New details, tight schedule revealed for Snowmass Base Village
The Aspen Times
Related Colorado revealed new details of its plans for Base Village in front of a packed house Wednesday night in Snowmass Village Town Hall.
The joint meeting between the Town Council and Planning Commission marked the start of the second phase of the town’s review of Related’s application, which seeks to amend the currently approved plans for the stalled development. The company hopes to break ground on several buildings next spring, but to do that, completion of this phase of review is needed by Sept. 14 and final approval by Dec. 21, said Jim D’Agostino, Related Colorado president.
“I know it is a tremendous request to achieve these milestone dates,” D’Agostino said as he described the time needed to order materials, award bids to a contractor and subcontractors and other preparatory steps. “In asking for that date, we are saying we will make every commitment to make every meeting” internally, with town staff members and Town Council to keep the process moving, he said.
The goal is to break ground next spring on the second phase of the Viceroy Snowmass hotel/condominium complex, the Limelight Snowmass hotel and a residence club to be developed by Sunrise Co. as well as a public plaza and community-purpose facility.
Town Attorney John Dresser didn’t guarantee that those deadlines would be met, but he committed the town staff to doing its best and provided a blueprint for how the Planning Commission and Town Council could review items concurrently.
He also advised the council what items town staff members had agreed should be covered first, starting with the transportation impact analysis. That study involves everything from parking to intersections — including the site where a controversial roundabout is proposed — to public transportation and other related topics. Second on their list is the community-purpose facility that Related is required to provide.
“We see those two as the two biggest issues that need to be discussed up front, first to be resolved, so that if they need to go back and tweak … there’s time to get those done and still stay to this ambitious schedule,” Dresser said.
Community purpose was one subject covered extensively at the start of the meeting. Despite an agreement made in April that Related would provide cash for the town to build its own facility — presumably a center for Snowmass Discovery — outside of Base Village, the developer is now proposing to construct that center in the heart of the project.
Some members of the public are more supportive of the discovery center being constructed on the Point Site, a public lot next to Town Hall, but Aspen Skiing Co. is “really strongly encouraged by this whole design being put forward,” said Don Schuster, the company’s vice president of hospitality. The Limelight Snowmass, modeled after the company’s hotel in Aspen, is a Skico project.
Harry Teague, a longtime respected Aspen architect, presented his plans for the discovery center, which would include space for life-size models of ice-age animals and flow into a public plaza envisioned for activities such as ice skating, concerts and summer movie nights.
In order to make the discovery center possible, residential space designated for that building was relocated to the Sunrise Co.’s project in Buildings 7 and 8, said Craig Monzio, Related vice president of development. Additional units and height increases are now being proposed for those buildings.
Rich Carr of Cottle Carr Yaw Architects spoke on their design, which he said fits well with but doesn’t mimic that of the existing buildings in Base Village.
The Planning Commission is scheduled to start its review at a public meeting July 15.
Related’s full application can be viewed at http://www.tosv.com/DocumentCenter/Index/99.
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