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06-04-03 Town Council Minutes MINUTES Town of Snowmass Village Planning Commission REGULAR MEETING th Wednesday, June 4 , 2003 nd Place: Town Council Chambers; Snowmass Center, 2 Floor; 0016 Kearns Road, Snowmass Village. Call To Order: Chairman Huggins called to order the regularly scheduled meeting of the Snowmass Village Planning Commission at 4:05 pm. Don Crouch, Chairman George Huggins, Jim Gustafson, Bob Roll Call: Fridstein and John Wilkinson, present. Mark StoutandDoug Faurer absent . Staff present : Chris Conrad, Planning Director; Jim Wahlstrom, Senior Planner; Jocelyn Kochenour, Planning Secretary Town Council: Douglas Mercatoris, Dick Virtue, Bill Boineau, present. Mayor T. Michael Manchester and Arnie Mordkin, absent. Public present: Tom Dunlop, Dunlop Environmental Consulting; Beige Jones, Snowmass Village Resident; Gary Suiter, Mall Owners; Chris Heinrich, Intrawest; Paul Shepard, Intrawest; Kevin Kelly, Intrawest; Michael Noda, Oz Architecture; Dave Burnham, Intrawest; Victor Gerdin, Bill Kane, Aspen Ski Co.; Steve Connor, TOSV attorney; Dave Bellick, Legal Council; Doug Mackenzie, Operations/ Ski Co.; Scott Patterson, Stonebridge Condominiums, Joe Porcaro, Enclave, Don Schuster, Snowmass Club Motion to Approve Minutes: May 28, 2003 - Motion to approve minutes was made by Commissioner John Wilkinson, and seconded by Commissioner Bob Fridstein. Motion passed 5-0, with Bob Fridstein and John Wilkinson voting as alternate members. Joint Meeting with the Town Council to hear a presentation by the Item No 1: Applicant of the proposed Snowmass Mountain Master Plan Amendment Preliminary PUD 1 Introduction: Senior Planner Jim Wahlstrom introduced Item No. 1 to the Planning Commission and Town Council. He noted that there had been a Public Notice published in the Snowmass th Sun for this joint meeting on May 28. Snowmass Mountain Master Plan Amendment Preliminary PUD: Aspen Ski Co. Representative Bill Kane introduced the objectives for the Master Plan Amendment to the Planning Commission and Town Council. He noted the features of the presentation, which aimed to show improvements in the Master Plan tied to the Base Village Project. He also noted improvements that would occur in accordance with long- range planning for mountain operations in the future. Mr. Kane presented the highlights of the proposed Master Plan, including improvements to ski lifts, the introduction of a people mover, changes in the Children’s Center, and the addition of a gondola at the Elk Camp area. He noted that the objectives of the improvements focus on mountain operations, so as to provide better access for beginner skiers at Snowmass Mountain, and allow for mid-mountain access points that are better adapted for all-day skiing. In his presentation, he noted that the “beginner skier experience” is a main focus for the proposed mountain improvements. He proposed that this experience could be improved by giving beginner skiers access to more terrain at a higher elevation, thereby giving them the opportunity to access better snow conditions year-round. Mr. Kane also noted that the beginner ski areas at current Fanny Hill locations would have to be modified to accommodate the introduction of Base Village at the bottom of Fanny Hill. Mr. Kane noted improvements and additions to lifts on Snowmass Mountain that would also be required by the introduction of the Base Village project. These new lifts included; the Elk Camp Gondola, the Sam’s Knob Express lift, the Mall Connector, the Elk Camp Beginner lifts, and the Campground Replacement lift. Mr. Kane outlined a proposal for a short-surface lift connector from the top of Bull Run to the top of Long Shot. He also noted a proposal lift to replace both the Big Burn lift and Sheer Bliss lift with one six- passenger high-speed chair lift to service both the Big Burn and Sheer Bliss ski areas. Mr. Kane described the proposed Elk Camp Gondola to be lower in elevation and more wind-protected than the gondola at Aspen Mountain. He highlighted the advantages of the gondola, in terms of providing access to beginner ski areas and nighttime/summer activities. As proposed, the Elk Camp Gondola would provide enclosed transportation for foot passengers, as well provide medium-to-high-speed repeat access for the Funnel, to replace the Funnel Chair Lift. Later in the meeting, Mr. Kane outlined the types of activities that are proposed for the Elk Camp activity area, to add to the summer and winter activities that currently take place on the Sam’s Knob area of the mountain. In the winter, proposed activities included ice-skating, snowshoe tours, and the Tube Town 2 activity center. Included in proposed summer activities are hiking, biking, frisbee golf, horseback riding, a ropes course, and visual arts programs. With the Elk Camp Gondola built, a new beginner ski area is proposed to be developed