Timber Ridge Village lease approved by Town Council | VailDaily.com

Timber Ridge Village lease approved by Town Council

VAIL — The eastern half of Timber Ridge is now Lion's Ridge, and 113 new apartments will be built there. The Vail Town Council on Tuesday approved the details of a ground lease with the project developers, Gary Gorman and longtime Vail resident Jen Wright. The project will build 113 new apartments on roughly 5 acres of the Timber Ridge property, which has been owned by the town for about a decade. The town is putting about $1.3 million into renovating the apartments on the western half of the property, and those will be open to renters this year. Town officials and developers first agreed to a deal in November of 2013, but Gorman and Wright earlier this year asked to modify the terms of the original deal. In a July interview, Wright said he and Gorman had hit hurdles in getting the project financed due to the original 35-year lease on the property and asked instead for a 50-year lease. Lenders all asked for a longer lease term, Wright said. Must Be Employee Housing Deal modifications also included the option for the developers to buy the property for $5 million, about half the price the town paid a decade ago. That purchase option must be exercised within the first 10 years of the deal. If the developers don't buy the land, then they'll make lease payments to the town. Whatever option the developers choose, the land is contractually bound for employee housing. At least 70 percent of all units must be occupied by people working at least 30 hours per week in Eagle County. Opponents of the deal said the town was giving up too much with the sale option. Supporters said governments routinely provide low-cost, or no-cost, land to developers for housing and other projects. Eagle County is providing the land to developers of a senior housing center in Eagle. Council members Margaret Rogers and Dale Bugby voted against the deal at an Aug. 19 meeting. Both continued their opposition Tuesday. Bugby said Tuesday that the deal has "gone backwards" for the town in the months since it was first approved last year. Rogers said the rest of the council might be suffering "Timber Ridge fatigue" in accepting the deal before them. As Good As It Gets But council member Greg Moffet, who was on the council when the town purchased the apartments, said that council never intended for the town to keep the Timber Ridge property. He called the deal with the developers "as good as we're going to get." Mayor Pro Tem Ludwig Kurz, running the meeting in Mayor Andy Daly's absence, agreed with Moffet. So did council members Dave Chapin and Jenn Bruno, approving the deal by a 4-2 vote. Work on the new apartments will start this fall. The first tenants are expected to move in by the end of 2015. Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, smiller@vaildaily.com and @scottnmiller.

Letter: Wake up, Minturn!

Minturn citizens, wake up. Town council has approved the Ginn annexation, without a citizens vote. Kelly Brinkerhoff basically stated that council has more knowledge than the Minturn citizen. She then went on to comment on how much time they have put into it. Kelly, a lot of Minturn citizens have put a lot of time into this also, but town council does not care about Minturn citizens’ time. We have been trying to get you to give us more information and trying to get you to explain your positions, you have refused. You hide behind “ex parte communication.” Evidently, Kelly and the rest of town council’s vote and democratic rights are more important than the average Minturn citizens. They have refused to make it easy for us to vote. Minturn we owe it to ourselves to put this to a vote. Minturn Town Councilor Tom Sullivan is poised to reap some huge rewards with the Ginn annexation pproved. In 2005 Ginn bought Tom’s Minturn Inn for $6.5 million dollars, setting a per-bedroom price record for Minturn. Tom has since then bought eight downtown properties, and his sister-in-law runs the Minturn Inn, which Ginn bought from Tom. So Tom has already made millions from Ginn, and now that Tom and the council have approved the Ginn annexation, he will make millions more. Unbelievable that no one else sees a huge conflict of interest, if not more. Please go to a Web site that is dedicated to bringing this to a citizens vote: http://www.minturntimes.com. Let’s show the six people on council that they can not ignore or dictate to 1,200 Citizens what should be allowed to affect our small town forever. We must submit the petition to the town no more than thirty days after the approved ordinance is published in the newspaper. We will need at least 80 signatures, and you must be registered to vote. When we vote we exercise our constitutional rights. Do not let this Council take away that right.

