Snowmass Town Council votes to annex 200-acre ‘Pope’ parcel near Wildcat | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Town Council votes to annex 200-acre ‘Pope’ parcel near Wildcat

Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney, left, and Town Councilman Tom Goode observe the vista from the Lois B. Pope Revocable Trust amid a town site visit on Aug. 20. The council on first reading Monday unanimously motioned to annex the 200-acre property, located near Wildcat, within the town of Snowmass' jurisdiction.

Snowmass Village is on track to expand its town limits with the annexation of a 200-acre, $18 million property located north of the Ziegler Pond near the Wildcat Ranch subdivision.

The owner of the parcel, under the name "Lois B. Pope Revocable Trust," is registered in Manalapan, Fla., a small town within Palm Beach County, according to the Pitkin County assessor's office. The Lois B. Pope Revocable Trust on Aug. 25, 2016 filed a petition with the town for annexation.

Town Council and staff members, as well as the applicant's attorney, Stephen Connor, on Monday visited the site at 1500 Ridge of Wildcat Drive.

Annexing the site, which the council voted for unanimously on first reading later that afternoon, is a mutually beneficial arrangement between the town and the applicant, Town Manager Clint Kinney said. As part of the two-ordinance annexation, the elected officials on first reading also voted 5-0 to extend and increase the town's limits.

Expanding the town's boundaries increases its property values, which means "the community is benefiting financially," Kinney said.

Further, "having the (Pope) property within town limits gives us greater control over growth and development," he said.

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The applicant also is paying the town of Snowmass a mitigation fee in the amount of $250,000, town attorney John Dresser said.

The applicant will adhere to the town of Snowmass' land-use review, rather than that of Pitkin County. Compared with the county, the town's development regulations are "by definition less restrictive," town spokesperson Travis Elliot said.

As part of the annexation, the Pope property also will obtain select town amenities, such as trash and police services.

While the owner currently is not proposing development on the property, its application with the town seeks a few development-related variances.

For instance, the applicant requests the town "allow a maximum combined 15,000 square feet of development in a principal residence, guest house and caretaker unit," which exceeds the town's estate residential zone district's total allowed 12,000 square feet.

The applicant also is asking for eight acres as the maximum total area of building envelope, compared with the zone district's allowed two acres, according to a memorandum from Snowmass senior planner Jim Wahlstrom.

The petition is deemed in compliance with the standards of the Municipal Annexation Act and therefore does not require a town election on the matter.

A second reading of both ordinances is scheduled is for Sept. 4. The property formally would be annexed to the town shortly after, Kinney said.

erobbie@aspentimes.com