Busy night in Vail Tuesday
Vail, CO Colorado
Town will meet with developers looking to redevelop employee housing, parking garage
VAIL, Colorado –The Vail Town Council’s Tuesday agenda is full of controversial issues like medical marijuana dispensaries, fire impact fees and the Dobson Ice Arena’s new roof, as well as top priorities like the 2010 budget and whether parking could be added to Ford Park.
The town will also vote on the parking task force’s recommendations for paid passes for certain Frontage Road parking areas, as well as paid parking at the old Wendy’s lot and higher priced pink parking passes for town employees.
If that’s not enough, the town will meet with two developers looking to redevelop two of the town’s largest owned properties – Timber Ridge and the Lionshead Parking Structure.
The agenda is available at http://www.vailgov.com. The work session starts at 11 a.m. and the evening session starts at 6 p.m.
The Town Council will vote on a pre-development agreement with a Texas-based developer to rebuild the eastern half of Timber Ridge with 570 beds of affordable housing. The entire property currently has 600 beds.
The agreement would just mean the developer has exclusive options to rebuild the site and would have until April 2010 to submit an application to the town for the project.
Lionshead Parking Structure redevelopment
The Town Council will vote on whether to enter an agreement with Texas developer Mark Masinter for redeveloping the Lionshead Parking Structure. The agreement outlines conditions of a development option for Masinter. The agreement recognizes that Vail Resorts still holds a deed restriction on the property, which would have to be lifted until any redevelopment could happen.
The Vail Town Council approved the first reading of the 2010 budget at its Oct. 6 meeting, the same meeting in which council approved building a West Vail fire station that it will pay for with cash. The capital projects fund now includes a $3,659,000 transfer from the General Fund, which includes $2,341,000 from the 2008 surplus of $3, plus $1,318,000 from reserves.
Another $1 million for the station is coming from the Capital Projects Fund, and another $500,000 could potentially come from an Eagle County grant. The property tax increment reserve provided the additional $441,000 for the fire station.
The Town Council said at its Oct. 6 meeting it wanted to talk about specific capital projects in the budget at Tuesday’s meeting, which include the buy-down program, West Vail fire station construction costs, Red Sandstone Park’s safety improvements, Ford Park master plan, street lights, the Chamonix site, and street maintenance, among other things.
The council is expected to approve the budget, however it could make changes based on discussions about the capital projects.
As the town faces revenue declines and an unpredictable future, it’s weighing its options for adding development fees to help pay for things like fire and transportation. The Town Council asked town staff to do some math at its Sept. 1 meeting, asking for examples of how much the fees would have generated for past and current building projects.
Town staff put together a list of impact fees imposed by other mountain towns, like Aspen and Telluride, to show how much money the fees can generate to pay for important service like fire and road repairs. The staff is recommending the Town Council draft an ordinance soon in order to start implementing fees.
Because of a decline in building applications and building permits, the town staff is asking the Town Council to consider waiving building fees, something that the town of Avon recently did. The local economy is influenced by real estate development and construction, according to a staff memo, which is why the town staff is suggesting that waiving fees could stimulate the economy.
Vail’s Planning and Environmental Commission is recommending the Vail Town Council allow medical marijuana dispensaries in certain zoning districts. The allowable districts would include the Commercial Core III, or the West Vail commercial area, Commercial Service Center District, which includes the Gateway Building, Solaris and the U.S. Bank building, and the Arterial Business District, which includes the Vail Professional Building and Cascade Crossing.
Town staff stayed away from allowing areas that are tourist-based, said Rachel Friede, town planner, at Monday’s planning commission meeting. This is the first reading of the ordinance to allow the dispensaries.
Ford Park parking
Greg Hall, the town’s public works director, is presenting a feasibility report about parking options at Ford Park. It is the first step of many – something the Town Council wanted to look at in order to keep options open for expanding parking within the town.
The Town Council will vote on the parking task force’s recommendations to implement paid parking passes for North Frontage Road, west of the Shell Station and near Middle Creek. The passes would be for town employees, including construction workers, and would cost $100 for the season.
The Wendy’s lot, a previously free lot, would also cost $100 for the season because it’s so close to the proposed paid parking on Frontage Road. Pink passes for spots at Ford Park and the soccer field lots would cost $150, up from last year’s price of $100.
The task force is suggesting the paid Frontage Road spots because the Colorado Department of Transportation has said the town must charge for spots on the Frontage Road if it allows parking there seven days a week. Overflow parking on Frontage Road when the town’s parking garages fill up would remain free.
Council members are scheduled to visit the Dobson Ice Arena to check out the new roof – a roof neighbors are saying is too reflective and bright, and out of character with the rest of the neighborhood.
The new roof was deemed a “minor alteration” as far as Design Review Board definitions go, meaning the notification process to neighbors was significantly less than what’s required for a major alteration.
“This is a small town and I’m having trouble understanding how the neighbors of such a dramatic, large-scale change in a building’s appearance would not be contacted directly by town staff,” Snowden Smith, president of Vail International Condominiums, wrote in a September letter to the town.
The Town Council will look at the roof with town staff members and Scott O’Connell, from the Vail Recreation District, which operates Dobson, to see if council wants to either replace the roof, have it painted, plant more landscaping around it to block neighbors’ views of it or leave it as is.
Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or email@example.com