Council to postpone Crossroads decision | VailDaily.com

Council to postpone Crossroads decision

VAIL The Vail Town Council Tuesday will hold off on a final decision on the Crossroads renovation proposal. Final approval from the Town Council could come at the March 7 meeting, said Russ Forrest, the towns chief planner.The issue must be postponed because notice about a proposed ordinance allowing the project didnt appear soon enough as a legal notice in the Vail Daily, Forrest said.Town officials are hammering out details of the development improvement agreement, which outlines landscaping, public art, the public plaza, employee housing and road improvements. Developer Peter Knobel wants to build between 65 and 73 condos, a 10-lane bowling alley with an arcade, a three-screen movie theater, stores, restaurants and a public plaza/skating rink. The council gave preliminary approval to the project Feb. 7 with a 4-3 vote. Edward StonerVail rec district seeks candidatesVAIL There are three open seats this spring on the five-member Vail Recreation District board of directors. The election, which also includes voting for the Eagle River Water and Sanitation Districts board, is May 2. Rec district candidates can pick up nominating petitions at the rec district office next to the Ford Park softball fields on South Frontage Road. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Candidates must get the signature of one registered Colorado voter and turn the petition into the rec district by Friday. The board seats up for election are held by Nino Licciardi, Peter Cook and Julie Hansen, all of whom are eligible to run for re-election.To run in the election, candidates must be registered voters and a resident or property owner within the Vail Recreation District or married to a property owner within the district. For additional election information, contact Amy Ludke with the Vail Recreation District at 479-2279. Daily staff reportAdvisory boards have openingsEAGLE Eagle County has openings on its Planning Commission, the Zoning Board of Adjustments, the Building Board of Appeals and the Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission.Heres a chance to participate in the shaping and implementation of a vision for your community, said Keith Montag, the countys community development director. These commissions and boards are actively involved in the Eagle County land-use decision-making process.To apply for any of these boards, send a letter of interest to the Eagle County Community Development Department, P.O. Box 179, Eagle, CO 81631. Applications can be downloaded from http://www.eaglecounty.us. Applications must be received by March 1. Daily staff reportDownvalley rec district electionEAGLE COUNTY The Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District will hold an election for two positions on its board of directors on May 2.Nomination forms are available from Lanie Martin, the districts election official, at the agencys office at 113 E. Fourth St., Eagle, CO 81631. Forms must be returned by Friday. For additional information, contact the rec district at 328-6909 or wecmrd@wecmrd.org. Daily staff reportVail, Colorado

Vail to review Marriott proposal Tuesday

VAIL — The Vail Town Council will resume its review of an ordinance that would authorize the redevelopment of the former Roost Lodge property at 1783 N. Frontage Road at its Tuesday meeting. The item, first reading of Ordinance No. 35, is listed as action item 5.1 on the meeting agenda, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers with opportunities for community members to offer comments during the public hearing which has been continued from the Town Council's previous meeting on Dec. 20. The applicant, Vail Hotel Owner ESHV, LLC, represented by Mauriello Planning Group on behalf of the Marriott Residence Inn, has received a recommendation of approval, with conditions, from the Planning and Environmental Commission to build the project under guidelines associated with the town's special development district process in which setbacks, site coverage, building height, and other prescribed development standards are reviewed for compliance with the town's development regulations and land use objectives. In instances whereby a deviation from the prescribed standards is requested, it should be determined that such deviation provides public benefits to the town that outweigh any adverse effects of the deviation. The special development district review process requires a recommendation from the Planning and Environmental Commission to the Town Council. The Town Council is the final decision maker in the review process. Project details The development proposal for the Marriott Residence Inn includes an extended stay hotel with 170 limited service lodge rooms, fitness facility including swimming pool and hot tubs, a breakfast dining area and similar lodge amenities. As a public benefit, the project also includes a rental apartment component including 113 one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from approximately 600 square feet to 1,200 square feet. Of the 113 rental apartments, 107 would be deed restricted in perpetuity for employee housing, requiring them to be rented and occupied by Vail residents working at least 30 hours a week in Eagle County. The apartments could not be rented short term as rent by owner units. Also included in the development proposal is a two-level subgrade parking structure containing 360 parking spaces, 40 in excess of town code requirements. The excess parking would be available for use by the public and local businesses. The project also includes a shuttle bus system and a car share program for lodge guests and residents. The building is proposed to be LEED Certified and has been registered with the United States Green Building Council. All water runoff from the uses onsite are proposed to be treated before entering the town's stormwater system to remove pollutants. In exchange for the public benefits of rental housing, additional parking and energy efficiencies, the special development district development application deviates from established development standards in building height, density, setbacks, site coverage and retaining wall height. Moving forward The PEC voted 5 to 2 at its Nov. 28 public meeting to forward its recommendation of approval, with conditions, to the Town Council following three review sessions. In its consideration of the special development district, the Town Council must find that the proposed development application complies with nine design criteria and that the public benefit of the deviations from the prescribed development standards outweigh any adverse effect that may be created. Approval by the Town Council requires two readings of Ordinance No. 35 with public input opportunities and a formal public hearing. To view the staff memo on the project, visit the town's website at http://www.vailgov.com or to offer public comment in advance of the meeting, email the Town Council at towncouncil@vailgov.com. The town has approved 40 special development districts in its history to help achieve the community's development goals and objectives. Special development districts are most often used in instances where flexibility and creativity is needed to meet the development goals and objectives. The last special development district approval by a Vail Town Council occurred in March 2006 when it voted 4-3 to approve the Solaris development at the former Crossroads site in Vail Village. The approval was subsequently challenged by a citizen's committee and referred to a public vote in which Vail's electorate approved the development during a special election in July that year.

