Snowmass projects move forward
Aspen Times Staff Writer
Two of the biggest projects in the history of Snowmass Village are now both in the final review stages of the town’s approval process.
The Snowmass Center and the Base Village projects are scheduled for review in April and May by either the town’s Planning Commission or Town Council.
And both appear to be heading toward an approval by year’s end.
“I think there is a reasonable consensus in the community that, in concept, both of these projects are good things for the resort,” said T. Michael Manchester, the mayor of Snowmass Village. “The issues are in the details.”
The Snowmass Center project, which includes 50 luxury condos, cleared the Planning Commission on March 19 with a recommendation for approval. Most of the board’s concerns and comments with the project had to do with public parking and employee housing.
The Center project is now scheduled to be discussed by the Town Council on April 7 and April 21.
On May 5, a formal public hearing will be held on the Snowmass Center project, which also includes redevelopment and expansion of the town’s most locally serving commercial spaces.
Meanwhile, the Base Village project as proposed by Intrawest and the Aspen Skiing Co., has been formally presented to the Planning Commission.
That project includes 635 condominium units and 184,000 square feet of nonresidential space, including a new children’s center and conference space. The project also includes 94,000 square feet of new restaurant and retail space.
The Planning Commission is scheduled to begin reviewing the Base Village proposal on April 2. It will also hold meetings on April 9 and April 23.
On May 7, the Planning Commission will hold a formal public hearing on the Base Village project.
Both the Snowmass Center and the Base Village project are now in the stage of the review process that the town calls its “preliminary” review stage, which follows “sketch plan” review.
However, the “preliminary” review level in Snowmass Village is akin to “final” review in most other jurisdictions.
In Snowmass, “final” review follows preliminary review. In other jurisdictions, “final plat,” a detailed, legalistic review of an already approved plan, follows final review.
Also, the Base Village project is being called “Snowmass Village” by the developers, which may lead to some confusion on future meeting agendas.
While the Planning Commission is delving into the details of Base Village over the next month, the Town Council will be discussing some bigger picture issues surrounding the project.
On April 7, the Council plans to discuss issues related to its “commercial core,” which it views as the Snowmass mall area, the potential Base Village, and the Snowmass Center.
On April 21, the Council will discuss several proposed land trades associated with the Base Village project.
The Planning Commission is expected to wrap up its review of Base Village by mid-June and then forward its recommendation and comments to the Council.
In turn, the Council hopes to complete its review of the project by the end of summer.
“It’s not out of the question,” said Manchester. “But it will require a lot of meetings. And I think the council would like to do whatever they can to keep things moving forward.”
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