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06-20-05 Town Council Minutes SNOWMASS VILLAGE TOWN COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING MINUTES JUNE 20, 2005 Mayor Douglas Mercatoris called to order the Regular Meeting of the Snowmass Village Town Council on Monday, June 20, 2005 at 4:06 p.m. Item No. 1: ROLL CALL COUNCIL PRESENT: Mayor Douglas Mercatoris, Bill Boineau, Arnold Mordkin and John Wilkinson COUNCIL ABSENT: Sally Sparhawk STAFF PRESENT: Mike Segrest, Town Manager; John Dresser, Town Attorney; David Peckler, Transportation Manager; Hunt Walker, Public Works Director; Art Smythe, Chief of Police; Kathleen Milbrath, Public Relations Officer; and Rhonda B. Coxon, Town Clerk PUBLIC PRESENT: Dan Miller, Madeleine Osberger, Todd Gardner, Jim Gustafson, Ellen Anderson, John Bemis, Joan Bemis, Steve Parmelee, Leslie Bethel, Marty Pickett, Edgel Pyles, Heather Gosda, Gary Beach, and other members of the public interested in Agenda items for this Meeting, Item No. 2: DIAL-A-RIDE AND LATE NIGHT BUS SERVICE Transportation Director David Peckler referred to a memo included in the information packet for this Meeting, identifying the benefits and savings for utilizing High Mountain Taxi to provide the Dial-a-Ride and Late Night Service for the Town. He also referred to reports on the cost for Dial-a-Ride, Late Night Service, and for the Transportation Department if it were to provide the Dial-a-Ride service. He explained that fares for the service was decreased from $2.00 to $1.00 for the 2005/06 seasons. Cost to the Town for subsidizing the project increased approximately 12-percent. The increase in demand and service cost for Dial-a-Ride caused the program to be approximately $8.000 over the budgeted amount for 2005. Total cost for the program was $23,864 for the Winter season. Peckler reported that a study conducted by staff assuming the Town’s cost to provide the service showed that utilizing High Mountain Taxi would be the most efficient means for this program. Peckler reported that the Late Night service had continued to perform at the levels presented to Council in January of 2005. Cost for the service from January to the present was approximately $13,313. Since the Town 06-20-05tc Page 2 of 10 plans for the service to begin on Thanksgiving for the next winter season, estimated cost would be approximately $17,000. Peckler requested Council direction for providing the services through the upcoming budget year. Council discussed fares charged to the users for both of the services and discussed an option to assess a fare for Late Night service. Todd Gardner, of High Mountain Taxi, explained the operations of the service and provided suggestions to minimize the amount of subsidy paid by the Town for Late Night service. Town Manager Segrest stated that staff would investigate alternatives to minimize the subsidy paid by the Town for the Late Night service and provide options to Council during the 2005-2006 budget process. After further discussion, Council stated that they were in favor of continuing both programs for the next budget year, although would entertain options to decrease the per passenger amount of subsidy paid by the Town for the Late Night service. Mayor Mercatoris expressed appreciation to the High Mountain Taxi drivers for their efforts in making this program a success. Item No. 3: TELECOMMUNICATIONS MASTER PLAN Dan Miller, President, and CEO of C/V LAN, Inc. introduced the Telecommunications Master Plan (TMP) Report. He stated the objectives were to determine the satisfaction level with the current telecommunications services, the telecommunications demands that are not being met, if the community is willing to pay for improved services, current telecommunications infrastructure, the amount of difficulty to expand the existing infrastructure, options to meet telecommunications needs, and what other communities are doing to upgrade their infrastructures. He identified the major findings from surveys sent to guests, residents and businesses, and provided comparisons between responses to questions common to all the surveys, and conclusions and recommend- ations for options to address some of the issues identified. He provided information compiled on telecommunications utilized in other resort municipalities. Miller reported that 3,000 survey cards were distributed and 202 were returned. The No. 1 issue was cell coverage, which was 80-percent acceptable, although approximately 60-percent complained of dead zones, 26% of cable users are interested in surveillance on there property, 42-percent were willing to pay for high speed internet service, reporting that dial-up connection is slow, and guests requested free high-speed internet service as a part of the lodging package as well as in mall areas or other central location. He explained that 47-percent requested wireless Internet access when the survey was conducted 1-1/2 years ago, and estimated the current number to be in the 60-percentile range. He reported a strong survey-return rate of 11.4-percent that included 24 questions with no assumption rate, using a “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree” option. He said that the high return rate indicates a high interest in this issue. Miller reported that those utilizing cable television service were dissatisfied with constant changes and high cost, cable modem service was satisfactory, although cost was a factor. He expressed a concern that the Town does not have a franchise with 06-20-05tc Page 3 of 10 cellular service providers and that the two cell sites are located in areas where hills block the signal for certain areas. He identified a location on a hill behind the Public Works Facility that would accommodate a tower