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Vail to discuss affordable home prices

Melanie Wongmwong@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado Workforce homes in Vail, Colorado should be priced mostly in the $300,000 to $350,000 range and consist of condominiums and townhomes, according to a study.Consultants from Economic & Planning Systems, Inc., who have been studying the towns planned affordable housing project at Chamonix, will present the findings of their analysis to the Vail Town Council at next Tuesdays meeting.The council commissioned the analysis to determine the demand, appropriate pricing and types of homes that should be built on 5.5 acres in West Vail. The plans include 58 affordable, deed-restricted homes and a new fire station.The analysis recommends that the neighborhood be a mix of mostly 2-bedroom condos and mostly 3-bedroom townhomes in order to hit the right price range and meet the needs of families and residents who would live there.Prices for condos should be between $285,000 to $305,000, and townhomes should cost between $375,000 and $420,000, according to the study.The town will use the results to determine the feasibility of the project, and decide whether and how much the town will need to subsidize the homes.

The council will also make a decision about $1 million in cuts to the towns budget. The cuts are needed due to declining sales tax revenues, which have been dropping since fall 2008, and an expected decline in construction.The cuts would include two layoffs of jobs related to community development, and eliminating 5.5 currently vacant jobs in planning, building inspection, code enforcement and public works.Another chunk would come out of funds reserved for merit raises and for the employee home ownership program. Other departmental cuts would reduce funds for travel, office supplies, meals and recruiting. The department cuts would also include canceling one of three community picnics and the bi-annual construction update mailed out by the town.

The town council will also decide whether offices have a place on the first floors of Lionshead Village.Currently, the first level of the village is reserved for stores or restaurants with sales tax generating potential, but the owner of the Treetops building, located across the street from Subway and the parking garage, is requesting an ordinance change that would open the doors for professional and business offices on the first floor.In the past, the space has proven to be difficult for retail businesses and there have been long periods of vacancy, Treetop representatives said.The towns planning and environmental commission has recommended against the change, saying that retail stores dont need to compete with offices for space in the current economic climate, and that while offices might be appropriate in some first-floor spaces, it doesnt warrant a zone change.Vail Resorts offices have been located in the Treetop building since 2004, under special and temporary permission from the town. Vail Resorts has renewed the office space on a yearly basis and has permission to be in the offices until the end of this year.In the past, some council members have said that there was an understanding that Vail Resorts would move its offices into the Arrabelle or the North Day Lot.Vail Resorts plans to request an extension of its stay in the building until 2010, said Vail Resorts Eagle County spokeswoman Kristin Williams.Moving all the offices to Ever Vail is the long-term plan once its built, she said, referring to Vail Resorts proposed ski village in West Lionshead. Right now were in that space on a year-to-year basis.If the town council doesnt extend permission for the offices to stay in Treetops, Vail Resorts will move out of the building this summer, she said.



Chamonix housing study presentation A potential $1 million in budget cuts Changing codes to allow offices in the Lionshead ground floor Update on new loading and delivery hours in the VillageFor more information on next Tuesdays town council meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. at the Vail Municipal Building, see http://www.vailgov.comStaff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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