Vail Town Council gives initial OK to Marriott proposal in West Vail

VAIL — The Vail Town Council has given preliminary approval to a proposal for a Marriott Residence Inn in West Vail that would include apartments, hotel rooms, and underground parking. They approved the special development district ordinance by a vote of 5-2, with Kevin Foley and Jen Mason against, on first reading. Second reading is scheduled for Feb. 21. The development proposal under review for the Marriott Residence Inn includes an extended-stay hotel with 170 limited service lodge rooms, fitness facilities including swimming pool and hot tubs, a breakfast dining area and similar lodge amenities. As a public benefit, the project also includes an apartment component including 113 one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from approximately 600 square feet to 1,200 square feet. Of the 113 rental apartments, 107 would be deed restricted. Also included in the proposal is a two-level underground parking structure containing 360 parking spaces. (function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js”;ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘scrbbl-js’));

Vail Daily letters: No law against dropping school busing

No law ensuring school busing Although I am confident our school district will continue to provide transportation for our PreK-12th grade students, there is something that needs clarification regarding school bus routes and student transportation. I heard this repeated incorrectly during the school campaign for permanent higher property taxes and now I am reading it again. Public school buses are a school district taxpayer gift to students age 7 to 17 years (the compulsory education age in our state), and not a given mandated by any federal or state law. Pursuant to 22-32-113, C.R.S., the board of education of a school district is authorized but is not required to furnish student transportation home to school, school to school, school to home, and on school sponsored activities. See http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdenutritran/download/pdf/OperationalRules041309.pdf So to read this in the newspaper: “Moving the students to another school and town would only serve to reinstate the costs of transportation. With the school being so central within the town of Avon, the necessity of school-funded transportation has been eliminated” needs correction before more erroneously speak out on this topic. The option of providing no school buses at all is a perfectly legal option. Again, I don’t anticipate that happening here, but it could legally. And elsewhere in Colorado, it has. Reading through the state of Colorado School Transportation Facts 2010 — http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdenutritran/download/word/trans/ColoSchoolTransFacts2010.doc — you will find that four Colorado school districts currently do not provide any bus routes for their students. Of those four school districts, two chose to provide special needs busing only, and two districts have chosen to pay parents to transport their child to and from school. So although I would be shocked if the Eagle County School District stopped providing any public school busing, they can per both federal and state law if they chose to do so. Marty Lich Gypsum

