Snowmass to Related: Bring us a plan
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” In a standoff Monday night, the Snowmass Village Town Council made it clear that Base Village developer Related WestPac must present a plan for a recently canceled town amenity ” an arrival and transportation center ” before the council will approve other requests.
The council tabled a vote on a series of changes to the Viceroy Snowmass hotel that it had previously approved on first reading. The changes include the elimination of an elevator, the addition of employee housing and a change in unit mix.
Throughout the discussion, several council members assured the developer they really did want to see the Viceroy Snowmass go forward. But they also insisted on a concrete plan for the arrival and transportation center, with some saying they had received complaints from constituents about “dysfunction” in Base Village.
“You want to build [the Viceroy Snowmass] … the community wants to see you build [it],” said Councilman Arnie Mordkin. “We also need and want at least an arrival center in Building 7, and that’s a must.”
Dwayne Romero, Related WestPac’s chief operating officer, insisted the developer planned to bring forth a completed plan for the center at Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting. But the promise was not enough ” particularly when Councilwoman Markey Butler pointed out the agenda for the meeting had been published, and there was no mention of the arrival and transportation center.
“Any discussion pertaining to [the center] would have to be very general in nature,” senior planner Chris Conrad said.
The council was also not swayed by Related WestPac President Pat Smith’s promise not to pick up the building permit for the Little Nell Residences Snowmass until the issue of the center was resolved. Nor were officials swayed by Romero’s argument that the council would have plenty of other opportunities to make requests of the developer, since the Little Nell Residences Snowmass requires at least three changes that must be approved by the town.
By the end of the meeting, Smith had agreed to return to the Jan. 20 council meeting with “some kind of financial vehicle … some financial guarantee to get everyone where they want to go.”
But at least one constituent was not impressed by the council’s refusal to vote on the Viceroy.
“We’re not dealing with Base Village in 1992 or 1996,” Rick Griffin said. “And 2009 is a very scary, scary world out there … I see a community that is so tired of construction they just want it done. And we’re sitting in here arguing about closets.”
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Mountain Rescue Aspen is expanding its education efforts to try to keep people safe in the backcountry during winters and summers. It will host a workshop on Dec. 8 titled, “How to Plan a Backcountry Tour.”