Families living next to lifties in Vail? | VailDaily.com

Families living next to lifties in Vail?

VAIL ” About twice as many people would be living at Timber Ridge under a Texas developer’s plan to redevelop the aging employee housing complex.

The complex would house about 1,600 people under the plan. The complex now has a capacity of about 800.

“That’s a pretty healthy number of people living there,” said Vail Housing Coordinator Nina Timm.

The Vail Town Council is reviewing the plan of Open Hospitality Group/Hillwood Capital, the developer that wants to rebuild the Lionshead parking structure. The developer has included the 10-acre Timber Ridge, Vail’s biggest affordable housing project, as part of the proposal.

The developer proposes 412 two-bedroom, four-person apartments averaging 950 square feet per apartment. That’s 200 square feet bigger than the current apartments there.

“It’s almost Timber Ridge today, grown up a little bit,” Timm said.

The developer of the Lionshead garage would house 207 employees there, which would meet its town of Vail requirements. Council members this week seemed pleased with that breakdown.

“I think that’s great number of rentals,” Councilman Mark Gordon said at a meeting Tuesday.

The development would also include 167 for-sale condos. But those condos would not be deed-restricted, Timm said, adding they would sell for around $540,000.

Councilman Farrow Hitt said it was troubling that the condos wouldn’t be deed-restricted.

“To me, that’s a stumbling block right out of the gate,” he said.

All of the council members said they wanted the condos to be affordable and deed-restricted.

“I do think it should be all deed-restricted, if at all possible,” said Councilwoman Kim Newbury, who lives in deed-restricted housing in West Vail.

Hitt said the for-sale condos should be smaller and include studios, one bedroom and two bedrooms. There shouldn’t be three-bedroom and four-bedroom condos, he said.

“If I was the family moving here I wouldn’t spend half a million dollars to live in a seasonal employee area,” he said.

Under the developer’s plan, the town would sell the land to the developer. Even if there were deed restrictions on the land, some council members said it wouldn’t be wise to sell it.

“I feel very strongly that we should not sell the land,” said Mayor Rod Slifer.

Slifer said the town should try to arrange a long-term lease.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

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