Vail Daily column: Go to mail-in ballots

Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report. We publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town. The newsletter electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at http://www.vailhomeowners.com. Mail-in ballots were a success in the last election. It's sometimes hard to learn much from election results but the May elections in the three separate special taxing districts that provide Vail with water and sewer services (the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District), recreation facilities (Vail Recreation District) and ambulance services (Eagle County Health Service District) show that mail-in ballots resulted in increased voter participation. Prior to these elections, except for a few instances of coordinated elections with Eagle County, all three special districts used the traditional walk-in polling places/voter requested absentee ballot system. For the 2014 elections, Vail Recreation District and Eagle County Health Service District continued with that same system but the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District used a "mail ballot" for the first time. This was required by law since their ballot measures would affect tax rates for property owners. The district mailed ballots to all registered voters within their district boundaries and to individuals owning taxable property within their boundaries who were registered to vote in Colorado. Reflected below is data available on the voter turnout over the past 10 years for the town of Vail and the three special districts listed above. Participation in the 2014 Eagle River Water and Sanitation District election jumped by 402.11 percent. While some of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District increase might be attributable to get-out-the-vote efforts by Vail Homeowners Association and others, as well as voter interest in the issues (Eagle River Water and Sanitation District proposed bond authorizations for construction of new facilities), it seems clear that the convenience of a mail-in ballot was a large factor in the increased turnout. That conclusion is backed up by the results of the town of Vail 2012 elections in which the town also used mail-in ballots as part of a coordinated election with Eagle County and voter participation leaped to 58.61 percent of registered voters. The Eagle River Water and Sanitation District is to be commended for their execution of the mail-ballot requirement for their 2014 election and the corresponding increase in voter turnout. Vail Homeowners Association encourages the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, the town of Vail and all other special districts in the area to use the mail-ballot system permanently. The minority rules. While the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District substantially boosted its rate of voter participation, it did not come close to a majority. There were 2,852 votes cast in the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District 2014 election out of 15,094 eligible electors who were mailed ballots, for an 18.89 percent participation rate. That is still significant minority rule, which seems to be a feature of governance throughout Vail. For example, with the exception of 2012, when the town of Vail used a mail-in ballot, voter participation in the town of Vail elections has been on the decline even as the number of registered voters has been steadily increasing. In the town of Vail 2013 elections, voter participation was only 19.52 percent (831 votes cast out of 4,257 registered voters). While this rate is similar to the 2014 Eagle River Water and Sanitation District rate, a town municipal election should normally have much higher participation rates than those for special taxing districts. Voter participation for the 2014 Vail Recreation District election was even lower with a meager 8.43 percent rate (374 votes cast out of 4,435). But the voter participation for the 2014 Eagle County Health Service District election was almost nonexistent at less than 1 percent (0.54 percent, or only 149 votes cast out of 27,606 voters registered in the district). Unlike the town of Vail municipal election, individuals registered to vote in Colorado, and their spouses or civil union partners, are eligible to vote in any of the state's special district elections where they own taxable property under their individual name (not under a corporation, partnership, trust, etc.). Nonetheless, participation remains low. The voting rates are so small that they should spur the governing authorities to take action to educate voters and encourage public participation in the governance of the community. Minority control enables special interests to dominate governance. Both the 2014 Vail Recreation District and the Eagle County Health Service District elections were controlled by a handful of voters (374 and 149, respectively). Special interests may have already taken control of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District. If participation rates continue to drop, then entities like the Eagle County Health Service District and Vail Recreation District run the risk of becoming so moribund that they could be candidates for dissolution. A more engaged and active electorate would make for sounder government. It seems clear to the Vail Homeowners Association that mail-in ballots should be adopted for all Vail area elections, including the town of Vail. That would greatly increase voter participation. Write a column! What's on your mind? Share your insights with the rest of the community. What's going well, not so well? Send your submission to ValleyVoices@vaildaily.com. By submitting a column, you are granting permission for the Daily to publish it on the paper's website. Email Don Rogers at editor@vaildaily.com for more information.

