Time to listen in Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Time to listen in Snowmass

Dear Editor:I am writing in response to the story written by Chad Abraham about the Snowmass Chapel’s application for height and floor area variance now before the town council. His findings differ from the facts.The building is not 55 feet tall. At the northern end, the end most people will see because it is next to Brush Creek Road, it is 66 feet high and over 100 feet wide. At the southern end, over 140 feet away [from the northern end], it is 53 feet high. The steeple is over 78 feet tall. A 40-foot maximum is allowed by code. The chapel is also asking for a variance to allow more floor area. The code allows a maximum of 20,000 square feet here. They are asking for 33,376 square feet. To get an idea of how big this is, Wal-Mart in Glenwood Springs is about 90,000 square feet.This application does not meet the requirements of the municipal code. The gap between what they want and what the code will allow is so huge it should be beyond discussion. It’s as if they feel the code shouldn’t apply to them. The land-use code is designed to protect us from developments like this.They feel that because we approved Base Village, we should approve this. Base Village is a mile away in what is referred to now as the commercial core. The chapel site is two lots in the center of the residential area of the village. This is an area where the biggest building allowed by code is 28 feet tall. A building ranging from 53 to 66 feet in height in this area will not only destroy all views in the Brush Creek corridor but will also destroy the character of that area. Not one person living in this area refused to sign the petition opposing this application.The people opposing this application have been steadfast in their opposition. For over four years we have been saying it is too big for the area.The chapel wants us to believe that this building is a tremendous gift to the town. They also state that if we don’t accept this “gift” by denying the application they will sue the town of Snowmass Village citing the Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act. Look this up on the Internet. You will be appalled at what they can do through this act. The chapel is willing to disrupt and perhaps destroy this town financially using this act. They don’t care. They want their monument.The members of our town council were not appointed to their positions because they had good feelings about how things should be. They were elected by a majority of citizens to govern on behalf of all the citizens of Snowmass Village. The only way to do that is to follow the rules, the code, and make decisions based on that and not on personal sentiment. Please deny this height variance application.After Base Village you promised to start listening to the public. Remember?Greg LongSnowmass Village

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