and potentially eliminate the dead zones. Miller also reported that an increase in band width is planned for the area which would improve the cell and internet service, could potentially increase the number of visitors to the resorts and which is vital to visitors who wish to conduct business while on vacation and residents who conduct business from their homes. Critical issues identified for the community were better cell phone service and high-speed Internet service. Council questioned survey results from other resort areas, satellite for services, Internet security, Internet service for mass transit users that would allow riders to work online while on the bus, and directed staff to begin investigation to determine the next steps and related costs to begin the process of updating telecommunications services for the community, investigate use of the site recommended by Miller as a location for all cell sites, consider developing franchises for cell service providers, set goals and identify related costs, and provide recommendations to Council during the upcoming budget process. Miller suggested revenue sharing as a means to minimize costs to the Town for upgrades. NOTE: Council took a 5-Minute break at this time and reconvened the Meeting at 5:45 p.m. Item No. 4: TOWN HALL UPDATE Jim Gustafson of Z-Group Architects provided the proposed schedule, site plan, design concepts, floor plan, and building materials for the approximate 1,700 sq. ft. Town Hall project. He reported that Town staff was instrumental in providing conceptual office designs for each Town Department. Town Manager Mike Segrest requested Council direction on the design in order to move forward with the formal Planning Commission plan review. He stated that the goal is to complete the approval process prior to the November, 2005 election to allow for ample community involvement in the design of the project, and to begin construction in the spring of 2006. He reported that the total estimated cost for the project is $5,400,000 and provides an allowance for furnishings, fixtures, and technology. Segrest provided options for financing the project and recommended a Bond Issue Initiative for the November election that would incorporate existing debt, Town Hall and the Recreation Center expansion. He explained that a new bond of $10,580 000 could be issued with no increase in taxes with any increase in the current mill levy. Segrest informed Council that with rent increases at 3-percent per year, renting comparable space would cost the Town approximately $9,000,000 over the next 20 years, and including interest on a bond, it would cost $8,690,000 to build a Town Hall. He requested Council direction to proceed. Council requested that future needs be taken into consideration when designing 06-20-05tc Page 4 of 10 the structure, allow for separate kitchen facilities, ample conference facilities and meeting rooms, and storage space for tables and chairs. Council stated an interest in constructing underground parking, and requested that staff provide scenarios for underground parking for further Council discussion and consideration. They also requested that the digital design be provided on the Town’s Internet Website for public informational purposes, financing scenarios be reviewed by the Financial Advisory Board, a well-advertised community forum is provided to inform and obtain input from the public on the proposed Town Hall, Recreation Center\Entryway project, a timeline be provided to inform Council of the date discussions began regarding the two projects, the year, the number of public meetings that have been held, and the number of public forums where the two projects have been discussed. For public information, Mayor Mercatoris reported that since 1978, the Town paid $3,182,104 for office space lease. He stated the need for a Town Hall was due to the demand and increase of additional staff and departments, and growth of the community and resort. He explained that the Town currently has a 6-month lease with no guarantee for renewal of the lease due to proposed reconstruction of the Snowmass Center. Mayor Mercatoris also reported that even if the Town offices could remain at the current location, it would cost $6.3M to lease the current spaces for the next 20 years. Lease of the Mall properties currently utilized by the Transportation and Marketing Departments would cost $462,000, which equates to total lease payments for the next 20 years of $6.7M. He informed the public that the site proposed for the Town Hall was obtained through a land swap and is owned by the Town. Council stated a concern regarding the “shed roof” for the proposed Town Hall and requested that options be provided for the roof design. Council also stated their satisfaction with the conceptual design and schedule as presented, with changes requested at this Meeting. Council further discussed potential financing options. Wilkinson stated that if possible, the two projects should be presented to the voters in two separate election questions. Item No. 5: ENTRYWAY MASTER PLAN REVIEW Public Works Director Hunt Walker explained that staff, along with Leslie Bethel Design and Planning, has refined the Entryway Plan. He stated that centered around the Pool/Fitness Center are a skateboard park, volleyball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, a playground, a 325-car expandable parking lot, as well as reserved space between the parking lot and Brush Creek Road to allow for a service station site should the need arise in the future. The area also allows for the Transit Center to be located adjacent to Brush Creek Road and the Visitor Center and Information booths to be located on the Seven Star Property. Bethel reviewed the Construction