Vail Design Review Board looks at East Vail housing plans

Board will get a fuller view at its May 18 meeting

The Vail Design Review Board will take another meeting to approve changes to an approved plan for a housing project in East Vail.
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While the Vail Town Council heads down the road to condemning an East Vail housing site owned by Vail Resorts, there’s still work to be done on the actual development previously approved for the site.

The Vail Design Review Board Wednesday got its first look at a proposal for some alterations to a design approved in 2019. The basics of that design remain: Apartments with 165 beds of workforce housing in apartments, along with both deed-restricted and free-market townhomes. Current zoning allows up to 30% of the total square footage of the buildings to be sold at market rates.

Vail Resorts has taken over development of the parcel, and has hired OZ Architecture of Denver to update plans for the project.

The adjustments to the 2019 plans aren’t quite complete, and will be heard — and possibly voted upon — at the May 18 meeting at the earliest.

Becky Stone of OZ said that firm has gone through the plans to mesh up the already approved site and building plans. The OZ team also made some improvements to the apartments.

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The biggest improvement is breaking up the apartment into three buildings instead of the one large building that was approved. Another change is sequencing the work, especially regarding a relatively short window for the initial site work.

The existing approval allows site work only between mid-June and mid-November in order to avoid disturbance to the bighorn sheep herd that winters in the area.

That site work will have to be done over a couple of summers — possibly this summer and the summer of 2023. Work will proceed from west to east on the site.

Kyle Griffith of Vail Resorts said as much site work as possible will be done this year. The apartments could be done in 2023. Townhome construction will begin in 2023.

Beyond breaking up the rental units into multiple buildings, other changes include changes to the entryways and roof. There will be other changes to the retaining walls on the north end of the site and some adjustments to the entries to the property. Parking will be adjusted so accessible parking and accessible apartments are on the same grade.

Board members had generally positive comments about the changes. Members David Cope and Erin Iba praised the decision to go with natural wood siding, noting that siding is far more attractive than non-wood options.

“I’m appreciative of this design,” Cope said. “It’s more in scale with this environment.”

Vail Resorts has stated it intends to start work this year. Whether that happens depends on progress in the dispute between the company and the Town Council.

Four facts

Name: East Vail Workforce Housing Subdivision

Location: East Vail, just north of the Interstate 70 East Vail interchange

Parcel size: 5.3 acres

Developer: Vail Resorts

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