How will Snowmass look in 2020? |

How will Snowmass look in 2020?

Madeleine Osberger
Snowmass Village correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” It was a full house for the second in a series of citizen meetings revolving around the rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan last week in Snowmass Village.

Close to 90 people turned out for the meeting Thursday at the Snowmass Conference Center, prompting organizers to set up two additional tables for the overflow.

The theme of the evening was “Community Vision.”

Keypad voting showed that there were 83 official responses; however, more people wandered in after the start of the meeting. Individuals gathered at round tables to discuss the vision for how Snowmass Village will look in the year 2020.

More employee housing, increased scrutiny of future development projects and establishing a character and scale for the Village were prevailing messages echoed among the group members.

The following are some of the comments that were recorded that evening:

– “Stick with the land-use regulations for height and mass. Only relax them when its traded” for amenities such as more housing or cultural facilities.

– Many groups believe the current employee housing mitigation level, 45 percent, is too low. Numbers bandied about ranged from 60 percent to 120 percent.

– Supplying actual housing, rather than cash-in-lieu, is overwhelmingly favored.

– “If we reach a carrying capacity, there should be a point where we can turn off the spigot.”

– The community should strive for “diversity in income and social strata. We want to build community through diversity.”

– More apres-ski activities are desirable.

– Everything humanly possible should be done to preserve “unique, locally owned businesses.”

– Elected officials should have the “political will to solve NIMBY-ism.”

– The built environment, economy and affordable housing “are all intrinsically linked.”

– “Less concrete” wanted in the town.

– “Require the developer to provide affordable leases to small businesses.”

– “We need a large conference center with a hotel.”

– “Create a trust to allow people to put money into parking, housing” and the like.

– Social services need to be considered, given the town’s aging population.

– “As members of this community, we all have a responsibility to develop affordable housing.”

– “Consider allocation of property tax to affordable housing.”

– “The town has an obligation to enforce employee-housing regulations.”

– “Growth should relate to the capacity of our water supply.”

– “The town should mandate the number of locally owned businesses in these developments.”

– “Focus growth on the summer season.”

– “We need a first class conference center.”

– With regard to the built environment, new development should “not take away the views” as some believe Base Village is currently doing.

– Public lands “should be preserved.”

– The built environment “should have a pedestrian scale.”

– The town needs to “do better with leakage (of sales).”

– Snowmass needs to create “something akin to a Main Street.”

– There should be “convenient mobility between the three (commercial) nodes.”

The Dec. 20 meeting went about a half-hour longer than planned, in part because everyone attending seemed to want a say.

Mayor Doug Mercatoris explained the Comp Plan is being updated in part because it’s more than a decade old. Another reason, he said, is to determine whether or not it’s still “valid.”

The next public meeting and workshop will be held on Jan. 10. A subsequent meeting is planned for the following day. Then, by late January, it’s hoped that town staffers and their consultants can start moving forward on an updated Comprehensive Plan.

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