Intrawest says limitations in plan too strict
Intrawest representatives Monday night decried the notion that Base Village does not fit the goals and aspirations Snowmass Village has outlined in its comprehensive plan.
“There has been a lot of talk how our proposal does not meet the [comprehensive] plan,” the company’s Kevin Kelly told the Town Council.
He cited several examples of how he thinks Base Village does, in fact, meet what the community has asked for, perhaps most importantly the desire to offer “mixed use commercial, office, restaurants and varied residential unit types designed for high occupancy turnover,” as stated in the comprehensive plan.
Where Kelly and Intrawest break from the town is in a buildout chart included in the plan. The chart permits a maximum of 200 residential units and 32,000 square feet of commercial space.
“The comp plan goals for Base Village and the town core cannot be achieved under these limitations,” Kelly said.
As proposed, Base Village would currently add 641,371 square feet of residential space to Snowmass Village, including 349 condos, 264 hotel units and 10 townhomes, and 63,927 square feet of commercial space.
Snowmass Village Mayor T. Michael Manchester agreed with Kelly and dismissed the buildout chart, calling it “flat-out wrong.”
He also apologized, since he helped write it in the late 1990s.
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“Because we wrote it [years ago], we had a level of understanding far below what we have today,” Manchester said. “The buildout chart is a recipe for failure.”
Kelly, along with Intrawest’s vice president of development, Michael O’Connor, also discussed the benefits the community will receive from Intrawest in exchange for exceeding certain height and size limitations in the town’s building code.
Some of those purposes include a gondola, Brush Creek restoration, funding for underground utilities, water quality improvements, open space, community parking and trail extensions.
Still, many in the community feel the project is simply too big and, community benefits or not, that it needs to be smaller.
“I hate to see these [benefits] used to justify larger projects,” Larry Dempsey, a Snowmass Village resident and president of the Crestwood Condominium Association, told the council.
Manchester said the benefits should not even be an issue, and they are not intended to be a distraction to the project’s size.
“The pure elements of this application are really good for the community,” he said. “That notion overrides everything else I feel has to do with community purposes.
“We have got to do something to establish ourselves.”
If we don’t, he added, Snowmass Village will “become extinct.”
Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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