Ice rink, fountain for Snowmass Base Village? | AspenTimes.com

Ice rink, fountain for Snowmass Base Village?

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

An ice rink and a water feature might be built in the core of Base Village after negotiations Monday night between the Town Council and Related Colorado over a new proposal from the developer.

Related is now offering to build the features as well as pay the town $4.5 million as part of its application to amend Base Village plans. The new offer will be worked into a resolution that the council will vote on in a special meeting Monday, and if approved, Related's application, submitted last fall, will move forward to the second phase of review.

After three weeks of meetings with town staff members, Related crafted a new proposal for meeting its obligation to provide some sort of community benefit with the project, for which an aquatic center is currently approved. That proposal, presented at Monday's council meeting, included $4.5 million to build an amenity offsite as well as an open, public courtyard in the heart of Base Village.

Disagreement over the nature of the community purpose has been one of the primary holdups in the review of Base Village thus far, but the council was still not satisfied with either the cash amount or the public improvements being offered Monday.

“You have to give people something to do. You as the developer should really be interested in making that happen.”Alyssa ShenkSnowmass Village Town Council

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The cash amount was derived from the $3.5 million estimated cost of building the aquatic center and the $1 million value of the land that would have been utilized by it. Most of the council members seemed to feel the dollar amount was far too low, especially in terms of the land valuation, which Mayor Markey Butler called "a joke."

And none of the officials supported the idea of a "hardscape-landscape" plaza as a gathering place that would create vitality, particularly when one plaza already exists at the base of the ski area.

Vitality isn't created just because more people come and stay in the village, said Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk, who suggested an ice rink that serves a different purpose in the summer would be a better alternative that would create a "vibe" in Base Village.

"You have to give people something to do," Shenk said. "You as the developer should really be interested in making that happen."

After a short break, Related executives returned with a new offer: $3.5 million in cash, plus $2 million worth of improvements, including an ice rink and some sort of water feature that would run in the summer.

But because Lot 4, where the aquatic center is currently approved to be built, would still be developed by Related in its new offer, the council members wouldn't accept the dollar amount. The developers agreed to up the cash amount to $4.5 million and start with $1 million on the ice rink and water improvements. If the town wants Related to spend more on the improvements, it will do so in exchange for increased development on other Base Village lots.

The developer also will consider ways in which a pool for Base Village owners could be included in the new plans, likely near buildings 10A and 10B where there is sufficient space, said Andrew Dance, a vice president at Related.

The council directed Town Manager Clint Kinney to procure that offer in writing and include it in a draft resolution to be reviewed next week. That resolution also will include the council's comments on other aspects of the application and, if approved, allow Related to prepare and submit plans for the next stage of land-use review.

The council is expected to vote on that resolution at a special meeting at 4 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.

jill@snowmasssun.com

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