Snowmass Chapel compromise wins praise | AspenTimes.com
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Snowmass Chapel compromise wins praise

Chad Abraham

Applauding the compromise in the Snowmass Chapel dispute, the Town Council directed its staff Monday night to draft a resolution on the controversial redevelopment plans.The council will vote on the preliminary application April 17 after five years of acrimony over the proposed building’s size.The chapel’s height – originally proposed as reaching six stories – will now be 46 feet, with a steeple rising above that. Neighbors of the chapel and other opponents hashed out the compromise with chapel members and supporters at a community meeting last month.”The meeting was clearly the right thing to do,” Larry Yaw, the project’s architect, told council members.Greg Long, a leader of the opposition, said they could live with the building as proposed and said it was a pretty good plan.”We’re in agreement we’re in agreement,” he said.Mike Waters of Snowmass Village said he had experienced the highs and lows “of this protracted process.” But he said the land-use process worked in this case.”The compromise design I’m seeing is a good one,” he said.The council praised the sides for reaching the compromise. The chapel redevelopment descended into anger soon after it was proposed in 2000. Supporters said they were trying to build a venue that could host a variety of musical shows and needed the large building for acoustics. They also said they were planning for the growth expected with Base Village. Opponents decried the building’s height and mass, saying it was out of character with Snowmass Village and would dominate the landscape.”I know it’s been a long process, but sometimes long processes end up with better projects,” said Mayor Doug Mercatoris.Councilman Bill Boineau said his first thought when he learned the scale of the building was a question: “Do we house zeppelins in this community?”But “I don’t feel that way anymore,” he said.Council members said they still had questions about the steeple and the plan for skylights.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com


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