Vail lays off town planner |

Vail lays off town planner

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado –Vail town officials are looking at how they can best run the town with decreased revenues, and a lay-off this week is the latest cutback.

Town Manager Stan Zemler confirmed Thursday that the town laid off a planner from the community development department. When asked if more lay-offs are in the horizon, Zemler said “not today.”

The town is facing significant declines in sales tax revenues and is also coming out of a five-year streak of record-setting construction, said George Ruther, Vail’s community development director.

The town has about 55 percent less planning applications than it did in 2008, Ruther said. Permits and fee costs are based on the estimated value of construction, and the town hasn’t changed its formulas for these costs since 2001, he said.

That could be a good thing because some municipalities are having to backtrack on the increases they’ve made to make building more affordable, he said.

Zemler said the so-called business model the town has followed for the last five years has changed dramatically, and a lot of the reductions the town has made have come “unfortunately in the community development office,” he said.

“We’re at 1999 levels of (building permit revenues) activity,” Zemler said.

The town has frozen some positions, laid off “a couple” of employees and eliminated others through attrition, Zemler said. Overall there have been “about 14” eliminated positions, he said.

“We’re going through the entire organization right now and asking ourselves, ‘Are we being as efficient as we can be,” Zemler said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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