Town Council OKs sketch plan for Snowmass Center redevelopment
After five continued public hearings, the developers’ plan to expand and remodel the nearly 50-year-old Snowmass Center will progress to the next phase of land use review.
At a Snowmass Town Council meeting April 16, the voting elected officials unanimously passed a resolution that moved the project application from sketch plan to the preliminary stage of the land-use review.
Town Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk has recused herself from the review process, and therefore did not vote, as her husband is on the development team.
Because the project is a major planned unit development, a super majority vote was required.
Council members reviewed the resolution’s modifications from its previous iteration. The amended document addressed council and public concerns with the application’s proposed height, mass and scale, protecting viewplanes and ridgelines, parking and connectivity.
While the vote is a step forward for the developers, the project is still “a good couple years out,” Town Planner Brian McNellis told the Snowmass Sun in March.
This was evident at some points during the April 16 public hearing, as project architect Richard Shaw told council it is premature to offer more detail on some of their concerns, including parking reduction and building height.
“We don’t really know what that reduction looks like at this stage, but we are fully prepared to study that,” Shaw, a principal with Design Workshop, said to council when asked about a proposed parking reduction.
“At sketch plan, there isn’t enough design to understand what that might look like,” he said during a later discussion on building heights and code variances.
Between the Snowmass Center and its neighboring parcel (formally called the Faraway Ranch North subdivision), the proposed redevelopment would altogether occupy 71,000 square feet of commercial space.
The sketch plan also proposes an additional 17,000 square feet of commercial space to the center and neighboring Faraway Ranch North area. Eastwood Snowmass Investors acquired these six parcels from Related Cos. for $16 million in April 2016.
“I know we cause a lot of pain,” Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler said jokingly at the end of the public hearing. “You know why? We, as a community, it’s our center, so (it’s) very tender to our hearts. Do it and do it right.”
Shaw said the development team is excited to move forward and “seek the opportunities and solve the problems and really make the center such an important part of the community.”
“Likewise, as the applicant, we are very interested and it’s dear to our heart.”