Several valley towns will vote this spring

This story has been corrected. EAGLE COUNTY — Election season starts early this year. Before we vote for a governor, a senator and county commissioners in November, there are spring elections that may have a bigger effect on life in the valley. The spring elections include voting in Minturn, Eagle and Gypsum, all in April. May brings special district elections. Most are for candidates to serve on boards, but there's also a handful of tax and spending questions to answer. Here's a look at the towns and districts asking for our votes this spring: Minturn Election date and place: April 8 at Minturn Town Hall. Issue: Town Council election. Who's running? Mayor "Hawkeye" Flaherty is being challenged by resident Frank Lorenti. There are also four candidates for four council seats: Incumbents Shelley Bellm and Earle Bidez are seeking another term, former council member Matt Scherr would like to return to the board and newcomer Jason "Ozzie" Osborne has returned his paperwork. Candidates with the top three amounts of votes will be elected to four-year terms; the person finishing fourth will serve a two-year term. What you need to know: Minturn no longer has a "permanent" mail ballot sent to registered voters. Red Cliff Election date and place: April 1 at Red Cliff Town Hall. Issue: Town Council election and a marijuana ballot question. Who's running? While four seats are available, only incumbents Anuschka Bales and Tom Henderson submitted paperwork to run. The town council will seek applications after the election to fill the remaining two seats by appointment. Town voters will also be asked if the town should ban medical marijuana facilities. Those facilities are now allowed, but there are none in town. Voters will probably be asked in November if they want to ban retail marijuana operations. Gypsum Election date and place: April 8 at Gypsum Town Hall. Issue: Town Council election. Is it too late to run? No, but the deadline to return paperwork is Wednesday. Who's running? As of Thursday, Chris Estes, Tim McMichael and newcomer Marisa Sato are the only people to have returned their paperwork. Mayor Steve Carver is expected to run again. Eagle Election date and place: April 1 at Eagle Town Hall, although early voting is available until March 28. Issue: Town board election, as well as a question asking voters if the current "lodging occupation tax," now dedicated for open space, can also be used to build and maintain "soft path" trails and facilities such as restrooms and parking areas. Who's running? There are three seats available, and none of the incumbents — Scott Turnipseed, Scot Webster and Mikel Kerst — are running. Current candidates are Stephen Richards, Paul Witt, Kraige Kinney, Gladdie Funke, Andy Jessen, Luis Benitez and Doug Seabury. Vail Recreation District Election date and place: May 6 at Vail Town Hall. Who can vote? A resident or property owner in the district, which includes both Vail and a few areas close to, but not in the town's boundaries. Issue: Board election. Who's running? Voters will pick three members of the five-member board. No incumbents are running. Candidates this year are Kevin Foley, Constance Miller, Kim Newbury, Robert Oppenheimer, Brian Rodine, Tom Saalfeld and Penny Turilli. Eagle River Water and Sanitation District Election date and place: May 6 and by mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters — residents and property owners — between April 14 and 21. Issues: There's a board election and a pair of tax questions. On the board, members represent districts but are elected by everyone in the district as a whole. Candidates are: District 1: Rick Sackbauer (incumbent) and Kaye Ferry. District 2: Sounia Nejad Chaney, Paul Testwuide and John Rediker. District 3: No candidates. A member will be appointed by the board after the election. District 5: Matt Scherr and Tom Allender. District 7: Ellen Eaton, Bill Simmons and Tommy King. On the tax-and-spending side, the district is asking for a property-tax increase in order to issue a "general obligation" bond to pay for wastewater system improvements. The other question asks voters to exempt the district from some of the revenue limits imposed by the Colorado Constitution's Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, amendment. Other special districts Here's a quick rundown of elections scheduled in other special districts this spring: The following special districts are holding elections May 6. The information was provided by Robertson & Marchetti, a local accounting and management company that administers elections for many local special districts. • Beaver Creek Metropolitan District directors, debt and multiple fiscal year financial obligation mail ballot election. • Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District (El Jebel) directors polling place election at Eagle County Community Building, 20 Eagle County Drive, Suite F El Jebel. • Lake Creek Metropolitan District mail ballot directors election (uncontested) and tax increase election. • Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District directors election. This is a mail ballot election.

Minturn, Gypsum vote Tuesday

EAGLE COUNTY — The spring election season continues Tuesday in towns at either end of the Eagle River Valley — Gypsum and Minturn. Here's a look at who's running for what in each town. Gypsum While Gypsum Mayor Steve Carver is running unopposed for another term, the town has the most people — seven — running for the most Town Council positions — three. Here's who's running: • Tim McMichael, incumbent. • Pam Schultz, incumbent. Dick Mayne, incumbent. Mayne is also running this fall for a seat on the Eagle County Board of Commissioners. • Chris Estes, former council member. • Hagen Kuhl. • Chris Huffman. • Marisa Sato. All the council members are elected to four-year terms. Minturn Only the mayor's position is contested this year, with longtime council critic Frank Lorenti challenging longtime incumbent Gordon, "Hawkeye" Flaherty. Lorenti has a candidate questionnaire filled out on the town's website. Flaherty at the April 2 town council meeting acknowledged that he hadn't filled out a questionnaire, saying he's satisfied to run on his record. On the town council, current members Aggie Martinez and Darell Wegert aren't seeking new terms, but there are four candidates for the four available seats: • Incumbent Earle Bidez. • Incumbent Shelley Bellm. • Newcomer Jason, "Ozzie" Osborne. • Former council member Matt Scherr. The three candidates earning the most votes will be elected to four-year terms, while the person who finishes fourth will be elected to a two-year term. While Bellm will be elected to a new term, she recently resigned her council position, citing the conflict she's seen on the board. The day after submitting her resignation, Bellm asked to rescind that resignation. The rest of the council April 2 voted 5-1 not to accept Bellm's request. She'll re-join the council when she's sworn in on April 16 for a new term. Once the town elections are finished, special districts in the valley will hold May 6 elections. The Vail Recreation District and the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District will hold board elections. The Beaver Creek Metropolitan District is also holding a board election, as are the Lake Creek Metropolitan District and the El Jebel-based Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District. The Eagle River Water and Sanitation District is also holding a May 6 board election. The district is also asking voters two tax questions — a property tax increase question and another to exempt the district from some of the revenue limits imposed by the Colorado Constitution's Taxpayers Bill of Rights amendment.

