Vail hosting lands plan open houses | VailDaily.com

Vail hosting lands plan open houses

Daily staff report
Newsroom@vaildaily.com

VAIL — The town of Vail is inviting community members to join in the kick off of its Comprehensive Open Lands Plan Update, a months-long process that will culminate in adoption of the update by the Town Council, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2017.

Three open houses have been scheduled in the coming weeks to introduce the planning update and provide the community with opportunities to ask questions and offer comments on the current plan and to help identify future priorities. During the initial public meetings, the format will be the same for each of the three outreach sessions. Community members may choose one of the sessions or are welcome to attend all three:

• 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, Grand View, third level, Lionshead Welcome Center. Parking is free upon entry after 3 p.m. This session has been scheduled to accommodate part-time residents who may be in town during the holidays.

• 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, West Vail Fire Station, 2399 North Frontage Road.

Additional parking will be available along the south side of the Frontage Road.

• 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, Vail Golf & Nordic Clubhouse, Gore Range Room, 1775 Sunburst Drive. Parking will be available on site.

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The first town open lands plan was adopted in 1994 and has provided the town with a framework of recommended actions intended to establish a comprehensive system of public benefits, including parks, recreation, protection of sensitive habitats, trails and land to be reserved for public uses including public buildings and employee housing. Many of the actions identified in the 22-year-old plan have been accomplished.

The plan's successes can be seen throughout town, including acquisition of the East Vail waterfall parcel, development of the North Trail, acquisition of land for the West Vail Fire Station as well as the future Chamonix Neighborhood, among others. More than 30 of the 52 parcels identified in the plan have either been acquired, are close to being acquired or have met the objective of the plan without acquisition.

In September, the council authorized an update of the plan and directed staff to work with the community in determining which parts of the original plan have been completed, which parts are still relevant and to identify new needs based on current issues including protection of Gore Creek water quality, recreational opportunities, including trails, as well as the potential for acquisition of sites for housing.

The update process includes three main phases of work. Phase one involves background work and evaluation of the existing plan along with the three upcoming community meetings. Phase two will involve research and site analysis, the formation of a technical advisory committee and two community meetings to discuss potential plan updates. Phase three involves preparation of a draft plan and the formal public review process by the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission and the Town Council.

Public participation will be an important component of the update effort and will be solicited throughout the process. This will include an online discussion forum hosted by the town at http://www.vailgov.com/openlandsupdate. Email updates will also be provided. To add your name to the project list, call the Vail Community Information Office, 970-479-2115 or email openlandsupdate@vailgov.com.