Snowmass Town Council recap: Snowmass Center discussions continue, first 2020 resolutions approved

A rendering of the preliminary Snowmass Center redevelopment plan.
Courtesy photo/Town of Snowmass

At its first meeting of 2020, Snowmass Town Council continued Snowmass Center redevelopment discussions, authorized an intergovernmental agreement with Pitkin County to collect sales tax on tobacco and nicotine products in the village, approved over a dozen new and returning town board and commission members, and more. Here’s the recap of the Jan. 6 meeting:


Town Council held its third continued discussion on proposed height, density and viewplanes of the Snowmass Center redevelopment project.

The discussion mirrored those held Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, mainly focusing on the height, slope, parking and residential unit variances to town zoning and development regulations being requested by the project applicant.

“We have a structure that is old, substandard and becoming obsolete and we think this is an opportunity to do a remodel and an expansion that really enables local services to be continued here,” said Jessica Garrow with Design Workshop on Jan. 6 in regard to why the developers are requesting variances.

In a short presentation, Garrow and her colleague Richard Shaw went over the requested variances again, which include exceeding the maximum allowable building height of 38 feet for the development zone, a small encroachment on areas with 30% grade slope, more than two times the free-market residential units prescribed for the center and less parking than required.

The applicant spokespersons explained that the center redevelopment was designed to fit into the existing village landscape, which consists of three-, four- and five-story buildings, and will protect views of the ridgeline and create new views of Mount Daly.

However, as Town Council discussed concerns with the proposed building heights and viewplanes at the previous two council meetings, Shaw and Garrow said the developers decided to drop the height of building 1A, which is the current Snowmass Center building, from 48 feet to 43 feet.

Shaw and Garrow also touched on the slope, residential unit and parking variances, stressing that each request is part of the larger aim to transform the Snowmass Center into a residential and commercial area that meets the diverse needs of the local community now and for years to come.

They specifically noted that the residential unit increase is part of the development’s efforts to create a “comprehensive community” of multi-family, townhouse and affordable housing options for locals, and that the below-minimum parking planned reflects the fact that there will be some parking spaces shared between residential and commercial tenants.

“We are a project that’s looking to be far more community-oriented and that leads to a set of programs here that we believe are beneficial and yes, variances are required to provide a project that’s going to be investment-worthy for redevelopment,” Shaw said to Town Council Jan. 6.

After listening to the presentation, council members expressed concerns with the massing and height of the buildings, and specifically asked the redevelopment team to come back with project renderings that showed what the redevelopment would look like if it was kept within the town’s 38-foot height limit, and what views Woodbridge condo tenants would have post-development.

“I think you’ve got some pretty good feedback from us and now we’d like you to respond to that feedback,” Mayor Markey Butler said.

The next Snowmass Center discussion is set to take place at the Jan. 21 Town Council meeting.


At the start of the Jan. 6 meeting, Town Council unanimously voted to approve the first two resolutions of 2020.

The first authorized an intergovernmental agreement between Pitkin County and Snowmass Village to start collecting the county sales tax on tobacco and nicotine products in the village.

According to town documents, Snowmass does not have its own sales tax on tobacco and nicotine product sales, but is subject to the sales tax on these products approved by Pitkin County voters in November and put into effect Jan. 1.

The town will collect and remit the county sales tax on tobacco and nicotine products in the village, and the county will pay Snowmass a collection fee of 5% of the collected and remitted sales tax revenue as part of the intergovernmental agreement, town documents state.


The second resolution appointed new and renewed current members to a handful of town boards and commissions, including the Financial Advisory Board, Snowmass Arts Advisory Board, Marketing, Group Sales and Special Events Board, Citizens Grant Review Board and the Board of Appeals and Examiners.

This year there were 20 board and commission vacancies as a result of expired member terms, and town staff received 27 applications from new and returning members to fill the spots, government documents show.

But while Town Council approved the majority of the board and commission appointments Jan. 6, a roughly four-and-a-half hour work session was scheduled for Jan. 13 (starting at 3 p.m.) to interview candidates for boards that had more applicants than open seats.

Six people applied to fill the two open Planning Commission seats up for reappointment, four people applied to fill the one Part Time Residents Advisory Board seat and three people applied to fill the one Environmental Advisory Board seat. These numbers include the people currently in the seats up for reappointment on all three boards, as they all applied to renew, town documents show.