Snowmass Base Village

A view of Snowmass Base Village on Tuesday. Its developer is asking for a five-year extension of vesting rights, flexibility in future building designs and other changes during a review the town's planning commission is conducting today.

Design flexibility, parking modifications and extended vesting rights are among the requests the Snowmass Base Village developer is proposing to the town as part of a “minor” planned unit development that will be heard beginning today by the Snowmass Village Planning Commission. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. and will be held virtually.

The amendment by Snowmass Ventures LLC, the Snowmass development entity for East West Partners, includes a request to extend the vested development rights another five years, for a total of 25 years since Base Village’s original 2004 approval. 

The review would also answer the question: Will Base Village finally get a swimming pool for the development’s owner residents? An expanded and relocated pool is part of the amendment.

According to the application to the town of Snowmass Village, Snowmass Ventures, represented by Andy Gunion and Ellen McReady, would like to work with staff and the town council on height and total square footage elements on the buildings, while still allowing for some design flexibility.

In their application, Snowmass Ventures states: “By replacing the existing ‘exact’ unit counts, unit sizes and other absolute statistics that were derived from old specific building plans with new minimum and maximum parameters, this PUD Amendment will eliminate the burden on the town, the developer and the community of processing additionalPUD amendments on each and every building moving forward.”

The reasoning behind the amendment request is that by agreeing on height and total square footage, the town gets certainty on the size of the buildings and minimum parameters on parking and employee housing, while the developer gets flexibility on design, unit sizes and unit counts.

Relocating buildings 10ab and 11

One of the major discussion points of this minor amendment before the planning commission will be the proposal to alter the lot lines between Lot 5 and Lot 6 in Base Village. That allows for the reconfiguration of buildings 10ab and 11 to create a new enhanced pedestrian plaza and “a more central location” for the swimming pool, according to the developer.

The Enclave homeowners who live on the uphill side of Wood Road from Base Village are currently opposing the proposed building realignment. Attorney Michael Hoffman has submitted multiple letters to the town and to the planning commission and expects to submit a new architectural rendering of how the proposed buildings changes would affect the view planes from the Enclave.

“By realigning the buildings, moving them closer to Wood Road, and altering the orientation, facing them into Base Village in order to create more open space within Base Village, it creates a more solid wall and impacts the view planes from the Enclave,” according to Hoffman.

He noted that in 2015 when the Related Companies (then the owners of Base Village) wished to make changes in Base Village through a minor PUD, they negotiated with the Enclave homeowners and came to an agreement on the locations of buildings 10ab and 11 that would preserve a portion of the view plane to the north from the Enclave. This agreement was documented at a town of Snowmass town council meeting in 2015.

Today, Hoffman will be asking the planning commission to view the relevant town council meeting where the agreement was discussed. Of major importance to the Enclave homeowners is their own minor PUD to create a small number of new Enclave units to the west of the main Enclave development and closer to Wood Road. The new Enclave units would be impacted by the Base Village proposal to move buildings 10ab and 11.

New Base Village swimming pool

One of the most contentious arguments about Base Village has been over the building of a new aqua center. When Base Village was originally proposed there was no town of Snowmass Village recreation center or pool at Town Park. In the original plans, designs and approvals for Base Village, an aqua center with pool and small locker rooms was to be built.

However, after building the new town rec center, the town of Snowmass Village was concerned about a pool in Base Village competing with a new town pool. 

According to the owner of Base Village at the time, as well as the current owners, the documents on purchasing real estate in Base Village allowed for a certain amount of flexibility in what amenities and what buildings would finally be constructed in Base Village. This was a point of contention for many years between the owners of real estate in Base Village and the developers, and it remains so.

Patricia Keefer, a resident of Base Village, submitted a detailed letter of over 20 pages to the planning commission objecting to the proposed Base Village minor amendment for numerous reasons. 

Snowmass Ventures, through Andy Gunion, submitted a detailed letter of comments and rebuttal of Keefer’s objections. Regarding the proposed location for the new swimming pool, Keefer objects because of “100% loss of sun on the pool area during Christmas week and 100% loss of mountain views” and because “there is no commitment to build the pool anytime soon.”

Parking modifications

The proposed PUD would eliminate 33 parking places in the Base Village garage that are designated “excess” parking per the existing PUD and provide for a new parking demand study to show whether or not there is sufficient parking to support current and future phases of Base Village.

The new PUD would allow for the potential to charge for parking in Base Village in the summer, something the current PUD does not allow. It would also allow some of the parking spaces to be shared between multiple cars.

Extend vesting

Snowmass Ventures is also requesting the extension of vested rights for the Base Village project to provide more time for completion due to market absorption. There are five buildings remaining to be designed and constructed, and the applicant is seeking approval to extend their vesting until Nov. 3, 2029, or 25 years after the project was approved in 2004.

Increasing Unit Equivalents 

Any revision to the unit mix within a development project results in a change to its Unit Equivalents, or UEs. This amendment asks to remove the specific unit mix details (unit counts and unit square footages) from each building, and to submit those details on a lot-by-lot basis as part of site specific development plan reviews. 

There would be no change to the maximum overall building square footage, but an increase of an additional 50.75 UEs to allow for a variety of unit sizes and types to be constructed in these new buildings (including the potential of a pure hotel expansion on the Viceroy Hotel’s building13B).

In reviewing the proposed minor PUD amendment, the town’s planning director Julie Ann Woods has indicated in the summary documents that her department could support many of the proposed changes.

The planning commission normally meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 4 p.m. Due to the virus pandemic, all meetings are currently being conducted online at gotomeet.me/TOSV/pc.