Snowmass Town Council tours Cougar Canyon, Cozy Point Ridge
Site visit precedes second reading of vested property rights extension
A site visit to Cougar Canyon and Cozy Point Ridge Planned Use districts just might classify June 7’s Snowmass Village Town Council as the most scenic on record.
Mayor Bill Madsen and council members Tom Fridstein, Bob Sirkus and Alyssa Shenk toured the largely undeveloped subdivisions ahead of a second-reading vote to extend vested property rights in the area from 2037 to 2050. (Councilman Tom Goode was absent.)
The town annexed the land west of Brush Creek Road in 2006 and the subdivisions are subject to municipal land use codes; vested property rights ensure the owners of several “homesteads” on the properties won’t be constrained by future land use code changes that could be tighter than those currently in effect.
Council approved the first reading in a 3-2 vote in November but tabled the second reading until they could gather more information and visit the site. Fridstein and Sirkus were the dissenting votes the first time around, expressing concerns about making a decision now that might impact a later generation of Snowmass Village residents.
A draft agenda approved Monday night indicates the second reading vote could occur at a June 21 regular meeting, nearly a year after the application was submitted to the town in late July.
The extension request comes on behalf of landowner David Bonderman, who also owns neighboring Wildcat Ranch; vested property rights for that property have already been extended to 2050.
Attorney David Myler, who represents Bonderman, has noted that the extension would relieve pressure from homestead owners to develop in haste out of fear that changing land use codes might impact their long-term plans.
Most land in the area is still undeveloped and accessed only by gated dirt roads; nearly 90% of the thousands of acres in the subdivisions are preserved for wildlife habitat, Myler said during the tour.
Madsen said at the end of the tour that he felt the site tour did provide more information that will help guide his decision on whether to vote in favor of the extension.
“(The land is) spectacular. … It deserves to be preserved for sure,” Madsen said.
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