Vail talks cleaning up Gore Creek, adding skier lockers
Board: Vail Town Council, Feb. 4 afternoon and evening meetings.
Present: Jenn Bruno, Margaret Rogers, Dave Chapin, Dale Bugby, Mayor Pro Tem Ludwig Kurz.
Absent: Mayor Andy Daly, Greg Moffet.
Issue: Registering pesticide applicators in town.
Who they talked to: Greg Barrie, of the town’s public works department.
What they talked about: Barrie talked about town efforts to get Gore Creek off a relatively new state list of “impaired” streams. Part of that effort will include getting pesticides out of Gore Creek.
To do that, town officials are talking about registering companies that spray in town. Barrie said the main purpose of that registration will be education, since state and federal law already regulates pesticide use.
What’s next? Staff will bring a draft proposal to the council sometime this year.
Issue: Expanding the town’s ski locker business.
Who they talked to: Town planner Jonathan Spence, private land planner Dominic Mauriello.
What they talked about: A Vail Village property owner has proposed creating a ski locker business at the top of Bridge Street. The problem is that town zoning codes currently limit where ski-locker businesses can be located. The town at the moment has a moratorium on new ski-locker businesses.
The argument, in a nutshell, is this: Demand is rising for commercial ski storage, from private clubs to businesses open to the public for seasonal or short-term rentals. People tend to want to store their gear, then head into the Village for dinner or drinks. The argument against is that commercial ski storage anywhere but basement areas takes away valuable — and sales tax-generating — retail or office space, and could leave locals and guests with fewer places to shop or dine in the off-season.
What’s next? Town staff is working on ways to accommodate the new businesses while still preserving retail or restaurant space.
Issue: Request from the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens to take a proposal for a new “education center” through the town’s approval process.
How they voted: 5-0 to approve.
What it means: The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens has for years wanted an office and education center near the gardens. The proposal gained steam in 2013, but was put on hold while town officials created a new “master plan,” — a guide for future uses — in Ford Park. That plan included finding potential sites for the education center.
The completed plan called for the education center to be put into a hillside roughly between the southwest corner of the Ford Park athletic fields and the kids’ playground.
Tuesday’s request was to go through the town’s approval process with a plan for a center in that location.
What’s next? Gardens’ representatives now have to take the plan through the Vail Design Review Board and Vail Planning and Environmental Commission.