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Ex-mayors organize against Intrawest

Three former Snowmass Village mayors have announced the formation of a political issue group called Citizens for Responsible Growth.

Former mayors Ted Grenda, Jim Hooker and Jeff Tippett formed the group amid concerns regarding future development in Snowmass Village.

“For the past year I have been hearing from friends and acquaintances who are concerned that the two proposed developments will diminish quality of life in Snowmass Village,” Tippett said.



The proposed development’s Tippett referred to are Snowmass Center and Base Village. Base Village in particular has spurned a great deal of public debate in Snowmass Village in the past month.

In July, Tippett and other like-minded residents called for a moratorium on Base Village. That idea was rejected by the Snowmass Village Town Council, which instead organized a series of public meetings to address the future goals of the community. More than 200 people attended the first meeting in early August.




The Base Village project is a joint proposal by the Aspen Skiing Co. and resort developer Intrawest. If approved, it would add 635 condos, 10 townhomes, 180 employee units, 184,000 square feet of nonresidential space (including 94,000 square feet of restaurant and retail), parking for 1,100 cars and 20 homesites in nearby Sinclair Meadows. The project is planned for the base of Fanny Hill.

“[Residents] are concerned about traffic congestion, and building height, scale and mass that will change the character of the Village,” Tippett said. “Many local business people worry that there is not sufficient demand to support new businesses and properties.”

Tippett, who served on the Snowmass Village Town Council for 17 years, has been an outspoken critic of the proposed size of Base Village for several months.

“There are many complex issues involved,” Tippett said. “The [Town] Council has commissioned some studies and may need to commission more.

“Citizens for Responsible Growth intends to work hard to put important information in the hands of interested citizens through ads in the local papers and by establishing a Web site,” he added.

In a press release, the former mayors stressed the group is not anti-development, they support projects that generate new and attractive residential, commercial and recreational elements. They aim to preserve existing, attractive elements, and the character of the Village as it relates to aesthetics, scale, economic viability and quality of life.

“The former elected officials in the group participated in the crafting of the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Use Code,” Grenda said. “We recently became alarmed at the magnitude of variations and changes to these governing documents that the Town Council must make in order to approve development proposals for the Snowmass Center and Base Village.”

Tippett will serve as chairman and Hooker as vice chairman for Citizens for Responsible Growth. Grenda will handle the duties of treasurer and longtime Village resident Jim Heywood is the secretary. Former council member Jack Hatfield and Village resident Lynda Palevsky are members of the Steering Committee.

Interested citizens can find out more about the committee at http://www.snowmasscitizens.com.

[Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com]


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