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Snowmass works on comp plan

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Employee housing and transportation emerged as the main concerns Monday night as the Snowmass Town Council examined future community goals.

The council held a special meeting to discuss proposed changes to the town’s comprehensive plan. The document, which was last updated in 1998, identifies Snowmass’ goals for the future and is meant to guide development.

The update was developed with public input and will be vetted in public meetings before it is adopted.

According to the document, transportation, the built environment and housing repeatedly emerged as areas of concern ” and, thus, are the focus areas for the update.

“A lack of capacity to accommodate new vehicular traffic and challenges in providing new affordable housing will be the primary influencing factors for considering new development,” stated the report.

In discussions about how an updated plan could help with the town’s goal of housing 60 percent of its employees, council member Reed Lewis suggested the town should look into rezoning single-family areas to allow for duplexes.

The council also agreed to consider raising its current requirement that developments provide 45 percent of the housing their employees will need.

After a discussion about whether Snowmass Village should partner with other entities looking to build housing ” perhaps to build a housing complex at the intercept lot to service both Aspen and Snowmass workers ” Mayor Douglas Mercatoris summed up the general sentiment: “We want to house as many of our folks here, but should continue to be good regional partners.”

On the issue of transportation, presenter Jeff Winston of Winston Associates encouraged the council to begin measuring “person-trips” as well as peak traffic flow in its studies.

“You mitigate what you measure,” he said, explaining that if the town is concerned only with peak traffic flow, it will put its energy toward keeping cars off the road.

“But then we might realize that car traffic isn’t too bad, but traveling on a bus to Rifle at peak hours is horrible,” he explained.

The council also discussed what it should do about the fact that peak traffic flow on the town’s main roads will slow as Base Village development brings more people and cars to town.

Most were unwilling to accept the slower traffic as a matter of course.

“If you are willing to adopt [slower traffic and longer waits], it seems to me … you are not as aggressive in finding ways to deal with the problem … and I’m not willing to do that. I think we ought to try,” said council member Arnie Mordkin.

kredding@aspentimes.com


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