phasing strategy and the minor changes to the plan. She reported that trees have been removed to be planted elsewhere within the Town, the elevation of the parking lot is being raised by 5- feet with free fill dirt from the Base Village project, and construction on the pool and recreation center sites is planned to begin September 1, 2005. Bethel provided outlines of the phasing plan for construction scheduled for Fall of 2005 and projects scheduled 06-20-05tc Page 5 of 10 for 2006. In response to an inquiry made by Wilkinson, Walker explained that it might be possible to pave a portion of the parking lot for use during the upcoming ski season, although he recommended that paving be delayed until the Summer of 2006 to allow the ground to settle before paving. Bethal stated that the transit pull-off site would be re-built to accommodate both smaller and larger buses, and restroom facilities would be constructed. Mercatoris reported citizen requests that the tennis courts be constructed with a non-hard asphalt surfaces and suggested staff look at the Battlement Mesa tennis courts. He stated that citizens have also requested that the Town identify recreation programs that would be made available to the public through the Recreation Center. Bethel reported that staff has met and would continue to meet with citizens who have a special interest in the various activity facilities planned for the area and staff has incorporated their comments and requests into the planning process. She informed Council that she had investigated successful rodeo facilities throughout the State, and plans to apply for a grant from “Fishing is Fun” to enhance and revitalize the pond. Council requested pasturing for the horses in an area visible to the public and accessible to the rodeo facility, and construction of the tennis courts in 2006 if possible. They discussed the construction timeline, tennis and soccer court construction, bus pull- off location, skateboard park facilities, rodeo facilities, pastureland for the rodeo horses, land reserved for a potential future gas station, and the Information Center, and requested that staff meet with Aspen skateboard park users for recommendations on construction of the facility. Council agreed for staff to move forward to the Land Use Process with the conceptual plan as presented at this Meeting. The next Entryway Project Meeting is scheduled for June 23, 2005. NOTE: Council took a 15-minute break at this time and reconvened the Meeting at 7:40 p.m. Item No. 6: PUBLIC NON-AGENDA ITEMS Roundabout/Snowmass Village Gas Station Facility Steve Parmelee expressed opposition to construction of a roundabout at the Entryway. He stated that he felt it unnecessary and a waste of time, land, and money since traffic would only be traveling to West Village, up valley and down valley. Parmelee also stated a need for Snowmass Village to have a gas station for convenience to the community and businesses, and to minimize traffic on Brush Creek Road. Item No. 7: COUNCIL UPDATES Trails Opening Council Member Wilkinson reported that the trails would be opening on Tuesday, June 21, 2005. He stated his appreciation to the public for respecting the wildlife trail closure dates. 06-20-05tc Page 6 of 10 Suzuki Institute Mayor Mercatoris submitted and read a letter from the founder and director of the Suzuki Institute, who wrote that he had been informed by the new owners of the Conference Center that the facility would no longer be available for use by the Institute in future years. As a result, 2005 would be the last year the Institute would be held in Snowmass Village. Council expressed their dismay and stated that the Institute amenity would be a great loss to the Town. Council requested that all efforts be made to bring the Institute back to Snowmass Village in the near future. Item No. 8: RESOLUTION NO. 27, SERIES OF 2005 A RESOLUTION PROVIDING AMENDED DIRECTION TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION, THAT WAS PREVIOUSLY PROVIDED IN RESOLUTION NO. 20, SERIES OF 2005, CONCERNING THE SNOWMASS CHAPEL PRELIMINARY PLAN, REZONING TO MIXED USE, SUBDIVISION EXEMPTION AND SUBSEQUENT RE- SUBDIVISION PLATTING OF THE PROPERTY Senior Planner Jim Wahlstom stated that Council Resolution No. 20, approved on May 23, 2005, directed the Planning Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the Snowmass Chapel Preliminary Plan. He explained that considerable neighborhood opposition was expressed during Planning Commission review of the mass, scale and height. The applicant and the Planning Commission have requested that Council redirect the Planning Commission to focus on variance requests related to mass, scale and height issues and provide a recommendation for Council consideration before addressing other issues for review contained in Resolution 20. Edgel Pyles, Chaplin for the Snowmass Chapel, provided the 4-year history of the application process and stated that he felt the application is in step with other development construction approved by Council, would be low impact, provide a service to the community and guests, and provide a location for various community social uses. He reported that 800 families are now participating in Chapel services. Jim Light stated that the applicant has made various changes to the original design in regards to height, mass, and scale, and felt the issues had been addressed. Doug Dotson, representing the applicant, explained that Council’s Resolution No. 20 stated that Council was generally satisfied with the Sketch Plan and that the project generally satisfied the review criteria for exceeding the maximum height limit. He requested that Council interpret and clarify the Sketch Plan approval document and if misinterpreted by the