Vail Town Council approves Mountain View Residences condo/apartment project in Vail Village |

Vail Town Council approves Mountain View Residences condo/apartment project in Vail Village

At the Four Seasons

The Vail Town Council on Tuesday, Dec. 19, also approved a renovation plan for the Four Seasons hotel. The biggest part of that renovation is changing the use of 13 unsold fractional-fee condos to full-ownership units.

As with the Mountain View Residences, employee housing played a role — albeit a smaller one than Mountain View.

Part of the final approval of the plan includes a requirement for an additional 2,000 square feet of employee housing. Most of that will be offsite.

VAIL — There will be new workforce apartments in Vail Village, probably in 2019.

The Vail Town Council on Tuesday, Dec. 19, gave final approval to an ordinance granting zoning exceptions to Phase 2 of the Mountain View Residences project. The council voted 4-3 for approval. Council members Greg Moffet, Travis Coggin, Kim Langmaid and Mayor Dave Chapin voted for approval. Council members Kevin Foley, Jen Mason and Jenn Bruno voted against the ordinance.

The vote for approval came on a second attempt, with Coggin changing his vote from the first, failed motion. Responding to earlier council requests for more employee housing at the project, developer Pete Carlson first offered to make a $130,000 payment into the town’s housing fund.

Coggin said he’d prefer a payment of $265,000.

After the initial motion failed, planner Dominic Mauriello said Carlson agreed to the larger payment into the fund.

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A subsequent motion for approval then passed.

The project will bring 15 condos, 20 accessory units and 15 workforce housing apartments to the site, east of the Vail Village Parking Structure.

‘Juliet’ balconies

The housing fund payment was one of a handful of changes Carlson’s team made after the council voted on Tuesday, Dec. 5, to give initial approval to the project.

Council members had asked for some kind of solar-energy offset for the proposed heated walkways. Mauriello said there’s enough room on the roof to offset about half of the walkways’ anticipated energy use, and that was acceptable.

Changes also include small balconies on the south-facing apartments. Foley had asked Dec. 5 for some sort of direct outdoor access for those residents.

The balconies, called “Juliet”-style balconies, are only about a foot wide and don’t allow residents to step outside. Instead, there will be doors that open to the outside, with the balconies serving primarily as a means to keep people from falling.

If approved by the Vail Design Review Board, those balconies will match those on the north side of the adjacent, 23-unit first phase of the project.

Phase 1 owner Laura Willard said full balconies on the new units would simply be too close to the existing condos. Willard added that residents are also concerned about the smoke from grills and outdoor noise that full balconies could create.

“It’s a great compromise,” Willard said.

Phase 1 owners first opposed the project, but after discussions with Carlson, that opposition turned to unanimous support.

Jay Levine, president of the Phase 1 homeowners’ association, said the initial plan had “serious shortcomings.” But, he added, Carlson was willing to listen to owners’ concerns and made the project compatible with the existing condos.

Other supporters at the meeting included George Gillett, who owned what was then Vail Associates in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Gillett spoke to the council as both a private citizen and a board member of the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

The institute, as well as the Steadman Clinic, requires its doctors to be in close proximity to the clinic. Mountain View will put some of those doctors and other essential staffers within walking distance of the clinic’s home at Vail Health Hospital.

Since the apartments will rent at market rates, Mountain View is likely to draw doctors and other professionals as renters.

Opposition, too

While there’s plenty of support for the project, owners at the Tyrolean condominiums, to the west of Mountain View, continue to oppose it, objecting, in part, to the size of the structure.

Attorney Chip Schonetsererr, representing the Tyrolean owners, told the council that the Mountain View project may not have gone through the process correctly.

Vail Town Attorney Matt Mire said all town processes have been followed.

But objections to the size of the proposal didn’t just come from neighbors.

As she did Dec. 5, Mason said the building is too large. Bruno noted that the original structures have already used up nearly all the allowable square footage existing zoning allowed.

“I question whether there’s enough public benefit to offset the deviations,” she said.

But Langmaid said the proposal is an example of a way that Vail has to look differently at the space available for building, something Vail Local Housing Authority Chairman Steve Lindstrom has said is essential in the future.

“This might help protect some of those high-value ecological spaces” in outlying areas. “It is a shift,” Langmaid added. “I’ve made that shift for this.”

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, and @scottnmiller.

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