Next open lands plan meeting is on April 25
Board: Vail Town Council.
Meeting: Tuesday afternoon and evening meetings.
Present: Kevin Foley, Greg Moffet, Jenn Bruno, Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason Dick Cleveland, Mayor Dave Chapin.
Issue: Open lands plan update.
Who they talked to: Vail Environmental Sustainability Manager Kristen Bertuglia, consultant Tom Braun.
Support Local Journalism
What they talked about: The discussion centered on public comments from a January open house to discuss an update to the 1994 Vail Open Lands Plan. That plan identifies the undeveloped property in town and its uses, from parks and open space to potential development parcels.
Braun noted that public comments indicated no support for land exchanges with the U.S. Forest Service if those swaps involve land intended for future development.
Looking at the inventory of vacant land around town, Braun told council members that there are “14 or 15” parcels that aren’t restricted in their use, and that could be used for purposes other than trails, parks or open space.
While talking about public comments, Braun said members of the public at the January session generally indicated that the town shouldn’t be involved in the development of workforce housing.
That drew a sharp retort from Moffet, who said that town elections bring to office candidates who favor the town’s current approach.
What’s next? The next open house is set for April 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Grand View room atop the Lionshead Village Parking Structure.
Issue: Update on the Chamonix neighborhood lottery process.
Who they talked to: Vail Community Development Department Director George Ruther.
What they talked about: Ruther told council members that 90 people are on the list of approved applicants for the 32 two- and three-bedroom townhomes in the new Chamonix neighborhood in West Vail. Ruther said that while some of the five home types have drawn stronger interest than others, there are more applicants than available homes for every unit type available.
Of the current applicants, 55 percent currently live in town, Ruther said. Of those, 75 percent now rent in Vail.
What’s next? Town officials will work through the end of March to ensure that applicants have submitted complete, accurate information. Those who have will receive an invitation to the May 3 lottery, at which buyers will be selected.
Issue: Speeding up action on tree removal along Gore Creek.
Who they talked to: Town weed and pest manager Gregg Barrie and town wildfire specialist Paul Cada.
What they talked about: The town has numerous beetle-killed trees along Gore Creek. Plans originally called for a roughly three-year project to remove those trees, which, if they fall, can create hazards along town paths and in the stream itself.
Barrie told council members that a recent inventory of the trees indicates that faster action is needed, particularly between Vail Valley Drive east to Ford Park. Barrie suggested doing the work in two years, starting as soon as the first part of April. That initial work would be done before migrating birds arrive. Work would resume in October, after the birds had migrated.
What’s next? Work is likely to start in April. There will be chainsaws, chippers and trucks involved.