Vail, Eagle County partner to create tiny piece of open space in residential neighborhood
In terms of area, it's the county's smallest conservation deal ever
EAGLE COUNTY — Eagle County and the town of Vail have partnered to pursue the area’s latest open space deal.
In terms of area, it’s the county’s smallest conservation deal ever. In terms of location, it’s one of the county’s rarest acquisitions.
The property in question covers less than an acre but it is located in a residential area along Lupine Drive in the town of Vail. The property has never been developed and it features a small pond. The purchase price is $600,000 and the town and the county will each chip in $300,000.
“It has been identified as an important parcel for its wetlands and other environmentally sensitive qualities,” said Eagle County Open Space Manager Diane Mauriello.
“This parcel is part of the town’s open land plan and it has been since 1994,” said Vail Environmental Sustainability Manager Kristen Bertuglia.
Small parcel, big punch
Since its creation in 2002, the Eagle County Open Space program has protected more than 13,000 acres of open space. Some of the tracts are quite large, such as the more than 4,000-acre Bair Ranch conservation easement and the 1,540 acre Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space property.
“The Lupine Drive purchase illustrates that every property and every project has unique attributes that need to be considered independently,” Mauriello said. “This parcel includes a bit of Gore Creek frontage and it supports the town’s Restore the Gore initiative.”
Bertuglia said the open space opportunity presented itself when the owner posted the property for sale. The town approached the broker, reached out to the county with a partnership request and signed a contract to purchase the site. The deal has not yet closed as the town works through some due diligence issues.
“We are just trying to work out all the complicated water issues for the property,” Bertuglia said.
Mauriello noted the county has only been able to put together one other open space purchase in Vail and that deal was brokered back in 2006.
“This is a great opportunity for us to partner with the town of Vail. We just don’t have that many opportunities in eastern Eagle County,” Mauriello said.
“In our constrained valley, open space deals can be very difficult,” Bertuglia agreed. “This is one of those open lots that are so rare in Vail.”
Yunlong Chen was last spotted at the Vail Transportation Center between 8:15 and 9 a.m. on Feb. 28; a little while later his ski pass was scanned at Gondola One. That was the last known activity related to Chen.