at the existing base of the Elk Camp Lift, near Café Suzanne. Victor Gerdin of Aspen Ski Co. described the newly developed Elk Camp Beginner Ski Area to be a wider, smoother, 10% graded slope that would extend from the existing lower Turkey Trot and Sandy Park runs. He outlined that this area would be conducive to beginner skiers who could benefit from the improved snow conditions at higher elevation. He added that skiers could benefit from the existing restroom and dining services of the Café Suzanne, nearby. Under this Master Plan Amendment, the Sam’s Knob Express is proposed to be placed next to the existing Sam’s Knob lift on a lower elevation, whereby the Knob would be re- graded by 16 vertical feet, allowing for more surface area for unloading. The existing area on the top of the Knob would then accommodate both the existing and new ski lifts, and would provide access for number of ski runs. Access to the existing Sam’s Knob Restaurant would be provided for with a set of stairs leading up to the Restaurant. Included in the proposed Master Plan Amendment, Mr. Kane highlighted methods for maintaining skier circulation and preserving the existing ski slope access for residents of properties along Fanny Hill. He noted that the Base Village project, as proposed, would limit the space available for beginner ski activities on Fanny Hill, but that the proposed Mountain Master Plan would relocate many of these activities to the Elk Camp area. The Magic Carpet area currently on Fanny Hill would be relocated to be adjacent to the Base Village Children’s Center. Mr. Kane described the People Mover from Base Village to the Mall as an open-air design that would be conducive to both daily ski and nighttime activities. This mechanism would also be handicapped-skier accessible. Residents of properties adjacent to Fanny Hill currently access the Fanny Hill slope with little or no limitations, but with the addition of Base Village to lower Fanny Hill, access to the slope from these condominiums would be mitigated by skier traffic and building placement. Mr. Kane addressed skier circulation patterns and slope-side access for residents of condominiums along Fanny Hill. Mr. Kane presented a circulation plan that would direct skier traffic to particular areas of Fanny Hill, including a ski-way granted for access to Fanny Hill from the Wood Run Condominiums, through the Fanny Hill Townhomes. He mentioned that the Stonebridge Condominiums’ access presented the biggest challenge to the circulation pattern and access to Fanny Hill. Mr. Kane wrapped-up his presentation with a timeline for the addition of the proposed mountain lifts, the new proposed grading patterns, and new building construction that would take place up to the year 2006. Town Council noted that it would provide comments and recommendations to the Planning Commission and the Applicant regarding the application in future meetings. 3 Commissioner John Wilkinson commented that access to Tube Town would be more difficult for residents if it was located in the Elk Camp area, but he mentioned that he agreed with the relocation of the beginner ski area to Elk Camp. Bill Kane explained that the night lighting of the Fanny Hill area is proposed to be minimal, only between the Mall and Base Village for nightly snow-oriented activities. Commissioner Wilkinson expressed concerns regarding the Elk Camp beginner ski area, and its proximity to expert ski traffic coming off the Wall. Ski Co. Representatives replied that they intended to re- route ski traffic around the beginner ski area as much as possible, through existing and proposed ski avenues. Commissioner Wilkinson expressed concerns regarding the capacity of the existing restaurant facilities at the Elk Camp area, specifically Café Suzanne. Commissioner Don Crouch asked how residents of Top of the Village and The Divide Subdivision would access their units on their return from day skiing. Ski Co. Representatives responded that the Cabriolet’s proposed use is only intended for moving skiers from Base Village to the Mall. They proposed that the Sam’s Knob Express lift would run to the midway loading station later in the day to accommodate skiers who were returning to their units in upper parts of the Village, above Fanny Hill. Ski Co. representatives added that they would like approval for night operations at the Elk Camp area, but that the specifics of these operations are still to be determined. Town Council Member Bill Boineau asked what would be involved in the operations of the Cabriolet, and Bill Kane responded that the exact figures for the cost of operation were not yet fully determined. He added that the Ski Co. would build the Cabriolet, but would not operate it outside of traditional ski hours at its cost, and would contract out to a third party for night and summer operations. Bill Boineau commented that there may be an ADA access issue for