East Vail tree removal approved

VAIL, Colorado – The U.S. Forest Service has approved a request by the Vail Fire Department to remove approximately 113 dead and diseased lodgepole pine trees on forest land south of Bighorn Road in East Vail as part of the town’s ongoing Forest Health project. Crews from the fire department’s wildfire division began the work Monday. The area is located about 1.9 miles east of the Interstate 70 East Vail interchange in the White River National Forest. The project has been approved by David Neely, district ranger of the Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District. Once cut, the beetle-kill trees will be moved to the northwest corner of the property, where the wood will be available to the public by permit only. Firewood permits are available on a limited basis at the Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District office in Minturn. The wood will become available Sept. 17. The East Vail project is the 12th area to receive treatment this summer by Vail’s six-person seasonal wildfire crew, which has been working since May to improve the defensible space between the forest and Vail’s boundaries. This is the fourth season for the wildfire crew. To date, crews have removed more than 1,000 trees on 60 acres within the project areas. The crews will continue working until Oct. 31 and are prepared to burn slash piles in five of the areas if conditions become favorable. – For more information, contact Tom Talbot, wildland fire coordinator, at 401-4202.

Where to cast your ballots, Vail Valley

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado Several agencies that are funded by taxpayers money will hold elections Monday. The town of Avon, Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District, Vail Recreation District, Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, Eagle River Fire Protection District, and Berry Creek Metropolitan District are all on the ballot. Below is a list of whats being voted on and where you can vote: If Avon wants to sell or dispose of any town-owned buildings or property, voters have to approve it first. Town leaders want to change that. Avon will hold a special election Tuesday asking residents if they want to change the part of the town charter that requires voter approval before property or buildings are sold.The election takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Avon Town Hall. Seven Eagle-Vail residents are after two open seats on the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District board of directors. The candidates are incumbent Bruce Mielke, incumbent Bob Finlay, Louise Funk, Charlie Penwill, Mike Matzko, Steve Kirchner and Bonnie Wood. The two candidates who receive the most votes will be elected.To vote in this election, head to the Eagle-Vail Pavilion between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday. Three candidates are running for two seats on the Vail Recreation Districts board of directors. The Vail Recreation District which extends slightly beyond the borders of the town of Vail is a special district thats separate from the town. It runs the Vail Golf Club, the Ford Park Tennis Center, the Dobson Ice Arena, the Gymnastics Center, intramural sports and childrens camps.The candidates are Ross Davis, incumbent Michelle Hall and Jeff Wiles. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Vail Municipal Building at 75 South Frontage Road. The district is holding an election Tuesday for four open spots on its board of directors. The board is charged with making major decisions concerning how water is treated, used and acquired in Eagle County. Frederick Sackbauer is challenging incumbent Timm Paxson for a two-year seat in District 3, which includes Matterhorn, Intermountain, Eagle-Vail north of U.S. Highway 6, most of downtown Avon and Mountain Star. You dont have to live in District 3 to vote.Sackbauer previously served on the board for 14 years and was chairman for 12 of those.There are four polling places located as follows. Voters may vote at any polling place: Town of Vail Town Offices (75 South Frontage Rd. Vail) Town of Minturn Town Offices (302 Pine St. Minturn) Eagle River Fire Protection District Avon Station (351 Benchmark Rd. Avon) Eagle County Health Service District Offices (AKA Eagle County Ambulance District: 1065 Edwards Village Blvd. Edwards)Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Two Eagle-Vail residents will vie for a seat on the Eagle River Fire Protection Districts board of directors in Tuesdays election. Kate Hawthorne and Clark Shivley are candidates for the seat from District 1, most of which is in Eagle-Vail.The Eagle River Fire Protection District provides fire and emergency service to 240 square miles stretching from Red Cliff to Wolcott. The district also includes Minturn, Eagle-Vail, Avon, Edwards, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Cordillera.All electors within the entire fire district can vote for the District 1 seat.Hawthorne, an emergency medical technician, was an employee of the fire district from 2001 to 2007. Shivley, an operations and maintenance manager for Eagle County, was a volunteer firefighter with the Avon Fire Department for nearly 10 years. Voting takes place at Minturn Town Hall, the Avon fire station, the Eagle County Ambulance District station in Edwards and Eagle-Vail Pavilion. George Gregory, John DeNardo and Heather Cook McInerny are competing for two four-year seats on the board. The two candidates with the most votes will win seats.C. Michael Budd is running uncontested for a two-year spot.The district is mainly in charge of maintaining parks and recreation facilities in the Singletree area, such as the Singletree Pavilion and Chip Ramsey Park.Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at the Edward Ambulance District.Any registered voter who owns property in Singletree or lives in Singletree is eligible to vote in this election.

