Vail Town Council sets rules for Oct. 15 Booth Heights appeal hearing
Council will make a decision before new members are sworn in Nov. 19
VAIL — The Vail Town Council on Tuesday established its rules for hearing appeals of the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission’s Aug. 26 approval of the Booth Heights housing proposal. The hearing is Oct. 15.
A total of 22 appeals were filed. Of those 22, seven were found to have standing on topics ranging from traffic impacts to adverse impacts on residents’ views and enjoyment of their homes.
Here’s how the hearing will work:
- Mayor Dave Chapin will open the hearing, and town staff will present the procedural history of the proposal.
- Each appellant will have 10 minutes to present evidence, witness testimony and other information. Appellants can pool their time.
- The project applicant — Triumph Development — can then present evidence, witness testimony, and other information. That presentation will also be limited to 70 minutes.
- Town staff can respond to or supplement evidence presented by both appellants and the applicant.
- After the presentations, the council will allow “limited” public comment. Individuals will be limited to three minutes for their comments.
- The council at any time can temporarily recess to review evidence.
- The council can continue the hearing to another date, but the proceedings must be completed before new town council members are sworn into office. That essentially makes Nov. 5 the only date for the continuance. New council members — there will be at least one new person elected — will be sworn in at the Nov. 19 meeting.
- A decision for or against the appeals will be made by voice vote and requires a simple majority.
In determining standing, Vail Community Development Director Matt Gennett ruled that seven Vail residents met the criteria for appeals on the proposed development — with some meeting the criteria on more than one issue.
Those appeals include traffic and road safety concerns (six), impacts to the the town’s bus system in the area (one), the use and enjoyment of the Vail Memorial Park (one) and the effects on the view from the home of one appellant (one).
In all the letters Gennett wrote to appellants with standing, he noted that “this determination of standing is limited to this particular appeal, and by making this determination the town does not waive any argument or defense that you lack standing for any subsequent appeals or resulting litigation.”
In addition to laying out the rules for the Oct. 15 hearing, the council also rejected a couple of further appeals.
Resident Pete Feistmann asked the council to delay accepting the rules for the appeals hearing. Feistmann’s complaint was largely on the procedure the council was using to set those rules.
The council instead adopted the rules on a 6-0 vote. Councilmember Jen Mason was absent for that vote.
After adopting the rules, the council later voted 4-3 to reject an appeal of standing filed by local attorney John Dunn on behalf of the Gore Valley Citizens Alliance. That group’s appeal had been found by Gennett to not have standing.
Travis Coggin, Greg Moffet, Jenn Bruno and Mayor Dave Chapin voted to uphold Gennett’s decision regarding the Gore Valley Citizens Alliance. Council members Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason and Kevin Foley voted against the motion.
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