handicapped skiers at the Sam’s Knob Restaurant with the addition of stairs to the building. Town Council Member Doug Mercatoris commented that he hoped Planning Commission would review fully and be comfortable with the proposed ski access/ circulation issues presented to existing condominiums on Fanny Hill, including the Willows. He added that he would like to see summer activities and trail use pursued on a timeline for future development to generate exciting summer activities for hiking and biking on the mountain. Acknowledging that this was a public meeting, Commission Chairman George Huggins asked for Public Comment. Joe Porcarro of the Enclave stated his concerns with the current capacity of the Assay Hill lift, because he felt that there would be a large amount of skiers who chose to ski down to Assay Hill from Base Village, rather than walk up to the proposed Elk Camp Gondola. Later in the meeting, Commissioner John Wilkinson proposed that Buildings 13 & 12 of the Base Village proposal would access the Assay Hill lift more frequently or with the same capacity as the proposed Elk Camp Gondola, therefore the Assay Hill lift should be improved in order to accommodate this high capacity of skiers. Ski Co. Representatives replied that the Assay Hill lift is under 4 consideration to be updated, in order to accommodate increased skier capacity from the Base Village project. Aspen Ski Co. responded to Steve Connor, TOSV Attorney, in regards to his question about the alignment and clearance of the Elk Camp Gondola near Wood Road and buildings such as the Enclave. Victor Gerdin and Bill Kane responded that they have met all of the tram requirement codes and their plans have responded to Public Comment in the issue. Planning Commissioner Jim Gustafson expressed his concerns about lift line proximity to one other and the adjacent buildings. He also asked that Ski Co. make a more clear presentation of the circulation patterns on Fanny Hill and bear in mind the slope-side access of the existing structures on Fanny Hill. Town Council adjourned from the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting and Planning Commission moved to break for ten minutes. Continuation of Public Hearing and Discussion Item No. 2: regarding the Preliminary PUD for Base Village, including Sinclair Meadows and Fanny Hill Townhouses/ Cabins- Final Wrap-up (from May 7, 21 and 28 meetings): 1.Site plan layout and architectural issues 2.Mass, scale and height variations 3.Other Variations re: Buildout/density, FAR and Minimum Lot Size; 4.Community Purposes (along with unique and exceptional circumstances) When the Planning Commission meeting resumed, Jim Wahlstrom outlined the draft recommendations on pages 14 & 15 of the meeting packet from the previous meetings. He noted that there would be discussion regarding the Core Connector from Base Village th to the Snowmass Center at the Town Council Meeting at 2pm Monday June 16. He also noted that the meeting in progress was a continuation of a Public Hearing from May 7. Buildings 9abc Planning Commission resumed with discussion on Building 9abc. Michael Noda, Oz Architecture, introduced the building materials that would be used on Building 9. Commission Chairman George Huggins noted that a bulk of heavier materials used on the upper section of the building could show quality in the architecture. Planning Commission was curious about the function of the retention devices on the roof structure of Building 9. Commissioner John Wilkinson asked about the significance of the water feature that ran around Building 9. Intrawest Representatives responded that the water course was a feature that added to the interest of the Village and would run seasonally, from natural sources. They also added that the smaller height of this building, in comparison with much taller buildings that surround it, adds to the texture and interest of the Village at a pedestrian level. Generally, the Planning Commission agreed with the 5 overall appearance of the 9 Buildings, the pedestrian scale of the buildings, and the building materials. Building 10 Intrawest Representatives introduced Buildings 10a & 10b as having 100 units, 600-700 square feet each, at a total building height 5 stories tall. Planning Commission discussed the level of detail and the flexibility of the architecture in regards to the future of the project. Bob Fridstein commented that this building is located in a very prominent place, at the “corner” of the Base Village Project. He felt that there was too much mass to the Building, and suggested reducing the height and the perceived mass of the building through architecture. Commission Chairman Huggins commented that Building 10 had a feeling of being one large building, and the impact of this building would be felt mainly on Wood Road. He added that it could potentially be one story too high. Commissioner Jim Gustafson commented that there