applicant, provide direction to avoid violation of the process. Gary Beach stated that he did not feel the number of people objecting to the project could be interpreted as a “significant” number. He explained that he felt the 800 families who attend the church and support the project would be considered the “significant” number. Beach stated that he does not see a large number opposing the issues and 06-20-05tc Page 7 of 10 requested that Council consider the numerous comments regarding the value of the church to the community. David Bork, an 18-year resident of the Valley, urged Council to approve the Snowmass Chapel application as currently presented. He expressed the importance of the music, which he stated resonates to the soul of everyone, speaks to the heart and soul, and raises the spirits regardless of an individual’s musical preference. He explained that the Fisk organ planned to be housed in the chapel is known to be the finest handmade organ in the United States and perhaps in the world. Bork further explained that the Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Overland Symphonies utilize the Fisk organ. Upon approval of the application, the Chapel would have an endowed Chair to ensure that a highly skilled musician would play this instrument. Numerous extraordinary organists have heard of this organ and are anxious to come to Snowmass Village to audition for the Chair position. Concerts, young organists competition, and organ concerts on public radio live from the Snowmass Chapel could be provided for the community. He reported that in order to meet the space requirements for the organ and for the organ to perform at its utmost potential, the size of the chapel couldn’t be further reduced. He urged Council to imagine Snowmass Village and the scope of its cultural life in 40-50 years, envisioning the proposed structure that would be available for various social activities and a music program that would greatly enhance the community, which the church would like to provide to the community. Any further reduction of the structure would undermine the organ. In response to an inquiry from a member of the audience, Mercatoris stated that letters of comment could be submitted to the Town Clerk for distribution to Council Members. Citizen Tom Yokum informed Council that along with John Bemis, he had circulated a petition that currently includes 100 signatures of residents in favor of the proposed application, and if necessary, felt confident they could obtain 1,000 within a week if necessary. He explained that the Petition would be provided to Council as a statement of those in support of the existing design. Mayor Mercatoris reported that Town Council Resolution No, 20, Series of 2005 provides direction and a request to the Planning Commission to conduct a thorough review of the Sketch Plan, and states Council’s position that a height variation for such a structure and use should not be as insurmountable a concern as the height variation for commercial structures. The Planning Director explained the process from this point forward and stated that if this Resolution is approved, a Planning Commission recommendation on height, mass and scale would be brought to Council in the form of a Resolution at the July 18, 2005 Town Council Meeting. In response to an inquiry made by Jim Light, Mayor Mercatoris explained that a Variance requires approval by Ordinance. He explained that the Resolution approved at Sketch Plan allows the applicant to proceed to the Preliminary Review process and provides direction to the applicant, although does not approve or disapprove an application. 06-20-05tc Page 8 of 10 In response to an inquiry made by Heather Gosda, Mercatoris stated that if the Ordinance granting the requested Variances is approved at Second Reading, the application could not be denied based on height, mass and scale. In response to an inquiry made by a gentleman in the audience, Mercatoris explained if Council approves Resolution No. 27, Series of 2005, it would expedite the application review process, and further explained that the language contained in Resolution No. 20, series of 2005 as stated above, stated Council’s determination that they did not consider the proposed height, mass and scale to be a fatal flaw that would cause Council to vote against the application. Marty Pickett stated that if the Sketch Plan process is not of any value, it should be eliminated from the review process. She reported that the Chapel has spent over $600,000 on this process to date, and no progress has been made. Pickett reported that prior Planning Commission review of the application brought a unanimous vote of approval for the proposed height, mass, and scale. The most recent review was denied 3-0 by the Planning Commission. She stated that she felt the process to extremely confusion, as well as a waste of time and money. Dotson and Picket requested that Council redirect the Planning Commission to review the height, mass, and scale of the project with the knowledge of Council’s clarification in order that progress can be made on the review process. After further discussion, Mordkin made a motion to approve Resolution No. 27, Series of 2005. Wilkinson seconded the motion. The motion was approved by a vote of 4 in favor to 0 opposed. Council Member Sparhawk was absent. Item No. 9: FIRST READING - ORDINANCE NO. 13, SERIES OF 2005 FIRST READING CONSIDERATION OF AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AND ADOPTING A PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN FOR THE TOWN OF SNOWMASS VILLAGE Council Member Mordkin made a motion to approve First Reading of Ordinance No. 13, Series of 2005, seconded by Council Member Boineau. Chief of Police Art Smythe introduced