Vail Town Council to look at Marriott proposal on Tuesday

VAIL — The Vail Town Council will resume its review of an ordinance that would authorize the redevelopment of the former Roost Lodge property at 1783 N. Frontage Road at its Tuesday meeting. The item, first reading of Ordinance No. 35, is listed as public hearing item 5.1 on the meeting agenda, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers. There will be opportunities for community members to offer additional comments during the public hearing. This will be the third time the ordinance has been before the council in a public hearing for disposition on first reading. Following more than two hours of public testimony Dec. 20, the item was continued to the Jan. 3 meeting. At that time, the Town Council voted 4-3 (Kevin Foley, Kim Langmaid and Jen Mason against) to table the matter to Tuesday following additional public testimony. The applicant, Vail Hotel Owner ESHV, LLC, represented by Mauriello Planning Group on behalf of the Marriott Residence Inn, has received a recommendation of approval, with conditions, from the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission to build the project under guidelines associated with the town's Special Development District process in which setbacks, site coverage, building height and other prescribed development standards are reviewed for compliance with the town's development regulations and land use objectives. In instances where a deviation from the prescribed standards is requested, it should be determined that such deviation provides public benefits to the town that outweigh any adverse effects of the deviation. The review process requires a recommendation from the planning commission to the council, which is the final decision maker in the process. The proposal The development proposal under review for the Marriott Residence Inn — no revisions to the development application have been submitted — includes an extended-stay hotel with 170 limited service lodge rooms, fitness facilities including swimming pool and hot tubs, a breakfast dining area and similar lodge amenities. As a public benefit, the project also includes an apartment component including 113 one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from approximately 600 square feet to 1,200 square feet. Of the 113 rental apartments, 107 would be deed restricted in perpetuity for employee housing, requiring them to be rented to and occupied by Vail residents working at least 30 hours a week in Eagle County. The apartments could not be rented short term as rent by owner units. Also included in the proposal is a two-level underground parking structure containing 360 parking spaces, 40 in excess of town code requirements. The excess parking would be available for use by the public and local businesses. The project also includes a shuttle bus system and a car share program for lodge guests and residents. The building is proposed to be LEED Certified and has been registered with the United States Green Building Council. All water runoff is proposed to be treated before entering the town's stormwater system. In exchange for the public benefits of rental housing, additional parking and energy efficiencies, the Special Development District application deviates from established development standards in building height, density, setbacks, site coverage and height of retaining walls. What now? After three review sessions, the planning commission voted 5-2 at its Nov. 28 public meeting to forward its recommendation of approval, with conditions, to the council. In its consideration of the proposal, the council must find that the proposed development complies with nine design criteria and that the public benefit of the deviations from the prescribed development standards outweigh any adverse effect that may be created. Following review by the Town Council on Jan. 3 as well as additional input during the public hearing, a staff memorandum prepared by the Vail Community Development Department for review at Tuesday's meeting notes the applicant has evaluated possible solutions to a list of concerns raised by the council. Options include: lower building height, reduced building mass, reduction in total number of deed restricted units, change in total number of surplus parking spaces, dedicated left turn lane, installation of vehicle entry and directional signs, limitation on pet ownership and improved landscape plan. Additional details are described in a letter submitted Thursday by the applicant to the council. Approval requires two readings of the ordinance with public input opportunities and completion of a formal public hearing. The town has approved 40 Special Development Districts in its history. These districts are most often used in instances where flexibility and creativity is needed to meet the development goals and objectives. The last Special Development District approval by the Vail Town Council was in March 2006 when it voted 4-3 to approve the Solaris development at the former Crossroads site in Vail Village.