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’));

Three new faces elected to Minturn Town Council

MINTURN — When the Town Council is sworn in at Wednesday night's meeting at Town Hall, there will be three new council members and a fresh face sitting at the mayor's seat for the first time in 16 years. Minturn residents voted Matt Scherr mayor with 116 votes against Hawkeye Flaherty's 99 votes. Newcomers Terry Armistead (189 votes), Sidney Harrington (163 votes) and Harvey Craig (132 votes) earned seats on the council while George Brodin (89 votes) and Johnie Rosenfeld's (53 votes) time on the council has come to an end. "I think this kind of vote really reflects the energy and excitement in Minturn for what the future's going to be," said Scherr, who was celebrating with his family at home on Tuesday night. "Everybody I talked to had said Hawk's been great, and that's what I said, too. But it's just an idea that we need to get some different perspective and change of ideas." The key issue everyone in town is talking about is the South Minturn Exchange. "There's a lot of challenges because we do want to continue to grow and prosper, but at the same time at what expense?" asked Vicky Trujillo, a lifetime resident of Minturn. "There's a very fine line there." With Shelly Belm not running again and Earle Bidez's term still ongoing, there is still work to be done to fill the council. Scherr's previous seat on the council is now vacant and will be appointed by the new council, and councilmember Jason Osborne may be moving to Hawaii, so his seat would need to be filled if that happens, too. "I consider it an honor," Harrington said of being elected to office for the first time. "Since I moved to the community, I've made a lot of friends and become involved in the community, and I just feel like I have a good sense of what my fellow constituents are looking for with the future of Minturn." Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

Minturn slow to see benefits of annexation

Minturn citizens voted for the Ginn annexation with the idea that we would get benefits. One of those lower taxes. The Town Council actually wanted to raise our water rates by 5 percent. On Nov. 5, the council stated that they will not lower any taxes. So taxes go up, as our property values increase. Minturn council member Haslee has stated that she wants to make Minturn a more affordable town to live in. That was my question to council, that they refused to answer, How are they going to make Minturn a more affordable town to live in? We need to hold this council responsible for the words that come out of their mouths. Go to http://www.minturntimes.com for more information. All the people that voted for the Ginn annexation should be upset that the council and Ginn misled them. I voted against it, and the majority of you voted for it. You should be more upset than me for being misled. You bought into the fact that taxes would go down and now they won’t. The only benefit the citizens get is when they sell their property for a higher value because of the annexation. When you sell your house, you will probably not live in Minturn anymore, so why should you care about the high cost of living? A second-home owner will buy it and rent it out to four or more people because a working-class family cannot afford $3,000 or more a month in rent. Therefore, the dynamics of Minturn change. The town also wants their highway right-of-way back. To the people that did not believe me, you will find out just exactly what that means. For any Minturn citizen with children, Minturn has over $350,000 for a scholarship fund. Good luck getting it. They hold a carrot in front of you and say maybe in the future. They forget, that scholarship money is not theirs, it is yours. Finally, the council has supposedly agreed to enforce the speed limit.They stated that maybe it was a joke that they wanted the police to allow speeding. Maybe it was joke that on May 9, only a few days before the annexation vote, Jerry Bumgarner said that by voting yes we could get lower taxes. He said he wants to “dispel this myth” that people won’t be able to afford to live in Minturn due to rising property taxes if voters approve a private ski resort in the town. That was my fact (myth) that we would be paying more in taxes, he was trying to rebuke me. I guess the joke is on us. This council does a great comedy act. Frank Lorenti Minturn

Minturn to decide on pot ballot

MINTURN, Colorado – The town of Minturn should have ballot language in place asking voters what to do about medical marijuana dispensaries by the end of the Aug. 18 Town Council meeting, said Minturn Town Manager Jim White. The town has already voted to put the issue on the November ballot, so the upcoming vote will just determine what that language should read, White said. The just of the language will be asking voters whether the town of Minturn should ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within town limits. The town has until Sept. 1 to vote on the language, but White expects the Town Council to make a decision at its Aug. 18 meeting.

