Vail housing trade could lift deed-restrictions |

Vail housing trade could lift deed-restrictions

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail, Colorado officials are considering a new policy that would allow some owners of deed-restricted, employee housing to turn the property into free-market housing.

In exchange, the property owner would have to provide the town with more employee housing, of larger size, depending on where in town the housing is located.

The program would apply to about 125 free-market homes that, because of the town’s zoning changes over the years, have an employee unit on the property that is deed-restricted.

“We’ve heard from these people who say that they want to help provide employee housing, but they don’t necessarily want it on their property,” said Nina Timm, housing coordinator for the town of Vail.

The town wants the newly created employee homes to be larger than the original in order to create more employee housing and improve living conditions for employees, Timm said.

The council said they liked the program but asked the housing department and the Vail Local Housing Authority to make some changes.

The program outlines a formula for the exchange. The new employee housing would have to be anywhere from one-and-a-half to three times the size of the original employee home. The size depends on where the original employee housing is located ” in or out of Vail’s main business areas ” and where the proposed employee housing would be located.

The town would pay the homeowner about $150 per square foot, the current rate for homes at Vail Commons, for the new employee housing, and the town would then resell the housing to workers.

However, some council members didn’t think the town should have to pay anything to homeowners for the new employee housing.

The homeowner is already getting a deal by the town lifting the deed-restriction on the property, Councilman Andy Daly said.

“The homeowner is getting additional square footage that isn’t deed-restricted,” he said.

“A lot of places where they have these employee housing units are really high-value locations,” Councilwoman Margaret Rogers said. “That means that when they sell that house, they’ll be getting increased value on it. It’s much easier to sell a house without a deed restriction than with a deed restriction.”

Housing owners also have the choice of paying a “fee-in-lieu,” where the homeowner can provide new employee housing that is at least 80 percent of the required size, and pay a fee of about $300 per square foot for the remainder of the housing.

Council members worried that homeowners would take advantage of the fee-in-lieu instead of providing the town with actual housing.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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