Ellen Anderson, Pitkin County Emergency Management Coordinator and coordinator of the Plan before Council at this time. Anderson explained that the Plan for emergency management includes planning, responding and recovering from any type of emergency. She stated that in 2004 Pitkin County applied for and received $9,200 in grant funding from the Colorado Division of Emergency Management through an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The funds were used to hire a consultant to guide Pitkin County and the incorporated municipalities within the County, through the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Planning process. Eagle County and their incorporated jurisdictions also participated in the process. The result of the effort was a single, all hazards, comprehensive Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan for Pitkin County, Aspen, Snowmass Village, and Basalt, which is lightly integrated with the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan for Eagle County. Anderson explained that adoption of this Plan by all of the involved governmental entities would fulfill the requirements of the Stafford Act and 06-20-05tc Page 9 of 10 provides eligibility to all the jurisdictions for future pre-disaster and post disaster federal funding for mitigation purposes. She further explained that the document would be updated at least once every five years. Council discussed the language contained in the document and potential disaster threats to Snowmass Village. After further discussion, Mayor Mercatoris called the question and the Resolution was approved by a vote of 4 in favor to 0 opposed. Council Member Sparhawk was absent. Item No. 10: MANAGER’S REPORT Pool/Fitness Center Program Town Manager Mike Segrest requested Council direction regarding a request from a member of the community that the Town incorporate a bar into the pool/Fitness Center program. Council agreed that the request would not be considered for the inception of the facility and stated that this decision should be made through a process involving the community. Item No. 11: COMMITTEE REPORTS/CALENDARS RFTA Retreat Council Member Mordkin reported that he attended a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) Retreat on Friday, June 17, 2005. He stated that the group determined the need to emphasize introduction of Mass Rapid Transit for the Valley. He explained that the Board felt Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) would be the solution for valley transportation issues. Mordkin reported that the BRT would be implemented in phases as allowed by the RFTA budget and as Federal grant funding becomes available. Base Village Construction Trailers In response to an inquiry made by Council Member Mordkin, Segrest explained that Base Village construction trailers would be located on the construction side of Wood Road. Mordkin requested that signs be erected on the site that identifies the locations of structures that are under construction for public information purposes. Boineau suggested that an information center be provided, where plans, building locations, construction timelines, etc. could be made available for public interest. Cathy Robinson Park/Restroom Facilities Council Member Boineau requested that staff determine why the restrooms located at Cathy Robinson Park are permanently closed. Field Guide Update In response to a question from Council Member Boineau, an unidentified person from the community reported that Dawn Keating is has been requested to provide the Town with a proposal for her services to provide pocket-size Field Guides, and Aspen Graphics is preparing a proposal for costs associated with layout of the Guide. She 06-20-05tc Page 10 of 10 stated that this information would be provided to Council for consideration in the near future. Intrawest/Base Village Construction Updates The Town’s Public Relations Officer Kathleen Milbrath, reported that the Base Village Construction Management Plan requires Intrawest to provide public forums and public information meetings to keep Council informed on the status of construction, and are now requesting Council direction on the dates, times, agenda and locations for the meetings. Mordkin stated that Intrawest is required to include construction updates on their Website for public information. Mordkin and Wilkinson requested specific information for current Base Village construction as it is happening, including construction on the ski Mountain for public interest. Road Clean-Up Mayor Mercatoris requested that Intrawest be notified for immediate cleanup if the Police Department sees dirt from construction traffic on the roads. ASC/Base Village Construction Mayor Mercatoris expressed his appreciation to the Aspen Skiing Company for the signage and other provisions they provided at the Base Village construction areas for Suzuki Institute attendee pedestrian traffic. Art Walk Master Plan In response to an inquiry by Council Member Boineau, Public Relations Officer Kathleen Milbrath stated that as a part of the Art Walk Master Plan, that construction for the Silvertree “Peaks” art project had begun. Milbrath stated that the Town and the Silvertree donated funds toward the project. She suggested a dedication ceremony or some form of public acknowledgement when the art project is completed. Item No. 12: ADJOURNMENT There being no further business, Council Member Mordkin made a motion to adjourn the Meeting. Council Member Boineau seconded the motion. The motion was approved by a vote of 4 in favor to 0 opposed. Council Member Sparhawk was absent. The Meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m. This set of Minutes was approved by Town Council at their Regular Meeting of August 15, 2005.