Related won’t submit Base Village plans by year’s end
The Aspen Times
Related Colorado won’t be submitting plans for the completion of the Base Village project by the end of the year as promised, according to a letter it submitted to the Snowmass Village Town Council and staff Tuesday.
Representatives of Related said in August that they would present an application for a major amendment to the Base Village planned-unit development, which would have included an extension of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center campus, by Dec. 31. Part of Related’s decision to delay the application’s submittal was because Anderson Ranch Arts Center backed out.
However, Related has submitted a minor application requesting a five-year extension of vesting rights set to expire in 2014 in exchange for completing the roundabout at Wood and Brush Creek roads by 2015. Also, Aspen Skiing Co. is presenting to the council on Monday a preliminary plan for turning Building 5 in Base Village into a Limelight Hotel, similar to the one it owns in Aspen.
Related Colorado developed a relationship with Anderson Ranch over the past 10 months that started with the launch of a children’s art center in Base Village last winter that is “poised to really take off this winter,” the letter said. Discussions with Anderson Ranch led to meetings about expanding its presence in Base Village, and the arts center signed a letter of intent to purchase a small part of the property in the Building 6 and 7 area.
“One aspect of that plan envisioned a multi use performance arts building to be constructed in one of the Anderson Ranch buildings,” the letter said. “After an extensive review of those plans this fall, Anderson Ranch has made a decision to more closely focus on creating any new expansion of programming or buildings on their current Snowmass Village campus.”
While that decision was “obviously disappointing,” Dwayne Romero, president of Related Colorado, said the company “respect(s) their decision.” And it’s not canning the idea of a multi-use performance-arts venue for Base Village. Many people in the community agree that would be a beneficial facility to have in the Base Village core, he said.
Related plans to engage the community in the planning process with several public meetings and events in the next two months. By having multiple small meetings, hopefully Related will be able to have more in-depth conversations with the public and start to establish trends toward a consensus, Romero said. Some professional designers will be present to help facilitate the meetings.
“The goal (is to) come away with some ideas but (perhaps) gain some consensus,” Romero said.
Mayor Bill Boineau said he was disappointed that a major planned-unit-development application wouldn’t be submitted in 2013.
“I was really hoping that we would see before the end of the year some info about that,” he said.
Boineau said he told Related when he was elected to his third term as mayor that he would have “two years to hopefully lead us through the next phase of development.”
“All the council is anxious to see what the next phase is,” Boineau said.
Applications on the table
On Monday, the Town Council and Planning Commission will consider Skico’s preliminary plan for Lot 2 in Base Village. The elected officials will identify areas of concern that they want the Planning Commission to focus on during the review process.
The council doesn’t need to know everything, but it would be helpful to know how Related wants to phase construction as the officials consider Skico’s application for Lot 2. However, keeping the Limelight on track to begin construction in the spring is important to the officials, Boineau said.
“Showing some construction happening helps us all,” he said.
The Planning Commission will consider the minor planned-unit-development amendment submitted by Related at its meeting Wednesday, Romero said. In the initial Base Village approvals, the owner of the property was supposed to have a certain phase of development completed by November 2014 in order to continue to hold its vesting rights through 2024.
Because of the stall in progress, Related won’t complete that phase by the deadline and is requesting through this application to extend the vesting rights in two steps within five years. The application asks that the next milestone be November 2016, contingent upon the completion of the roundabout by October 2015, and that the second step be the completion of Buildings 6, 7 and 8 by November 2019.
Related is not asking to extend the overall deadline of 2024.
Many respondents to the community survey conducted by the town this fall listed finishing Base Village as a priority.
“We understand that,” Romero said.
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The Aspen Music Festival’s Harris Hall recitals and “Met: Live in HD” broadcasts will run in February and March, with tickets on sale Thursday, Jan. 27.