A proposal for a 15,668 square foot indoor climbing and fitness center at the Eagle Commercial Park has drawn enthusiastic support from town officials and residents.
But an accompanying request to waive, reduce or defer fee payments for the proposal has netted a more divided response.
Applicant Larry Moore has presented the proposal for a center that would include an indoor climbing wall, an indoor bouldering area, a coffee/juice bar, locker rooms, a fitness machine area, weight training equipment, fitness classroom space and an outdoor patio area. The Eagle Climbing and Fitness Center would be located just east of the Eagle Post Office at a parcel owned by Dave Dantas.
Moore began bringing climbing competitions to Vail nine years ago and he believes there is robust climbing interest throughout the valley. “We believe this is an amazing project that will be a huge benefit to the town,” he said.
Moore noted the building has been specifically designed so it can host competitions and allow multiple uses. He said up to 300-participant events could be held at the facility.
“It provides a wide spectrum of activities that can’t be addressed by a climbing wall at a recreation facility,” he said.
But as he talks of bringing more people to town with the new center, Moore would like to see Eagle rethink various development fees that would be assessed on the project.
“Fees required of such a development are very significant,” Moore noted. “The fees alone will range from $63,357 to $113,357. This does not include the additional fee for the building permit of approximately $14,358.”
The list of estimated fees Eagle could impose on the proposal include:
Water plant investment fee — $15,400 to $36,400
Sewer plant investment fee — $22,000 to $52,0000
Street impact fee — $14,849
Fire impact fee — $8,346
Emergency medical impact fee — $1,762
Eagle Town Attorney Ed Sands noted that the town’s various fees have been enacted to ensure that needed public improvements can be paid in part by the commercial or residential growth that spurs the need for them. He noted the fees are part of the town’s municipal code and therefore, they cannot be simply waived without amending the code.
“My inclination would be to go on the lower end of the fee scale, but not waive any of the fees,” said Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick. “The fact of the matter is that we have not done that in the past.”
“As much as it would be great if we could just waive these fees, there are impacts,” said Eagle Town Board member Anne McKibbin.
“The biggest problem I have with waiving fees is the next guy is going to come in and ask for it too,” said Eagle Town Board member Doug Seabury
But town officials did voice support for a plan to defer fee payments until later in the building process, noting it would give the developers additional flexibility during construction.
“Deferral is an interesting option to consider, if we defer to a specific point in the development, TCO (temporary certificate of occupancy) for example,” said Kostick.
“TCO is general acceptable and it doesn’t delay payment to a point after when it is needed,” said town engineer Tom Gosiorowski. “But it puts us a little in the collections business, which we don’t have experience in.”
After an initial presentation June 10, the town board asked staff to work out a deferral plan as part of the formal approval package for the development. That package was then unanimously approved by the town board on Tuesday.
“I like this project and I think it could be really neat and what we need in Eagle,” said McKibbin.