Snowmass voters need to speak out
The application for development for the base area in Snowmass Village requires that the town throw away its land use and development code.
The present submission calls for exceeding guidelines by 195 percent in density and 263 percent in height. There is no way that could be considered a variation or slight change. Villagers should make no mistake, this is going to be a very different place to live.
Perhaps the majority of citizens in Snowmass feel that it’s time to totally scrap the guidelines and limitations that have shaped the look, feel and livability of the village since its beginning. The former mayors and the Citizens for Responsible Growth’s very reasonable proposal is that this is such an important threshold question, that it should be put to the voters and not left to only five representatives.
The Town Economic Resources director’s (an interesting new town position created and paid for with your tax dollars during a period of fiscal restraint, for what purpose?) assertion that should the CRG initiative pass “anything … would have to go to a public vote” is pure bluster and an insult to anyone who has read the proposal.
It calls for public scrutiny of a land-use submission only if it exceeds the code and comprehensive plan by 160 percent in height and 115 percent in density, a very modest restriction necessitated by the perception of many that the philosophy of this council is, to paraphrase Oakland Raiders President Al Davis, “just build it, baby.”
Mayor Manchester’s repeated statement that the initiative is “premature” and the council should be left to do their job is the worst advice the village could get. Many of the changes to the land-use code in the last 12 years were to give the developer an earlier indication that there was a flaw in their submission. Encouraging them to spend thousands more in the planning procedure, and then have it denied further down the road, is only inviting a lawsuit that the town may not be able to win.
The voters need to be heard on this most important change of direction in the village; the developers need to hear it. Support the citizens initiative.
former Snowmass Village town councilman
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