Snowmass Center redevelopment discussions continue, include new voices
A few new local stakeholder voices joined the Snowmass Center redevelopment project conversation last week at the most recent Town Council meeting.
During the public hearings before Town Council up to this point, Richard Shaw and Jessica Garrow of Design Workshop have served as the spokespeople for the redevelopment project applicant, Eastwood Snowmass Investors, an affiliate of Eastwood Developments. The company owns the current Snowmass Center and much of Aspen Highlands Base Village as Eastwood Highlands Investors, many of the Eastwood employees have sat in council chambers for every Snowmass Center hearing. But on Feb. 18, Jordan Sarick, principal of the Eastwood Developments, presented to Town Council for the first time.
“We feel this proposal is appropriate for Snowmass because it contains the minimum to support the program but not the maximum we thought could get approved,” Sarick said, emphasizing Eastwood’s local ties.
“We want to keep local tenants here and providing services for locals.”
After Sarick spoke, council members thanked him for sharing his perspective and continued their discussions on parking, height and density at the proposed Snowmass Center.
Council has expressed general consensus on allowing the requested slope variance, but remained concerned with the height of buildings 5A, 5B and 6B, which they feel create a wall effect, along with the overall residential unit count and shared parking plan.
“We could go on and on, but with 5A and 5B it just doesn’t work. As you come down that street you can’t see downvalley at all,” said Mayor Markey Butler on Feb. 18.
At the Feb. 18 meeting, council said they would like to see these taller buildings reoriented so that they back up to the ridge behind the Snowmass Center instead of sit between the proposed main center building and the Woodbridge Condominiums.
Shaw and Brian McNellis, the town senior planner overseeing the center project, further explained the proposed shared parking plan for the center, which would rely on the multi-use aspect of the center to succeed, and include 15.3% less commercial and residential parking than required by town code.
But council members said they feel there needs to be more commercial parking to reflect future town growth, and wanted the applicant to find out how many employees currently work at the center as a baseline comparison.
After providing feedback on the height and parking variances, council members opened the hearing up for public comment and heard from a handful of locals, including representatives from Clark’s Market and Ajax Supply hardware store.
These center representatives mainly expressed their excitement and anticipation for the proposed redevelopment, as they feel it would improve their operations, and feel that they have outgrown the current center.
Town Council will continue its Snowmass Center discussions March 16 at its regular meeting.