Withdraw the petition
The next Town Council meeting agenda will include two related tasks dealing with the initiative ordinance to change the land-use and development code of Snowmass Village.
They will be approving the wording for the ballot and trying to find a way to provide the voters with accurate information about what the ordinance really does, so they can cast an informed vote at the special election tentatively scheduled for March 16.
That Town Council meeting would be the perfect time for the leaders of CRG, Citizens For Responsible Growth, to withdraw the initiative ordinance and make a strong but positive statement of their intent to work with our elected officials, the town staff, the Base Village applicants and all of us who have a stake in the future of Snowmass Village.
The concerns that CRG raised last year led to their recommendation for a moratorium on the Base Village review process.
That led to the decision by the Town Council to sponsor the community forums that gave all of us an an opportunity to express our views. The forums were well run, well attended and very informative.
That led the Town Council to adopt and make public the guiding principles to be used as a framework during the review process.
That led to a more rigorous review by staff, the planning commission and the Town Council, and greater sensitivity to our concerns on the part of the applicants.
That led to a Base Village project that has changed dramatically. It is approximately 25 percent smaller overall and 33 percent smaller in terms of commercial space.
This has been accomplished without forfeiting the architectural integrity that will be unique to our village and the needed economic viability for both our village and the applicants.
It also has been accomplished without us losing “one dime’s worth” of the millions of dollars worth of community benefits that are planned for phase one of the project.
This to me is a very positive result, and the leaders and those who signed their petition deserve credit for keeping the pressure on during much of 2003 and and so far this year.
I know the Base Village review process that started in December 2001 is not over, and important issues such as transportation and employee housing have have yet to be reviewed by the Town Council.
However, I believe most objective observers have now concluded that our process of of town government is working, that our elected officials and town employees are serving us well and that when this Base Village project is finally approved it will be a better project because of the role CRG has played.
The next Town Council meeting is the absolute best time for CRG to withdraw the petition before campaigns for a yes vote or a no vote begin. By doing so, CRG will allow everyone to come together at this critical time and work in a cooperative fashion for the future of Snowmass Village.
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