Letter: Planning Commission stands by Base Village recommendation | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Planning Commission stands by Base Village recommendation

Commission position misportrayed

At the Snowmass Town Council meeting Aug.18, a council person stated that the Planning Commission had not done its job preparing a resolution to the council on the minor PUD application filed by the Related subsidiary, Snowmass Acquisition Co. As chairman of that commission, I suspect the council person involved may have read the resolution but not clearly understood the complexity and interactions of the various parts.

For example, the Town Council spent significant time discussing the reduction of the proposed four-year, plus-one-year, vesting extension to an extension only until May 31, 2015, because the town hasn’t yet seen Snowmass Acquisition Co.’s plans for the remainder of Base Village. However, the resolution requires Snowmass Acquisition Co. to file another PUD amendment with their plans by Oct. 15 and for the council to approve the amendment by May 31 (not May 1, as was reported) or the vesting for the project will terminate.

So what is the difference? Both proposals will expire if either milestone isn’t met. However, providing a longer vesting period allows the developer to have confidence to spend the money necessary to prepare for the various reviews, engineering and construction drawings at no loss to the town.

The Planning Commission spent over six hours discussing and debating the PUD application with Snowmass Acquisition Co. There have been numerous modifications to the application including the timing for various buildings and public improvements included in the application. The recommendations in our resolution were clear and concise. We covered security for public improvements and raised the issue of security for private improvements for council to discuss with Snowmass Acquisition Co. In fact, that discussion took place and a proposal was made to create a liquidated-damages clause in the development agreement.

We specifically identified issues such as the clinic and the Aqua Center/Community Purpose Facility, which have been raised in previous meetings and amendments. We expressed a desire for vesting extension to be considered in a timely manner. We recommended shortening the “cure period” for missing a milestone as well as stating certain language proposed by Snowmass Acquisition Co. was unacceptable.

To say that our resolution lacks detail is just plain wrong.

So what are the town’s options? How do we move ahead to remove the eyesore of concrete and rebar that is now a large part of Base Village? The Planning Commission unanimously agreed the way forward is to modify Snowmass Acquisition Co.’s proposal to modify the length of the vesting extension to conform to construction timelines, put security in place within 30 days after the Town Council has approved a resolution, modify some of the milestones, recommend certain language be appropriately defined and include security options for the private buildings.

Is this perfect? No, but we don’t live in a perfect world. The Planning Commission believes their resolution reasonably protects the town while getting Base Village construction started again.

Bob Sirkus

Chair, Town of Snowmass Village Planning Commission