Snowmass Town Council approves Snowmass Inn and Fanny Hill ordinances on first reading; begins review of final PUD plan for Snowmass Center redevelopment | AspenTimes.com
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Snowmass Town Council approves Snowmass Inn and Fanny Hill ordinances on first reading; begins review of final PUD plan for Snowmass Center redevelopment

During a nearly three-and-a-half hour meeting Oct. 19, Snowmass Town Council approved ordinances on first reading that expand and extend the current mandatory mask zones and allow for the purchase and financing of the Snowmass Inn; approved the minor planned use development (PUD) amendment for the Fanny Hill cabins project; and began the review of the final PUD plan for the Snowmass Center redevelopment project. Here’s the recap:

COUNCIL APPROVES ORDINANCE FOR OF SNOWMASS INN

Snowmass Town Council approved an ordinance on first reading that allows the town to finance the purchase of the Snowmass Inn.

According to Betsy Crum, town housing director, the ordinance will authorize the town to enter into lease agreements with Zions Bancorporation to finance the Snowmass Inn purchase, which is estimated to support a 20-year mortgage of $6 million at current interest rates and with existing rental revenue.

“We’re in the process of finalizing all the terms with the bank; I think we had very favorable terms,” Crum said of the Snowmass Inn purchase. “We do believe based on our projections that the current rent that is charged for these rooms would cover the mortgage and leave a little bit of room for us to operate and have a little bit of breathing space.”

As of last week, Crum said all of the 39 hotel-style rooms at the Snowmass Inn are set to be 100% occupied with two people per room this winter season. Current rent for each room is $1,500 per month, which includes weekly housekeeping and utility costs and is split between the two tenants who sublease each unit, amounting to $750 per month per tenant.

Tenants are currently residing in the inn’s studio rooms on a seasonal basis, working for a variety of Snowmass businesses during the winter and summer seasons. Crum said the inn will be run as it always has through this winter season, but further evaluation needs to be done to determine if the town will move the units over to its year-round rental portfolio or keep it operating as a seasonal housing option.

Regardless, the goal is to keep the units occupied so that the town can make good on its payments and agreement with Zions Bancorporations, as explained by Crum and town attorneyJohn Dresser.

Once under town ownership, Crum said staff also is hoping to spend $800,000 to carry out a “moderate level” of renovations to the Snowmass Inn in 2021, bringing its units up to town studio housing standards if approved by Town Council.

After some discussion and clarification questions, council unanimously approved the ordinance on first reading. Council’s second reading of the ordinance is set to take place Nov. 2 at its virtual regular meeting.

fANNY HILL ordinance ok’d

Council unanimously approved the ordinance allowing for the minor PUD changes to the Fanny Hill development project.

The project changes include developing the planned residential condos as 10, detached three- and four-bedroom single-family units instead of two townhouse-style buildings of five units each as originally approved; moving the entrance of the parking garage downhill about 25 feet; rezoning the area to “multi-family”; and making a lot line adjustment, as previously reported.

On Oct. 15, council went through the ordinance and followed up on some of the clarifications and changes it asked for at its Oct. 12 regular meeting, including more detail on management and maintenance responsibilities of the fire rooms and firefighting equipment on-site; the landscape plan for the development along Wood Road; transportation and town transit access; and headlight glare mitigation efforts for Crestwood Condominium owners.

Most of these clarifications and changes were addressed in the new ordinance, however council also asked for further clarification on how the proposed pullouts on Wood Road adjacent to the development would be able to be used, and for other minor language changes to the ordinance on second reading.

In regard to the headlight glare mitigation issue, Andy Gunion of East West Partners said developers and designers analyzed other potential garage entryway locations and determined the proposed location is the most feasible. Gunion said developers also are continuing talks with the Crestwood about potential tinted windows and landscaping to help lessen the impact of headlights shining on its units as cars pull out of the Fanny Hill cabins parking garage.

On first reading, council approved the ordinance for the Fanny Hill minor PUD amendment. Council also directed staff to draft a resolution that allows two proposed viewing platforms and for-sale signs to be constructed in the development area to help market the cabins this winter season, which will be reviewed at the Nov. 2 virtual meeting.

TOWN COUNCIL BEGINS REVIEW OF FINAL PUD PLAN FOR SNOWMASS CENTER REDEVELOPMENT

Town Council began its review of the final PUD plan for the proposed Snowmass Center redevelopment.

The final PUD plan or guide, which is the last major step the town requires before a project can move forward to construction, largely aligns with the approved preliminary plan and aims to address all conditions made and concerns raised by town staff and Town Council over the course of the preliminary review process.

“We are working with the applicant on some outstanding issues but I am confident we’re going to come to some sort of compromise or agreement,” said Brian McNellis, the town senior planner overseeing the Snowmass Center project, of the final PUD plan and overall project approval.

On May 18, Town Council approved the preliminary plan for the Center redevelopment after five months of deliberation. The redevelopment project includes a vibrant “main street” through the main development with access to restaurants and retail; expansion and redevelopment of the main center building, along with eight additional buildings surrounding it; 64 free market housing and 10 deed-restricted housing units that create a neighborhood with options for families, individuals, couples and seniors; and a $750,000 contribution to improve overall community connectivity the town can use however it sees fit, as previously reported.

Five months later, the project’s Eastwood Snowmass Investors and Design Workshop redevelopment team was back before council with its final PUD plan, which includes all of the same key project aspects as the preliminary plan plus a new soft surface connector trail.

“Tonight after three years of work, we are presenting the final PUD plan that matches what was approved at preliminary,” said Jessica Garrow of Design Workshop. “There are no substantive changes in the plan before you since the preliminary approval. We’re here tonight with refinements to meet the code and staff comments, but there are no fundamental changes to the project at all.”

Garrow continued by going through the main aspects of the project as a refresher, including more detail on master construction phasing, which she said aims to ensure the center stays functional and keeps tenants and the community in mind, maintaining service and access.

Although the final plan doesn’t include any major changes, Garrow and Town Manager Clint Kinney did explain that one of the pinch points staff is still working through with the development team is who will pay for and maintain the Center’s new transit center shelter.

Kinney also felt it was important for council to look at the proposed retaining walls throughout the site to be sure they were OK with them.

“There’s no underhanded anything here but the retaining walls are many and we think the design of that is something you all should be well aware of,” Kinney said.

Because of the topography of the Snowmass Center redevelopment area, retaining walls are planned throughout the project. The developer team said they plan to do their best to make the walls look as aesthetically pleasing as possible, and council expressed general consensus with them.

And while councilmembers and the developer team hopes the council finishes its review by Nov. 9 — its last meeting together before the newly elected Town Council takes over — Mayor Markey Butler expressed concern with rushing through the final process.

“Let’s make sure we do it right versus just rushing the timeline,” Butler said. “This council is very, very familiar with the entire project, we’d love to come to the finish line together… let’s hope we can get there, but it’s going to take a lot of work by the applicant and our town staff.”

Kinney assured Butler and the rest of council that town staff will move as efficiently and effectively as possible through the process, regardless of the timeline.

“We’re trying to find that right balance of moving the project forward at a reasonable pace and making sure no one feels rushed. We don’t want that,” Kinney said. “We’re comfortable with what we’ve seen and what we’ve negotiated so far that it’s very close and right on with what was expected at preliminary. There’s a couple small “I’s” and “T’s” to go.”

A draft ordinance of approval of the Snowmass Center redevelopment final PUD plan will be presented to Town Council for review at the Nov. 2 virtual meeting.

mvincent@aspentimes.com


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