was more smaller-scale articulation on the sketch than in the 3-D rendering, and that this factor is important to the appearance of the building. He felt that Building 10 was an example of a large-scale building that seemed out-of-place, because it was not part of the perimeter of Base Village. He felt that some mitigation should be considered in both Building 10 and Building 11 for stepping- down the ends of the buildings. He added that these buildings are good interior places in the Village for high density. Commission Chairman added that water elements or sculpture could add to the interest of the building. Commissioner Don Crouch commented that Building 10 is an appropriate place for interior density, but that the building could be reduced in mass by stepping-down the ends of the building, as previously mentioned. He added that the building could be improved by adding a low, surrounding wall, such as a carriage entrance. Planning Commission discussed further whether the approval of this design would ultimately produce the application’s building initially presented. Commissioner Jim Gustafson was excused from the meeting. John Wilkinson expressed his concerns with the lack of members at the Planning Commission meeting, and there was some discussion regarding the application process and upcoming decision-making dates. Building 11: Bob Fridstein suggested that the comments for 10a were applicable for Building 11, and the Planning Commission generally agreed. George Huggins commented that he did not like the architecture for Building 11 as much as Building 10. A major point that the Planning Commission agreed upon was the stepping-down of the East Side of the existing roof, as suggested earlier, to minimize the appearance of mass. Mr. Huggins commented that the building had too many vertical elements, and that it appeared to be too wall-like with the flat line of the roof. He agreed with the element of stone within the building materials. John Wilkinson felt that it was important to assure differentiation in architectural style between buildings throughout the Village. 6 Building 13: Michael Noda introduced Building 13 as already having been stepped-down on the ends to minimize the ridgeline and mass of this, the largest building of Base Village. He added that the three wings of the buildings had been arranged to minimize the ridgeline and apparent mass. Chris Conrad, Planning Director, noted that the North end of Building 13, which faces Brush Creek Road, would be built on about 15 feet of fill. Planning Commission suggested that Building 13 could be lowered at the North End, by eliminating the fill under the building. Planning Commission agreed that the perimeter placement of Building 13 at Base Village would be a good location. Planning Commission viewed a fly-by of the building from Brush Creek Road, and felt that by stepping-down of the North Wing, as well as maintaining a Y-shaped building, an acceptable view could be accomplished from a Brush Creek Road vantage point. Commissioner John Wilkinson commented that he would like to challenge the designers of Base Village, namely Intrawest, to design the large-capacity hotel buildings like Building 13 as signature hotels of Snowmass Village, instead of existing buildings of Colorado or other ski resorts. He also commented that he felt the building was too large. Planning Commission agreed that Building 13 should be unique to Snowmass Village. Planning Commission added that they would like a substantial amount of landscaping between Building 13 and Brush Creek Road. Bob Fridstein commented that Town Council and the recommending body of the Planning Commission should bear in mind the overall comments from the Public in reference to excessive height for the buildings designed in Base Village. He also expressed his concerns that Building 13 was excessive in height, relative to the overall height of Base Village. Commissioner John Wilkinson commented that he felt it was important to keep the commercial areas of Base Village along the pedestrian walkway, so that the walkway would extend all the way to Building 13 and keep pedestrian circulation throughout the entire Village. Discussion Item No. 3: regarding scheduling of future Planning Commission meeting dates for July 2003 and rest of summer. th Planning Commission agreed to discuss commercial and fiscal issues on June 11. Motion to Adjourn: A motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner John Wilkinson, seconded by Commissioner Bob Fridstein. The motion passed 5-0, with Bob Fridstein and John Wilkinson voting as alternate Commission members. th Meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm, Wednesday, June 4 , 2003 7 Respectfully Submitted, _____________________________________________ Jocelyn Kochenour, Planning Commission Secretary _____________________________________________ George Huggins, Planning Commission Chairman 8