sales of the new units would offset the costs of the renovations on existing buildings; that funding will now have to come from other sources.)

Plans for a swimming pool and fitness building are still in the proposal, as are plans to double the number of parking spaces from 30 to 60 spots. That parking expansion is now proposed to happen by way of 15 two-stall garages and 30 surface parking spaces (15 of which are covered carports), rather than a new three-level structure with underground parking. The garages also would incorporate some storage space.

The plan increases onsite landscaping on the Deerbrook property “to enhance the project to reduce the visual impacts on the adjacent Ridge and Timbers Club properties, as well as from Ridge Road” but no longer includes improvements and landscaping on the common open space area located on the Timbers Club property east of the Deerbrook property.

It also addresses an easement on the Timbers Club common area parcel for a driveway to the Deerbrook property by including additional information and providing a title commitment for that parcel where the driveway sits.

Residents of the nearby Timbers Club subdivision and Ridge townhomes have previously expressed concerns about the impacts of Deerbrook development on hillside stability, traffic and density, mountain views, land access and other aspects of nearby areas.

In addition to the proposal for renovations and added amenities at the Deerbrook site, the applicant — in this case, the Deerbrook Townhome Condominium Association Inc. — also is seeking rezoning from the current specially planned area designation to a multi-family designation, but that wouldn’t change the intended use of the property.

The existing land use code already allows “multi-family dwelling units, parking and recreational facilities,” according to a compliance report included in the council packet; multi-family designation “allows accessory uses and ‘private recreation facilities.’”