Snowmass snuffs out smoking | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass snuffs out smoking

Charles Agar
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Smokers are running out of habitat in Snowmass Village.

By a 4-1 vote Monday, the Snowmass Village Town Council approved an ordinance banning smoking on outdoor public land.

The ordinance, which took effect immediately, forbids smoking anywhere from the downtown mall area to lift lines, the rodeo grounds, the Fanny Hill concert venue and Jazz Aspen Snowmass concert grounds.

“Some 3,800 people will die next year due to secondhand smoke,” said Councilman John Wilkinson, adding that his family has been affected by cancer and asthma.

Wilkinson proposed the ban and said, if the new ordinance helps just one person, it’s worth it.

“Smoking is not a protected freedom,” he said.

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Smokers on public land can now be charged with a municipal code violation, and a municipal judge would determine fines in a range from $1 to $1,000.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Councilwoman Sally Sparhawk said.

“Does anyone else see the futility in this whole exercise?” asked Councilman Reed Lewis, who added that the ordinance would limit people’s rights.

Lewis was the lone dissenting vote in the final approval.

In other Snowmass Village news, Related/WestPac officials agreed in principle to a construction mitigation fee that could cost the company more than $1 million in coming years. The money would pay the salary of a town construction coordinator.

But Related WestPac President Pat Smith asked that other developers share the burden.

“We’re in complete support of the program,” Smith said, but added that the fees fall almost entirely on the shoulders of Related WestPac, which is developing the resort’s new Base Village, among other projects.

“We’d like to make it fair,” Smith said.

The proposed fee structure would collect $1 for every square foot of new construction, rebuild, replacement or addition of more than 5,500 square feet.

Smaller renovations costing at least $3,000,000 would be assessed at $1,000 per $500,000 of home value.

Smith said smaller, high-dollar remodels and renovations have just as much of an impact and should pay their share.

Council members tabled the matter until Dec. 3 for further discussion.

Charles Agar’s e-mail address is cagar@aspentimes.com.

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