Snowmass Town Council talks Base Village, celebrates staff retirement
On Tuesday, Snowmass Town Council continued its discussion on the proposed Base Village minor PUD amendment and celebrated Community Development Director Julie Ann Woods’ retirement. Here’s the recap:
COUNCIL CONTINUES BASE VILLAGE DISCUSSIONS
In a nearly three-hour discussion Tuesday, Town Council continued to dig into the proposed minor planned unit development (PUD) amendment for the final phase of Base Village, focusing on concerns with the reconfiguration of two buildings planned along Wood Road, suggested parking requirement changes and the vested rights extension to November 2029.
As previously reported, the third and final phase of Base Village development was originally approved in 2015, and includes five new buildings (10A, 10B, 11, 12 and 13B) and the Base Village pool.
Five years later, Snowmass Ventures, LLC, a joint venture that includes East West Partners, Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL Capital Partners, is proposing minor changes to the approved development, allowing for more flexibility and including five major asks identified by town staff: increasing the potential maximum unit equivalents to allow for a variety of unit sizes and types within a building’s existing overall square footage; a lot line adjustment to reflect moving the Base Village pool as part of Building 11 versus 10A and shifting the orientation of both of those buildings; allowing for Building 13B to potentially be a commercial hotel versus more permanent residential housing; parking program modifications; and requesting more time for project completion, extending the vested rights until November 2029, as previously reported.
Council began reviewing the minor amendment Aug. 3, and has mainly focused on its discussions on these major asks, but also has looked extensively at The Enclave Association of Enclave Condominiums’ concern with the proposed shift of Buildings 10A and 11.
Gunion and McCready said this shift is to bring the proposed Base Village pool from its original location along Wood Road to the inside area of the proposed development adjacent to Building 11, creating a more open, accessible inside walkway and pool area.
The association feels this shift would have a “substantial adverse impact” on the north facing views from the Enclave units and property, and create an increased “wall effect” along Wood Road.
On Tuesday, Andy Gunion and Ellen McCready of East West Partners, representing Snowmass Ventures, shared more specific parameters for all five buildings requested by Town Council, including maximum heights and setback distances.
Gunion and McCready also showed 3D visuals of each of the five buildings as they appear from Wood Road and from the Enclave property before the requested amendment changes and after, including a virtual “drive through” of sorts up the road that showed what the massing and scale of the buildings would look like at the request of Michael Hoffman, a local attorney representing the Enclave.
Based on these 3D renderings, some council members expressed overall acceptance of the building pivots, noting that the buildings have been approved to be built regardless and that the slight pivots would not have a “substantially adverse impact” to views along Wood Road or views from the Enclave; and other members grappled with the fact that yes, at some spots along Wood Road the pivots created an increased sense of massing, scale and a sort of wall effect.
“The trade-off seems to be whether the walkway is desired with the buildings pulled closer to the core or more desirable to have a more open village setting,” Mayor Markey Butler said.
After some back and forth, council ultimately decided to come back to the question of what position of Buildings 10A and 11 would be “most desirable,” or beneficial to the entire Snowmass Village community at a later meeting.
Beyond looking at the proposed pivots of Buildings 10A and 11, council also addressed parking program modifications, which include: getting rid of the 33-space “excess” parking requirement included in the current PUD for future development phases. This is supported by a parking demand study that shows the existing Base Village parking garage can support current and future phases of Base Village; allow for the potential, with town staff approval, to charge for summer parking in the garage; standardize future residential parking ratios; and allow for limited parking requirement reductions down to a .6 space per residential unit ratio minimum as a result of both a residential car share program and dedicated stall program Base Village owners can utilize to store their vehicles.
Town staff and Planning Commission do not agree with elimination of the 33 excess spaces specifically, could support it in the future if a re-evaluation after the next phase of development is completed (Building 11) shows the spaces are not needed, according to town documents.
Council expressed general consensus around the car share programs, and heard Base Village resident Pat Keefer’s concerns with the dedicated stall program for owners, which she feels could restrict owners’ overall right to accessible parking.
Council gave staff direction to draft a resolution for approval based on its discussions and Planning Commission’s recommendations, which will be brought back for review at the Sept. 21 regular meeting.
CELEBRATING JULIE ANN WOODS
At the start of the Tuesday council meeting, Butler recognized that it would be the last meeting Julie Ann Woods, town development director, would take part in before her retirement.
In a mayoral proclamation, Butler acknowledged Woods’ six-year career in Snowmass and entire career in community development in Colorado and other parts of the country.
“During her tenure Julie Ann successfully guided improvements to the planning process and a much needed and critical update to the comprehensive plan … and helped redesign, reinvigorate and restart the Base Village project,” Butler said.
“Julie Ann’s 40-plus year career has contributed greatly to the profession, during which she has made exceptionally positive impacts well beyond Snowmass Village. … Julie Ann shall forever and always be held in highest appreciation by the citizens of Snowmass Village for her dedicated service to our community.”
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