Snowmass Town Council recap: Snowmass Center discussions continue, first 2020 resolutions approved
Proposed height, density and viewplanes of the Snowmass Center redevelopment project were the topic of another Snowmass Village Town Council meeting this week, and council members said they want more specifics from the developers.
The Monday discussion mirrored those held Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, mainly focusing on the height, slope, parking and residential unit variances to town zoning and development regulations being requested by the project applicant.
“We have a structure that is old, substandard and becoming obsolete and we think this is an opportunity to do a remodel and an expansion that really enables local services to be continued here,” said Jessica Garrow with Design Workshop on Monday in regard to why the developers are requesting variances.
In a short presentation, Garrow and her colleague Richard Shaw went over the requested variances again, which include exceeding the maximum allowable building height of 38 feet for the development zone, a small encroachment on areas with 30% grade slope, more than two times the free-market residential units prescribed for the center and less parking than required.
The applicant spokespersons explained that the center redevelopment was designed to fit into the existing village landscape, which consists of three-, four- and five-story buildings, and will protect views of the ridgeline and create new views of Mount Daly.
However, as Town Council discussed concerns with the proposed building heights and viewplanes at the previous two council meetings, Shaw and Garrow said the developers decided to drop the height of building 1A, which is the current Snowmass Center building, from 48 feet to 43 feet.
Shaw and Garrow also touched on the slope, residential unit and parking variances, stressing that each request is part of the larger aim to transform the Snowmass Center into a residential and commercial area that meets the diverse needs of the local community now and for years to come.
They specifically noted that the residential unit increase is part of the development’s efforts to create a “comprehensive community” of multi-family, townhouse and affordable housing options for locals, and that the below-minimum parking planned reflects the fact that there will be some parking spaces shared between residential and commercial tenants.
“We are a project that’s looking to be far more community-oriented and that leads to a set of programs here that we believe are beneficial and yes, variances are required to provide a project that’s going to be investment-worthy for redevelopment,” Shaw said to Town Council on Monday.
After listening to the presentation, council members expressed concerns with the massing and height of the buildings, and specifically asked the redevelopment team to come back with project renderings that showed what the redevelopment would look like if it was kept within the town’s 38-foot height limit, and what views Woodbridge condo tenants would have post-development.
“I think you’ve got some pretty good feedback from us and now we’d like you to respond to that feedback,” Mayor Markey Butler said.
The next Snowmass Center discussion is set to take place at the Jan. 21 Town Council meeting.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in the Jan. 8 edition of the Snowmass Sun, which hits newstands and online every Wednesday.