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09-18-03 Town Council Minutes SNOWMASS VILLAGE TOWN COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES SEPTEMBER 18, 2003 Mayor Manchester called to order the Special Meeting of the Town of Snowmass Town Council on Thursday, September 18, 2003 at 6:40 p.m. Item No. 1: ROLL CALL COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT: T. Michael Manchester, Douglas Mercatoris, Richard Virtue, Arnold Mordkin, and Bill Boineau COUNCIL MEMBERS ABSENT: No Council Members were absent. STAFF PRESENT: Mike Segrest, Town Manager; Chris Conrad, Planning Director; Susan Hamley, Marketing Director; Hunt Walker, Director of Public Works; PUBLIC PRESENT: Please refer to attached sign in sheet. Welcome and Community Forum Introduction On September 18, 2003 at 6:40 p.m. the third of a series of community meetings took place to further discuss, in groups the future of the Town of Snowmass Village. Mayor Manchester thanked everyone for their time and energy in this forum process. Presentation by T. Michael Manchester Within a power point presentation Mayor Manchester reviewed the following issues; public concerns, mixed messages, council thoughts, community strategic evolution, Councils homework, why did we do this (Comprehensive Plan, Village Aspiration), what do we want to be, how the Comprehensive Plan and the Aspiration Statement came about, and conclusions. The fundamental problem is a lack of a vital and vibrant commercial core. What does it take to be a successful Resort Community? Vital and vibrant commercial core consists of critical mass, proper design, and operational excellence, competitive lodging, amenities and activities. Council is committed to minimizing the impacts of necessary growth. Way Forward Guiding principles from the Town Council to create a bi-nodal, tourist bases, vital and vibrant commercial core. We are committed to creating 09-18-03sm Page 2 of 5 no more lodging than necessary to support the commercial core nodes, provide appropriate diversity, and be sufficient to create the vitality within the nodes. The Council believes that these concepts can be accomplished, and that the buildings within Base Village should generally be limited to between 2 and 5/6 levels above the finish grade, plus have some increment necessary to allow for a viable, branded flagship hotel. The Town Council is committed to revitalizing our Resort Community within these guidelines. The conclusion is that when successful, Snowmass Village will have achieved the quality of life and economic vitality that will assure our future as a “Sustainable Resort Community”. The “Next Steps” for the Town Council is to develop a specific plan for the bi- nodal guest-based commercial core. Develop a plan for the “just enough” amount of housing and its appropriate distribution within the Town core. Develop a strategy for minimizing the traffic impacts of development. Work with the current applicants to integrate the above guiding principles into their projects. Continue working with the West Village ownerships and merchants to develop a plan for revitalization. Continue dialogue with the Community through the Land Use process and other public forums. Question and Answer Period At this time Mayor Manchester took public comments. Jim Hooker Snowmass Village resident and former Mayor stated this is community of less than 2,000 year around residents and he hopes that messages would be delivered to the Town Council with in a gentile and respectful manner. Paul Benton, Snowmass Village resident requested from Town Council some analytical back up to support the information in the Mayor’s presentation be included. He inquired if the Town has facts, figures, studies or analysis to support these numbers. Mayor Manchester responded that the Town has three years of collected data that is open for public review. Lou Kaplan, Snowmass Village resident noted that we do need a vibrant commercial core and questioned why we did not mention Aspen, as we are integrated communities. He also noted that the Base Village proposal basically ignores the Comprehensive Plan. Mayor Manchester reminded everyone that is why there is a Land Use process for these applications. Penny Smilios, owner of an establishment on the Snowmass Mall questioned how an increase of 25% in lodging and 75,000 square feet of commercial would bring more people to Snowmass Village. 09-18-03sm Page 3 of 5 Mel Blumenthal, owner of a unit at the Enclave Condominiums asked the Mayor what will happen to Snowmass Village and the quality of life if we have the “do nothing” scenario in Snowmass Village. Mayor Manchester stated that sales tax revenue will continue to decline, businesses will continue to shut down or leave and opportunities will be missed. Nancy Peterson, second homeowner since the early 70’s expressed her support for the project and especially the children’s portion of skier services. She stated her grandson is a fourth generation skier this year and she does not wish to see the resort flat line. She added a plea for Town Council to move forward and make this a strong and safe family area. Gary Suiter, former Town Manager of the Town of Snowmass Village now representing Shell Properties and Gateway Properties reminded Town Council