Vail Town Council update
Heres a brief look at action from the July 6 Vail Town Council meeting:Noise, noise, noiseTown engineer Greg Hall updated the council about noise mitigation efforts, including the towns 65 Max speed enforcement efforts and a trial of temporary noise barriers along Interstate 70 this summer.The temporary barriers probably empty truck trailers provided by the Colorado Motor Carriers Association will be used on both sides of the highway near the Roost Lodge.Hall said the enforcement efforts have so far yielded inconclusive results, but while officers have been on the highway, average speeds have dropped about 3 mph. That drop has resulted in a noise reduction of one decibel, barely enough to notice. But, Hall said, If you drop one dB here, one there, maybe three there, you drop by 5 dB, and thats noticeable.Hall also said that town and state transportation officials are willing to seriously investigate use of quiet asphalt in future re-paving on Interstate 70.CDOT committed to look at use of quiet asphalt in future re-paving of I-70 through Vail.The council rejected spending roughly $60,000 on a pair of your speed is radar signs. A similar sign in Glenwood Canyon has reduced accidents at a corner, Hall said, but council members said the money could be better spent on other noise-mitigation projects.Bubble not burst yetResponding to a packed house, the council agreed to keep the Vail Ice Bubble in storage for at least another year in order to give skaters time to work out an arrangement to keep the winter-only facility open at the Vail Golf Course driving range. Vail Councilman Greg Moffet urged audience members to work with the Vail Recreation District, which earlier this year announced it would not run the bubble another season due to operating losses.Mayor Rod Slifer told assembled skate supporters to work with the recreation district and come back to the council no later than September if the bubble is to operate next season.Our goal is a second sheet of ice next season, and our preference is to have it in Vail, John Tedstrom of the Committee for Valley Wide Ice said.Conference center updateThe council voted to issue requests for proposals to six architectural firms regarding the Vail Convention Center. The vote was 6-1, with councilwoman Diana Donovan opposed.The six firms Antoine Predock Architects, Fentress Bradburn Architects Ltd., Horberger & Worstell, Klipp & Morter, LMN Architects & Zehren and Thompson Ventulett, Stainback & Associates & VAG will make initial public presentations during meetings set for July 26 and 27.Councilman Kent Logan, a member of the convention center advisory committee, said at least three of those firms will probably be invited back for a second round of presentations the week of Aug. 23. Those are really important meetings, Logan said.A meeting will be held at the Donovan Pavilion today at 5:30 p.m. to update residents about progress on the center so far and to lay out the next steps in the process.Red Sandstone Road may not carry much logging trafficThe U.S. Forest Service is still working on plans for a logging project north of Vail. Holy Cross District Ranger Cal Wettstien Tuesday told the council that the U.S. Forest Service is now evaluating a plan to take logging trucks from the area north of Vail out over Muddy Pass, then down Highway 131 to Interstate 70 at Wolcott. The project will harvest about 1,900 acres of timber in a roughly 35,000-acre area over an eight-year period between 2005 and 2012.New cycling eventThe council voted to provide up to $15,000 to an amateur cycling event over Labor Day weekend.The event, to be called the Vail Classic, will take cyclists from Vail through Minturn, to Leadville, over Fremont Pass to Copper Mountain, then back to Vail.The council used money originally allocated to a Pro Cycling Tour event, which was canceled earlier this year due to lack of sponsorship.Starbucks in Vail VillageThe council cleared the way for a Starbucks coffee shop in Vail Village.The council voted 7-0 to remove a condition from the Sonnenalp Austria Haus special development district forbidding operation of restaurants.The new ordinance narrowly defines operation of a coffee shop in the space once occupied by the Platzl bar, and still prohibits operation of a full-blown restaurant in the Austria Haus condominiums.Starbucks real estate manager Anne Ewing said the company expects to have the Vail Village store open by the end of September.Vail Plaza Hotel approvedThe council approved an ordinance clearing the way for construction of a new Vail Plaza Hotel on the site of the Vail Village Inn. The motion passed 7-0.This time for sure?The council tabled second reading of an ordinance passed in June that revises the towns gross residential floor area regulations. Those regulations dictate the size of homes. Instead of the original ordinance, the council passed a new measure that expands the regulation changes to all the towns residential zone districts.The measure repeals the 250 provision for certain single-family and duplex units that allows owners a one-time room addition.Basements will no longer be counted as floor area; vaulted areas will.The motion passed 6-1, with councilman Greg Moffet opposed.
Town weighs its long-term viability vs. small-town character