Moving on with Middle Creek
The two boards are expected to review a final presentation by the Denver-based developer, Coughlin & Company, aimed to address remaining concerns with rock-fall hazards, as well as the visual impact of a four-story, eastern-facing wall.Regardless of which way the two boards’ thumbs point, however, Vail’s second-largest, for-rent, affordable housing project is destined for yet another arena – the Vail Town Council.Even if the two boards at today decide to deny the 142-unit affordable housing complex, supporters of the project have the right to appeal the two boards’ decisions. Likewise, if the two boards give the project a thumbs-up, the project’s equally vocal opponents will ask the council to review the decision on appeal.Middle Creek, a 142-unit affordable rental apartment complex, is estimated to cost $23 million. Proposed to be built by Christmas 2003 east of the Mountain Bell microwave tower on 25-acres of town land just north of the Main Vail Roundabout, the proposed complex would consists of eight separate two- to six-story buildings with covered parking and a $1 million, 4,500-square-foot child care center.One-year and six-month leases would range from $540 for a studio to $1,750 for a three-bedroom unit. Eighty-one units would be restricted to individual incomes of 50 to 60 percent below the median income, or about $8 to $13 in hourly wages. Annual rent increases would be capped by the Colorado Housing Authority.As proposed, Middle Creek would be financed completely without taxpayers’ money on Vail land as part of a 50-year lease with the private developer. So far $13.5 million have been committed in public subsidies from Eagle County, state and federal housing authorities. After that time as much as $15 million in county, state and federal grants will be allocated to other projects.Coughlin & Company, which is shepherding the project through the approval process, needs a final approval by the Town Council before Oct. 31.The council could get its hands and minds on the project as early as Sept. 17 – but more likely Oct. 1, if a review comes within the council’s regular meeting schedule. A special meeting would have to be noticed within 24 hours prior to the special meeting.Geraldine Haldner covers Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff. She can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 602, or at email@example.com.