Vail’s Chamonix housing lottery nets 91 applicants | VailDaily.com
John LaConte
jlaconte@vaildaily.com

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Vail’s Chamonix housing lottery nets 91 applicants

VAIL — A total of 91 interested home buyers have applied for the lottery to purchase one of 32 residences in Vail's incipient Chamonix neighborhood.

The majority of applications were received within 72 hours of the Friday deadline, Vail Community Development Director George Ruther said.

"I believe we are now dealing with the more serious home buyers," Ruther said. "While even some of those buyers will decide to pursue other home buying options, I am hopeful to see (only) a 10 to 15 percent drop out between now and the lottery on May 3."

Ruther and his staff were busy over the weekend, sorting and analyzing the information received from the 90-plus applications.

"Lottery applicants will be provided copies of all the legal documents to review in advance," Ruther said. "Staff is finalizing those documents in anticipation of releasing them for review the week of April 3. At this time, we remain on schedule for a construction start in late April (to) early May."

'ONCE IN VAIL'S LIFETIME'

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The Chamonix townhomes will have two- and three-bedroom options. The town of Vail is financing the project and will subsidize a cost of $200,000 or more per unit before the townhomes reach a final cost to the buyer of somewhere between $400,000 and $700,000. Attached to the properties will be a deed restriction stating that the homes cannot be sold at a price exceeding 1.5 percent of the purchase price per year.

The top community priority identified in Vail's 2016 Community Survey was housing for middle income and service workers. It's also the only area which saw a significant increase in prioritization since the town's 2014 survey.

"I remain confident the town is on the right track," Ruther said. "Chamonix Vail is going to be a great addition to the West Vail neighborhood. This will likely be a once-in-Vail's-lifetime opportunity."

GOAL: 1,000 MORE BY 2027

At the annual state of the town address last week, Mayor Dave Chapin said the town of Vail has set a goal of putting deed restrictions on 1,000 additional housing units by 2027.

"In 2008 this town said we wanted to have 30 percent of our workforce housed in town, whether it was through policy, regulation or publicly initiated development," Chapin said. "We have 700 (units) currently, according to this we need 1,400 if we were to meet that goal of 30 (percent)."

Countywide, thousands of units would be required to meet current needs, according to a recent Eagle County housing assessment.

"Chamonix is 32 houses out of a 4,500-unit need in the county," Ruther said. "But what is refreshing to see is the community support for projects like this one … Now there's a lot more conversation about maintaining and creating and sustaining community."

Chapin said the current council in Vail has shown a willingness to get creative in solving the problem.

"We understand this is experimental," Chapin said of the Chamonix development. "I think it will work, it's OK if it doesn't work and we go back to the drawing board. But to not try is not acceptable."

Ruther said affordable housing has always been an issue in Vail.

"As far back as 1973, when we did the first plan for Vail, they identified three critical issues in the community at the time. One of them was parking and transportation, another one was sustaining a year-'round economy, and the third one was providing affordable places for people to live," Ruther said. "I think this has just been one of those ongoing issues that even my successor's successor in the community development department will be dealing with."