how important it is to officially adopt and incorporate the Village Leadership Forum, Forward Plan and the Aspiration Statement as part of the Comprehensive Plan and Town code if they are going to be referred to within the approval process. This will avoid past consequences pertaining to lawsuits. Mayor Manchester thanked him for the reminder. Paul Eckel, member of the Public asked if the Ski Company is going to address the problems with the ski area. He stated people do not come here for the shopping they come to ski. The lift lines, lack of new terrain and old lifts were some of problems he mentioned in regard to the ski mountain. Pat O’Donnell, CEO of the Aspen Skiing Company responded to the concerns of Paul Eckel. O’Donnell brings to the table many years of National, Colorado and local perspective of the skiing industry. He noted that the 20,000 square foot children’s center approximate cost is 14 million dollars and the installation of a gondola would be approximately 11 million dollars. He also stated that there are daily flights during the winter to Eagle and Sardy Field Airports from many major cities. He explained that it is not uncommon for someone to travel an hour and a half to a major destination. O’Donnell noted that the installation of a gondola would put Snowmass Village in a whole different league as ski resorts and we should not pass up this opportunity. Since 1997-98 the ownership (Aspen Skiing Company) has put 119 million into the four local ski mountains including state of the art snowmaking on Snowmass Mountain. He stated that as a ski resort, we must stay competitive with economic drive and adapt or parish. Curt Strand, member of the Public state that a branded hotel is not required at the beginning of this project and adding at a later date will not hurt Snowmass Village. He stated that the generosity of the developer and the Aspen Skiing Company should not be taken for granted. The proposal should be tweaked but not tweaked to death. 09-18-03sm Page 4 of 5 Carol Strickman, resident of Snowmass Village stated that more flights are needed on a daily basis to Eagle Airport and Sardy Field. She inquired if the Town collected a lot of data prior to 9/11/01 and mention that the entire economic picture has changed since this incident. She stated that cultural amenities should come before more shopping. Chris May, Aspen Ski Company employee asked for simple versus political terms and asked what can we do to and what can we invest to get more people to visit this area. Steve Sewell, Aspen Ski Company employee and Snowmass Village resident for 31 years stated that the Base Village development is imperative to ensure the success of this community and ski resort. He encouraged the community members and Town Council to continue working together for the success of the Village. Sherry Flack, owner of establishments on the Snowmass Village mall thanked the Town Council for including the mall revitalization of the village. She would like to see the buses stationed at the Snowmass Center and more parking and a movie theater at the mall location. Sally Sparhawk, resident of Snowmass Village commented that these are exciting times for Snowmass Village and an opportunity for the community to work together to make “it” happen. Jack Hatfield, resident of Snowmass Village questions the decisions and the direction of the current Town Council. Town Council has a huge challenge due to the current application not meeting standards of the code. Hatfield reminded the community that it was this Town Council who approved the Snowmass Club PUD, which has caused visual constraints of the mountain at the entry to Snowmass Village. Also in April and May the Town Council was having discussions at Town Council meetings which pre-empted these forums to discuss various changes in the Land Use Code. He thanked the Town Council for putting the forums together but mostly the community for their involvement. He asked that the citizens of this community act like watch dogs and look over the Town Council’s shoulders very closely during these large development applications. Geriyln Murphy, resident and owner of an establishment on the Snowmass Village mall noted that Snowmass Village is deteriorating and there has been absolutely no growth in 6 to 8 years. We need to start somewhere as soon or this will be a retirement community. Lois Upper, resident of Snowmass Village stated support for the Town Council and the decision they have in front of them and to move forward. 09-18-03sm Page 5 of 5 Bob Purvis, former Town Council Member and resident of Snowmass Village thanked and commended Town Council for the work done to date and complimented them for their thoughtful consideration demonstrated by listening which at times is hard for leaders. He stated that watchdogs may watch but also must allow Town Council to lead. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business, Council Member Virture made a motion to adjourn the Special Meeting, seconded by Council Member Boineau. The motion was approved by a vote of 5 in favor to 0 opposed. The Meeting adjourned at 8:31 p.m. This set of Minutes was approved at the November 10, 2003 Regular Town Council Meeting. Submitted By: ______________________________ Rhonda B. Coxon, Deputy Town Clerk