‘Jetson House’ sparks study of Snowmass’ design review
Complaints from residents about a house being built on Owl Creek Road have spurred the Snowmass Village Town Council to take a hard look at its design review process.
The “Jetson House,” as residents began calling it when construction started last summer, certainly differs in style from most of the homes in Snowmass Village. But that’s partly due to the fact that it wasn’t review under the same rules as them: the house is in the Sinclair Meadows Subdivision, which has its own homeowners association, design review and guidelines distinct from the umbrella Snowmass Homeowners Association that governs most of the village.
“It did not go through review with Snowmass HOA because Sinclair Meadows was exempted,” said Community Development Director Julie Ann Woods at the April 20 Town Council meeting. “They have their own set of rules.”
The Community Development Department does not review design of homes, and that’s not something that its equivalent in other cities generally does, Woods said, which she had written in a memo to the council in December.
“We also gave a little background that communities don’t usually regulate design of single-family homes,” she added. “We’re kind of unique in that.”
Although she had prepared that document about design review in Snowmass Village, the council wanted to further discuss it, which was why the discussion was scheduled for April 20. At the meeting, Councilman Bob Sirkus said he’d be interested to see how the Sinclair Meadows design rules differ from the Snowmass HOA’s.
Unsold lots in the subdivision belong to Chaffin & Light, Woods told the council, but the development company wasn’t involved when the council approved the exemption.
“The council of the day … maybe didn’t feel that that neighborhood needed to be in the Snowmass HOA,” said Town Attorney John Dresser. He noted that a similar exemption was made for some town-owned properties, although the town decided to change its position on those.
“Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned there in reviewing future (developments),” he said.
Councilman Chris Jacobson suggested moving away from separate review processes within the town.
“As a homeowner I think that the HOA design guidelines are somewhat ridiculous,” he added.
But Dresser cautioned that “design is in the eye of the beholder,” and that review might be better left in the hands of homeowners associations since the personalities on Town Council are subject to change every two years.
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