Power-sharing in Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Power-sharing in Snowmass

Jim Heywood
Snowmass Village

A number of Snowmass citizens feel that a yes vote on March 16 will have significant unintended consequences.

Because the initiative is clearly meant to encourage restraint and compromise in the size of major developments, the Town Council has expressed dislike for it. Evidently, they don’t wish to share their power on critical issues with the electorate.

An opponent group dominated by real estate agents goes even further: They claim that even minor developments will be impacted. Clearly, their real interest is maximizing real estate commissions.

Here is the truth: Town government and Town Council can approve (and have approved) actions at variance with ordinances by administrative action, using reasonable justification. Unless a future Town Council chooses to intentionally deny a future, moderate development application to demonstrate their dislike of this initiative, no so-called unintended consequences should occur. The intent of an ordinance is an important consideration in its application.

To demonstrate the truth of the above, here is an example: Initiative Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 required in 2002 a citizens’ vote on any town project that exceeded $3.6 million. Despite that, in February 2002, the Town Council approved the project to reconstruct upper Snowmelt Road for $5.2 million without an election.

Vote “yes” on March 16.