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 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.

Minturn re-elects ‘Hawkeye’ as town’s mayor

MINTURN — Mayor Gordon "Hawkeye" Flaherty will spend another two years on what he calls the best job in Eagle County. Flaherty was re-elected to Minturn's mayor seat on Tuesday, receiving 95 votes to challenger Frank Lorenti's 41 votes received. "Doing things for people and trying to make things better around town, that's why I love it," Flaherty said Tuesday night. This will be Flaherty's sixth term as mayor. NEW BLOOD Minturn also had a Town Council election on Tuesday, but with only four people running for the four possible seats, it wasn't much of an election. Nevertheless, the person with the least amount of votes only received a two-year term, as opposed to the four-year terms the top three vote earners received. Matt Scherr received the most votes with 105. One of the things Scherr said he's looking forward to tackling as a councilman is the organization of town management and staff. "I don't think there's a process. We need to create a process," Scherr said. "If you have staff not liking management, which seems to be the case now, there needs to be a process so that staff feels like they can have a way to be heard." STAFF ISSUES Minturn's town manager and police chief are both currently on paid administrative leave. Council member Shelley Bellm, who was elected to the two-year term on Tuesday, says having new blood like Scherr on council could help with internal staffing issues. "I'm hoping that having Matt and Ozzy on the council can help redirect the dynamic of council into doing the job we were hired to do rather than backstabbing each other or trying to raise ourselves or our personal platforms," Bellm said. Top Priority Jason "Ozzy" Osborne, who received 97 votes, says solving the police issue in Minturn is his top priority. "There have been a lot of moves toward outsourcing police services here in the town of Minturn, and that's a move that really did not sit well with me," Osborne said. "If we're going to give up our police force here in Minturn, then we may as well give up our town charter as well."

Sullivan: RV park could hurt Minturn

Like many Eagle County residents, Tom Sullivan’s arrival here was a little bit by chance. His decision to make Minturn his home for the past 10 years, however, was completely deliberate. “I liked the small town feel, the authenticity of it,” Sullivan said. Sullivan, who co-owns the Minturn Inn with his wife, Cathy, is vying against four other candidates for three open seats on the Minturn Town Council. The election is April 6. “I’ve been pretty disappointed with the town government the last two years,” he said. “There has been a tremendous amount of friction created.” He disagrees with the tactics the council used to restore the Eagle riverfront. That project, intended to reverse environmental damage caused to the river by mining operations, is entering its final stages now. At one point, the town attempted to condemn land near Sullivan’s hotel, which borders the Eagle River. As a business owner, Sullivan said the Town Council has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to survive. He blames the town’s regulations and procedures for prompting the closures of Minturn Gardens and Michel’s Bakery. Most of all, he is “adamantly opposed” to the current council’s plans to build a recreational vehicle park on town-owned land. He said he fears the town’s plans to have a developer build an RV park could put the Minturn at risk of financial peril. “It could be detrimental to the town,” he said. Understanding the council’s desire to create another revenue source for Minturn, Sullivan suggested alternatives. The creation of a lift connecting Minturn to Two Elk Lodge at the top of Vail Mountain could be an economic boon, he said. Gilman – the abandoned mining town near Minturn – could provide business opportunities, as well. He agreed with other RV park opponents, such as former mayor and current candidate Hawkeye Flaherty, that Minturn residents should vote on the issue. Mayor Earl Bidez has said a vote is not required and that the job of a publicly elected council is to decide such things for residents. “It’s so easy to do this right yet they’ve chosen not to,” Sullivan said. While Minturn residents may not be able to vote on the RV park directly, they will likely voice their opinion on the issue when they consider who to elect to town council. Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached via e-mail at: tmiller@vaildaily.com or by calling 949-0555 ext. 607.