News in Brief |

News in Brief

Aspen, CO Colorado

Snowmass to extend moratorium?SNOWMASS VILLAGE The Snowmass Town Council might extend its current building moratorium in West Village and Faraway Ranch North for five more months until Dec. 31. The Town Council will entertain a first reading of the extension at its meeting Monday.In October 2007, the council approved the original emergency moratorium, to give staff time to complete a review of the comprehensive plan for the area. The moratorium, which already has been extended once, is now set to expire on July 31. Town staff do not expect the comprehensive plan review or a planned code review to be finished by then. The original moratorium, introduced suddenly at an October meeting, came as a surprise to developers. However, council and staff had been discussing it for several months. Pat Smith, president of Related WestPac, a major Snowmass Village developer, drove up to the meeting from his Aspen office after receiving a phone call about the discussion. He expressed his displeasure at not being apprised of the moratorium’s possibility. At the time, town officials explained that they were undertaking a targeted review of the West Village portion of the Snowmass Village Comprehensive Plan Review. They worried that developers might not like the outcome of the review. Such developers could then hurriedly submit land-use applications that would be subject to the old rules, rather than the new rules. In February, as the council considered an extension of the moratorium, Smith again expressed concern. He worried that a building moratorium would send the wrong message to Related WestPac investors. The council passed a moratorium that extended only until July 31, rather than the October extension that it had originally proposed. The West Village area is the site of the Snowmass Mall and Snowmass Conference Center; the Faraway Ranch North area is home to the Snowmass Center. (Katie Redding/The Aspen Times)Aspen police see rise in callsASPEN The Aspen Police Department had 213 calls for service this past weekend up 52 from the weekend before, which was up 52 calls from the weekend before that. Sgt. Dan Davis attributed the rise in calls to the rise in population as the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen approached. None of the crimes last weekend were violent in nature, though officers did respond to a minor scuffle on the mall in front of Club Chelsea on Saturday night. The scufflers dispersed when they saw the police, and no one was hurt.The Aspen Police Department also responded to a couple of criminal mischief calls, a number of noise complaints and many minor traffic violations, Davis said. Three arrests were made for driving under the influence. Despite all the revelry at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, no charges were filed for drunkenness in public. None could have been filed, in fact. Laws in the city of Aspen dont forbid public intoxication. Police officers typically hold intoxicated persons until they are sober, Davis said. However, they do not file charges unless the intoxicated person also violates a law, such as the one prohibiting disorderly conduct. (Katie Redding/The Aspen Times)Glenwood Downtown Market thrivingGLENWOOD SPRINGS To Nancy Page, the point of the Glenwood Springs Downtown Market isnt just fresh fruit and vegetables. Its connection.That might sound like a lofty goal for a small market in a small town. But perhaps thats exactly what has kept it going. Now in its fourth season, the market returns Tuesday and brings with it a crazy quilt of produce, craft and food booths, as well as cooking demos and live bands. To me, its a little party every week, said Page, the manager. Its so great to see the same people every week.The spark of the idea behind this began years ago, when Page was out in California visiting family. There, in the little town of Grass Valley, she stumbled upon an exciting scene. Its farmers market was a happening place, where all walks of people came together to shoot the breeze not just shop. It was obviously fun, she said. People were going there, and yes, they were buying their fruits and veggies, but they were having fun.For her, it was an eye-opener.I wanted that for Glenwood, she remembered.So, upon returning here, she set decided to create it. On her own, it was slow going, but after joining seven other locals, she was able to eventually help put on a small market. What she described a grassroots effort slowly grew to include many sponsors, new vendors and such. While, over the last few years, it has grown into quite an event, she feels it hasnt lost the unique, homespun heart she was going for.A lot of vendors say our market is different, she said.This season, like those of the past, market-goers can munch on Bavarian food from Andys Ice Carving, get a back massage from a local therapist and take home a few bottles of wine. Brand new features include a vendor selling Alaskan fish and organic beef, a garden center offering plants, and a local jeweler peddling his opal wares. Near the end of September, the market will close with a soup cook-off, sporting dishes from a dozen nearby restaurants.Though Page cautioned there might be a slow start to this seasons produce, she was still jazzed. Theres a simple reason why she and so many others flock to this, week after week, year after year.I love the market, she said. Its a labor of love for all of us.