Vail council talks about parking, housing
Present: Kevin Foley, Susie Tjossem, Andy Daly, Margaret Rogers, Greg Moffet, Kerry Donovan.
Absent: Ludwig Kurz.
Issue: The town’s long-term parking plan.
Who they talked to: Town public works director Greg Hall.
What they talked about: After roughly an hour of discussion about costs, parking location and philosophy (the town believes its parking charges are intended to modify public behavior more than to cover costs), council members agreed on several ideas, including:
• The town will immediately eliminate North Frontage Road parking near the Middle Creek apartments.
• Town officials intend to spend roughly $600,000 improving North Frontage Road parking near Safeway in West Vail. Those improvements will include lighting and a bus stop on the south side of the road.
• The council also intends to take control of North Frontage Road west of the West Vail roundabout. That road is currently owned and maintained by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
• While the town will improve frontage road parking, council members said they want to eliminate such parking in the next decade or so.
• The town will ask Vail Resorts to eliminate valet parking at Golden Peak to improve skier drop-off.
• Parking at trailheads will continue, subject to annual review.
What’s next? Town officials will also evaluate summer parking as Vail Resorts’ “Epic Discovery” on-mountain improvements are completed.
Issue: Long-term strategy for employee housing.
Who they talked to: Town housing director Nina Timm.
What they talked about: Timm told the council that the town’s last housing strategy plan was completed several years ago, when the local and national economies were much different.
Council members, including Donovan, asked whether Vail should continue with its goal of housing 30 percent of its workforce in the town limits. Roughly 28 percent of the town’s population now lives in deed-restricted housing, but that number, which includes spouses, children and retired people, isn’t the same as the workforce.
Timm said the town is currently about 677 beds short of that goal, and Donovan said progress has been slow.
Moffet said the original intent of the 30 percent goal was to have an “equivalency” of that number of people living in town. Full-time residents shop at the town’s grocery and other stores and send their kids to school in Vail, Moffet said.
Daly said developing more deed-restricted housing in the future will require partnerships between the town and both private developers and other governments, including Eagle County and the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.
Steve Lindstrom, a member of the town’s housing authority, told council members that Vail needs to keep working to keep growing its employee housing stock, despite the current state of the economy.
What’s next: Daly told Lindstrom that the authority board and Timm need to bring recommendations to improve the town’s housing inventory to the council.