Snowmass council lists priorities for Base Village review
The Aspen Times
When the Snowmass Village Planning Commission begins its review of the current Base Village application on July 15, community-purpose facilities will be discussed later than other topics, at least if it follows recommendations approved by the Town Council on Monday.
Two proposals for fulfilling the developer’s community-purpose obligations are still on the table, and while that has been a key issue in the review of amended plans for Base Village, town staff members advocated Monday for starting with other topics such as transportation impacts, architecture and site plan, and the project’s phasing.
The elected officials agreed immediately with listing transportation at the top but questioned why staff members were recommending the community-purpose question follow five other topics. Despite an agreement made in April that Related Colorado 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 alternatively to construct that center in the heart of the project.
“My concern really is that when it comes to community purpose, we have two proposals on the table,” said Councilman Bob Sirkus. “I kind of expect that there’s going to be discussion that will end up going back to the applicant.”
Community-purpose facilities are intended to offset the impact of variances from town code, and it’s important that the variances Related is asking for are balanced by the amenity it provides, said Community Development Director Julie Ann Woods. Phasing and the overall site plan also are key to making a decision about what facility is most appropriate, she added.
“We felt … for the Planning Commission to make recommendations regarding community purpose, they’ve got to understand the whole entire project first,” Woods said.
In order to meet a tight timeline proposed by Related at the council’s previous meeting, the Town Council and Planning Commission are reviewing the application concurrently. Once the volunteer board makes a recommendation on one aspect, the elected officials will take it up at their next meeting. If the Planning Commission had to return to the community-purpose question after it had already been passed to the council because of an issue, that would disrupt the process, said Town Attorney John Dresser.
“Concurrent review is harder to manage, which is why we have this resolution,” Dresser said.
That explanation satisfied the council.
“I appreciate what you’re saying, Bob, and I think that was what we directed them to do at the meeting, but after looking at this, there’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle,” Councilman Bill Madsen said.
The council approved the recommendations 4-0. Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk was absent.
The Planning Commission starts its review at a public meeting July 15. The Town Council’s first public hearing on the application will be a retreat to Beaver Creek. Members of the public can reserve a spot on a shuttle that the town has booked by visiting http://www.tosv.com/basevillage/application.
Flying in the mountain towns like Snowmass can be dangerous: Get a little too trigger happy with the burner as heat escapes the balloon’s thin fabric, and you soar way, way too far “up, up and away.”