Snowmass wants Base Village recap |

Snowmass wants Base Village recap

Daniel Boccia
Snowmass Village correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Representatives of Related WestPac will meet with both the Snowmass Village Planning Commission and the Town Council next week to look at the big picture ” the evolving plan for a new Base Village at the resort.

Several elected officials requested the joint June 2 session, at which WestPac will present its sketch plan for the multi-year, ongoing development project.

The goal is to allow Related WestPac to present the sum of the proposed amendments to the original Base Village plan, which to this point have been submitted individually.

Town officials hope seeing a summary of the proposals will help them analyze the big picture, so they can make decisions within the context of the entire development.

“What we are trying to figure out is what all the amendments are. We’ve been piecemealing them, and it feels to most of us that these amendments, when complete, are going to be very different than what the community voted on. It makes it difficult to look at,” said Planning Commission member Bill Boineau. The changes aren’t necessarily undesirable, he added.

“Some things happen naturally as times change, and we recognize that over a couple years, in a different light, things can look very different,” Boineau said.

Specifically, Related WestPac is proposing the following changes to the original plan:

– Fractional ownership in two buildings, as well as a reduction in small units and an increase in larger ones, with lockoffs.

– A plaza in the middle of Base Village with a disappearing fountain to accommodate larger events and gatherings.

– An underground connection between two buildings and layout changes to another structure.

– An additional employee housing unit in yet another building.

“We feel these are enhancements that will increase occupancy and be a big plus for Base Village. We are also increasing the diversity of our product offering,” said Scott Stenman, Related WestPac vice president. Stenman expects that the majority of the discussion will focus on the proposed changes to buildings 5 and 12, where fractional ownership and larger units are contemplated.

Related WestPac maintains that larger units will cater to Snowmass’ target clientele, namely families. According to Stenman, by offering larger lodging units at a lower price point, developers will decrease the number of extremely expensive properties that remain dark for most of the year.

The sketch plan approval process could take several months to complete, after which there will be no more amendments to the Base Village Planned Unit Development, at least for a while.

“As far as I know, knock wood, these are all the changes to the PUD,” said Stenman. “Base Village still has several years left before its completion and there could certainly be unforeseen changes,” he added.

And, while the Town Council Planning Commission are trying to get everything on the table at once, they are not ruling out the possibility of future amendments, either.

“Those we’d consider at that point. Times do change. Some people would like us to say, ‘This is the plan you bought and you have to stick with it,’ but if it’s a bad plan, then you have to take the time to re-examine and make the right decision,” Boineau said.

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