Traffic tops list for Snowmass council’s first stab at Base Village
The Aspen Times
After five meetings with the Snowmass Village Planning Commission, plans for the new Base Village will go before the Town Council today.
The project’s owner and developer, a subsidiary of Related Cos., is expected to scrap the application and return with something different after hitting many ruts with the Planning Commission, which completed its review of the company’s sketch-plan application Wednesday. But the council will still be presented with the board’s recommendations, and traffic issues are at the top of a report prepared by town staff members.
When town employees presented a similar report to the Planning Commission, they had Related’s obligations for a community-purpose facility and the amount of restaurant and retail space as the first issues to consider. Those are still key issues to the Planning Commission, but town staff members are recommending that traffic be the first issue discussed today, as there was more consensus that it needed to be revisited, Town Manager Clint Kinney said.
That includes traffic flow not just in the actual project but in adjacent intersections, including Brush Creek and Wood roads, where a roundabout now opposed by many in the community is planned. The owners of the Snowmass Resort Conoco, who feel the roundabout will negatively impact their business, plan to attend today’s meeting.
Engineers from SGM, which the town hired for the roundabout project, will be at the meeting to answer questions about alternative solutions for the intersection, such as traffic lights and stop signs, Kinney said.
However, the roundabout is just one key to the traffic-flow problem, which Community Development Director Julie Ann Woods has said her staff feels Related has not adequately addressed. During skier-pickup hours in the afternoon and peak visitor periods such as holiday weeks, the town has had to assign a police officer to direct traffic at the intersection of lower Carriage Way and Wood Road.
In its resolution, the Planning Commission suggests that Related should provide funding for another traffic-control officer at that site.
Second on the town’s list is an issue closely related to traffic: the adequacy of pedestrian connections to and throughout Base Village. Pedestrian walkways, particularly those connecting to the mall and Snowmass Center, should be further improved as the project moves forward, the Planning Commission said in its resolution.
The Town Council meeting starts at 4 p.m. today in Snowmass Village Town Hall.
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