Vail Town Council gets another look at condo/apartment plan near Vail Village | VailDaily.com

Vail Town Council gets another look at condo/apartment plan near Vail Village

VAIL — Taking a step back can sometimes be helpful. Developer Pete Carlson believes that's the case with a proposal for a combination of condos and deed-restricted apartments near Vail Village.

Carlson is the developer of the Mountain View Residences Phase II project, east of the Vail Village parking structure.

When the proposal came in the summer of this year to the Vail Town Council, the idea was to build a combination of 12 condos with 15 lock-off units for short-term rentals, 10 deed-restricted apartments and 19 hotel rooms.

The idea passed the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission. The Vail Town Council subsequently passed on first reading an ordinance creating a Special Development District. Those districts allow developers variances from existing zoning in return for public benefits. In this case, the primary public benefit was to be the deed-restricted apartments.

The approval process then took a step back before the second reading, for a couple of reasons.

First, the public notices for the project hearings weren't done according to town code. Further complicating the issue was strong opposition from several owners at the Mountain View Residences Phase I, a 23-unit condo building adjacent to the Phase II building site.

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Carlson soon pulled the proposal from consideration to revise the plan.

The Vail Town Council will get its first look at the revisions at its Tuesday, Nov. 7, evening meeting.

Revised, and better

Local planner Dominic Mauriello has been working with Carlson on the project. Mauriello said the building's overall size is about the same: a four-story building essentially atop a 111-space private parking structure that was built along with the Phase I condos.

But there have been a number of other changes.

The hotel rooms — which drew much of the opposition from Phase I owners — have been dropped.

In place of the hotel rooms are more apartments, three more condos and additional lock-off units.

Carlson said pulling back from the original proposal gave him and his team a chance to sit down with the owners of the Phase I units. Using their input — and receiving a written letter of support from that homeowners' association — Carlson's team now has what he said is a unit mix that meets his firm's economic needs and the town's needs and also reflects the wishes of the neighbors.

The proposed mix now is 15 deed-restricted apartments, 15 condos and 20 lock-off units. The proposed hotel lobby and front desk remain.

Carlson said he expects the lock-off units to be fairly popular, adding that the condo association will create a rental program to keep the short-term units occupied.

About those restrictions

The condos will be sold at market rates, and the lock-off units will command market rates, as well. So will the apartments, with the caveat that deed restrictions will keep those units in the town's long-term rental pool.

Those town restrictions don't set income limits but do require annual certification that the tenants work at least 30 hours per week in town, averaged out on an annual basis.

Carlson said those changes will create a better project, particularly since workforce housing now represents half of all the units and nearly half of the available floor space.

Carlson, who said he'd been skiing Vail most of his life and whose parents bought a home on Vail's Forest Road in the early 1960s, said the prospect of having full-time residents in Vail Village is an exciting one.

The idea for the apartments is to attract full-time residents who Carlson hopes may live at Mountain View for several years at a time.

"I hope it will encourage people to get to know each other," Carlson said. "I hope it will re-build the value of community."

Mauriello said the apartments will give people a chance to "live the old Vail dream: to live and work in Vail Village."

That hasn't happened for a while, especially with rentals. In fact, there have only been 58 designated employee housing units built by the private sector in or near Vail Village — by the Four Seasons and the Sebastian Hotel.

Carlson stressed that these units will be a private-sector project, made possible by condo sales.

"We needed two floors for community goals and two floors to make it work," he said.

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

What’s proposed?

The Vail Town Council will on Tuesday, Nov. 7, consider the first reading of an ordinance approving the proposal.

• Project name: Mountain View Residences Phase II

• 15 free-market condominiums.

• 15 deed-restricted rental units.

• 20 “lock-off” short-term rental units adjacent to the condos.

• A lobby and front desk.

Source: Mauriello Planning Group