Town council, planning commission review next phase of Snowmass Center redevelopment
The latest plans for a major redevelopment and expansion of the Snowmass Center show 76 total housing units — 10 deed-restricted and 66 free-market — and a commercial footprint that is slightly scaled back from what was originally proposed.
With the developers’ goal of transforming the nearly 50-year-old commercial node into a communal hub, still at the heart of the plan is a two-sided Main Street that runs through the center.
“We’ve heard very clearly that (protecting the) view is important,” Richard Shaw of Design Workshop said Feb. 19 at a joint meeting between Snowmass Town Council and the planning commission.
Consequently, he said Main Street is carefully aligned “in such a way that it looks down at the major attributes of our community,” including the ski area and Mount Daly.
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Shaw presented the preliminary application on behalf of the Snowmass Center owners, Eastwood Snowmass Investors, before four members of Town Council (Alyssa Shenk was absent) and six officials on the planning commission.
After five continued public hearings last year, Town Council in April advanced the project application from sketch plan to the preliminary stage of the land-use review. Councilwoman Shenk recused herself from the review process because her husband is on the development team.
Eastwood Snowmass Investors purchased the Snowmass Center and a few neighboring parcel, altogether formally called the Faraway Ranch North subdivision, from Related Cos. for $16 million in April 2016.
While the sketch plan called for 71,000 square feet of commercial and office space, to date the preliminary application proposed 58,433 square feet.
Compared with the current Snowmass Center, Shaw said, “this is still an increase in the tenant space” by about 40 percent.
The idea is to “eliminate an awful lot of the inefficient and ineffective circulation” that currently exists within the center, he said.
On the residential front, the preliminary plan calls for 10 units or 11,346 square feet of deed-restricted housing and 100,322 square feet or 66 free-market units.
Shaw said the employee housing would consist of mostly two-bedroom units, while the free-market residences would range from about 850-square-foot one bedrooms to 2,300-square-foot four-bedroom homes.
A number of units also would average from about 1,800 to 2,000 square feet, he said.
Other key components of the plan include preserving open space, improved connectivity, subterranean parking and the addition of a transit center.
A linear greenway, for instance, “provides the ability to connect all of the buildings of the Snowmass Center and the neighborhood that would be constructed around the center into a walkway system,” Shaw said.
In addition to 138 subgrade parking spaces, the preliminary plan proposes 55 spots adjacent to the Snowmass Center.
“I think what we would describe this project being is really 100 percent Snowmass,” he said. “It is a project and a plan that goes to the very heart of the community … the place where almost every local person in town will visit once a day.”
While the plan intends to cause “the least (amount of) disruption to businesses” during the redevelopment, Shaw also said, “I don’t want to leave the impression that Clark’s (Market) wouldn’t necessarily have some time in which it would be inactive.”
Members of Town Council and the planning commission commended the developers and architects for their time spent on the more than 800-page application. “It looks like Base Village,” Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler quipped of the thick packet.
Butler also said to Shaw, “It’s very clear that the staff and you have done a phenomenal job putting this plan together.”
Planning commission member Tom Fridstein called the application a “very impressive piece of work.” He also pointed out that “a lot of the drawings are mislabeled,” and asked the team to correct any errors and reissue the application within a week.
Town staff and council directed the planning commission to focus on 13 specific project elements: zone district standards, land-use policies, building design, scale and mass, view impacts, parking, civil engineering plans, construction and phasing, storage, pedestrian access, traffic flow and public transit, landscaping and architecture.
The planning commission will begin reviewing the application, which can be viewed in full at http://www.tosv.com, on March 6.
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: Imagine walking through downtown Aspen on streets that have been closed to traffic to make way for shopping and dining. City officials are considering such a plan based off of feedback from the public. Comments are being taken until noon on Monday, May 25.