Vail considers application fee hike |

Vail considers application fee hike

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

The issue: Raising fees for development application fees

Who they talked to: Vail Community Development Director George Ruther

What they talked about: The town might start charging more to consider and process applications for new construction, property improvements, rezoning and design reviews.

The application fees, which range from $20 to $650 for anything from adding a deck to building a new home, are supposed to cover town’s expenses to process the applications.

However, town staff said the fees only cover a fraction of the cost to the town.

So far this year, the town has received about $105,000 in review fees. However, it has cost the town at least $300,000 to process those applications.

Vail’s fees on average, are much lower than surrounding counties and towns, including Avon, Summit County and Aspen, Ruther said.

The last time Vail’s fees were raised was in 2002.

Council members agreed the fee raise is needed. However, they said they wanted to make sure that application fees for minor home improvements remained “reasonable” and that the increased fees would also come with better customer service.

What’s next? The town staff will analyze how much application services cost the town, and the council will determine which fees should be raised and how much.

The issue: Publishing new or proposed laws in the newspaper

How they voted: 5-2, in favor of discontinuing newspaper publication and putting the text of the laws on the town Web site instead.

What happened: Earlier this year the town council rejected a proposal to stop printing the full text of new or proposed laws in the Vail Daily.

By law the town is required to print the laws in a “publication,” but council members said that a “publication” could apply to a Web site as well as a newspaper.

However, as Vail began cutting its 2009 budget, the council revisited the idea. The town spent about $20,000 each year to publish the laws.

Councilwoman Margaret Rogers said the town could still buy ads in the newspaper announcing new laws and referring readers to the town Web site.

However, while many people get their information online, many older residents may not be able to access in the information as easily, said Councilman Farrow Hitt, who voted against the proposal.

Staff writer Melanie Wong can be reached at (970) 748-2928 or at

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