Snowmass Town Council approves Base Village amendment, begins review of changes to Fanny Hill condo project
At its first regular meeting of October, Snowmass Town Council approved the minor planned use development (PUD) amendment for the final phase of Base Village and began its review of minor changes to the approved Fanny Hill townhomes development project. Here’s the recap:
COUNCIL OK’s BASE VILLAGE AMENDMENT
In a 4-0 vote Oct. 5, Town Council passed the ordinance on second reading that approves the minor PUD amendment changes to the final phase of Base Village development.
The approved changes to the last phase of Base Village — five new buildings (10A, 10B, 11, 12 and 13B) and the Base Village pool — include creating an overarching master development plan (which is done through the approved ordinance/PUD amendment) for the remaining development and a more streamlined, site-specific review process for each new building; shifting both Building 11 and 10A to create a more amendable and easily accessible pool area; and creating the potential for Building 13B, which is planned adjacent to Viceroy Snowmass, to be developed as a hotel versus residential condo units, as previously reported.
At the Oct. 5 meeting, council received some additional information from Economic and Planning Systems (EPS), a development and land-use consultant, on the projected financial impact of developing Building 13B as a residential condo property versus commercial hotel extension of the Viceroy on Base Village homeowners.
Over the Planning Commission and council review process, Base Village homeowners have expressed concern that developing Building 13B as a hotel would have a substantially negative impact on Base Village homeowners and tax districts, including the Base Village Company Master Home Owners Association and Metro District #2 tax district.
EPS, which was hired by town staff for an additional fiscal review and projection on top of the one provided by East West Partners, found that the revenue the Base Village master HOA will receive is “positive” whether Building 13B is a condo or a hotel, as presented to council Oct. 5.
“Whether constructing Building 13B as a condominium complex or a traditional hotel, the Master Association stands to gain between $253,155 and $306,906 in annual, on-going revenue,” the EPS memo to town staff states.
After hearing the EPS presentation, council decided to add a finding to the final ordinance reflecting these financial projections. There wasn’t any language added to the ordinance that would allow development of 13B to move forward as a hotel only if it was still projected to result in positive financial outcomes for Base Village homeowners at the time of its site-specific review by council, as suggested Sept. 21 by Councilman Bob Sirkus.
The second reading of the ordinance approving the minor PUD amendment for Base Village passed in a 4-0 vote with little discussion. Sirkus was not at the Oct. 5 meeting.
REVIEW of FANNY HILL PROJECT
After approving the minor PUD amendment for the final phase of Base Village development, East West Partners stayed in the council chambers to present another piece of the Base Village project: the planned residential condo development on Fanny Hill.
This development, which will be in the area referred to as “Parcel 7” adjacent to Wood Road and just below the current Aspen Skiing Co. on-mountain operations facility that sits on the east side of Fanny Hill, was approved in 2004 as 10 townhouse-style condominiums in five, two-family buildings plus a caretaker unit and underground parking garage.
In a brief introductory presentation Oct. 5, Andy Gunion and Ellen McCready of East West Partners went over the specifics of the proposed changes to the approved “Havens” Fanny Hill project, which include developing it as 10, detached three and four bedroom single-family condos instead of two townhouse-style buildings of units; moving the entrance of the underground parking garage downhill about 25 feet; rezoning the area to “multi-family”; and making a lot line adjustment.
The amended development will preserve and in some ways enhance the current skiways in place and proposed caretaker unit, Gunion said, and the proposed changes do not seek to change the originally approved PUD square footage, floor area limits or building height limits.
“It appears like this simple project, 10 homes, but there’s so many constraints and ski ways and utilities,” Gunion said of the Havens project. “It’s been a fairly complicated site to figure out but I think we’ve struck a good balance with it here.”
Jim Wahlstrom, senior planner, expressed similar thoughts to Gunion, telling council that the town recommends approval of the project changes but that staff found 10 core issues that need to be addressed, including concerns with fire protection and emergency access to the planned condominiums; street frontage appearance, including uses of proposed pullout lanes, extended sidewalks, utilities and buffering; and environmental concerns related to the project’s proximity to a manmade wetlands area.
“For a small site there’s just a lot of issues to address,” Wahlstrom said. “But overall staff is recommending approval with conditions.”
Planning Commission also voted to recommend approval of the project changes, spending eight meetings reviewing them and focusing mainly on the underground parking garage access, traffic visibility while exiting the garage and its impact on the surrounding community; traffic circulation through the development; and the appearance of the development from Wood Road.
In its final recommendation to council, the commission asked councilmembers to explore various aspects of the proposed project changes and design, including a way to mitigate expected headlight glare from cars exiting the Fanny Hill development’s underground parking garage onto Crestwood Condominiums units.
Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk also brought up several areas of the project she wanted to discuss and that she needed clarification on, including more on parking, transportation, the headlight glare concern and what will be allowed in the proposed pullouts adjacent to the entrance to the development.
Council decided to dig into some of these issues further at its next meeting Oct. 12, when it will do a site visit of the development area with East West Partners and town staff.
UPCOMING TOWN COUNCIL MEETINGS
On Oct. 5, Town Council decided to hold a special meeting Oct. 12 so it could have more flexibility on its discussion topics — which may include continued work on the town’s master housing plan, the Town Park redesign master plan and the 2021 town budget — and also scheduled a special work session for Oct. 15 to focus on review of the 2021 town budget.
The Oct. 12 meeting will begin at 3 p.m. with a site visit to the planned Fanny Hill development area and then reconvene in the council chambers at Town Hall at 4 p.m. The Oct. 15 work session will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the council chambers.
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