Snowmass gas station might stay put |

Snowmass gas station might stay put

Joel Stonington

Aspen, CO ColoradoSNOWMASS VILLAGE It appears Snowmass Village’s only gas station isn’t going anywhere.The Snowmass Town Council unanimously agreed Monday to a conceptual option that would keep the Conoco where it is – in the Snowmass Center. Though the council had voted previously to relocate the gas station to town land at the entryway, a recent appraisal of that land at $3.3 million changed everything.The council has long held that the service station is an important town amenity, but when it came down to paying to either upgrade or relocate the station, the council did not want to subsidize gas in Snowmass. So the issue fell into the lap of Snowmass Center developer Pat Smith. Smith took the service station on under the assumption that there would be some kind of give-and-take. Numerous options were discussed, including a trade for development rights in exchange for building the service station.The idea council approved Monday keeps the Snowmass Conoco where it is with the assumption that Smith’s group, Brush Creek Capital Holdings, can put another floor on the largest building its has proposed for the Snowmass Center.Smith said his group is still looking at whether the agreement is feasible; he believes one floor of free-market residential would cover the cost of keeping the gas station where it is.The building, known as K & L, was on the docket for discussion Monday because many council members thought it was too big. The discussion was postponed, however, to allow Smith’s group time to redesign the building with the additional floor.”I wasn’t comfortable with its mass and scale,” said Councilman Arnie Mordkin. “You can make a big building look small and a small building look ugly if you want.”Keeping the gas station where it is also throws a wrench in the works of the underground parking garage planned for the spot.”This whole concept came up last week,” Smith said. “We couldn’t get it together quickly enough.”Several council members said they were happier with the current concept than with moving the station to the entryway. “I’m glad to have it in the core; that was my hope originally,” said Councilwoman Sally Sparhawk. “Now we need to wait and see what comes back to us in upcoming weeks.” Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is