Vail Town Council votes 4-3 against motion to review Booth Heights decision | VailDaily.com

Vail Town Council votes 4-3 against motion to review Booth Heights decision

Vote leaves one final avenue of appeal for opponents of East Vail development plan

The Vail Town Council on Oct. 15 will review the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission's Aug. 26 approval of the Booth Heights workforce housing proposal.
Special to the Daily
On the clockVail’s town code sets a 20-day deadline for appeals to the Vail Town Council regarding Vail Planning and Environmental Commission decisions. Those are calendar days, which puts the 20-day mark on a Saturday. The deadline for appeals is Sept. 16.

This story has been corrected regarding the deadline date for a citizen appeal of the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission’s Aug. 26 approval of the Booth Heights proposal.

VAIL — The appeals window is starting to narrow for the Booth Heights project.

The Vail Planning and Environmental Commission on Aug. 26 approved a plan for Booth Heights, a 61-unit workforce housing proposal just north of the Interstate 70 interchange at East Vail.

The council voted 4-3 against a motion from council member Kim Langmaid for council review of that decision. Langmaid, Jen Mason and Kevin Foley voted in favor of the motion. Travis Coggin, Greg Moffet, Jenn Bruno and Mayor Dave Chapin voted against the motion.

Langmaid’s motion was based on her review of the planning board’s deliberations on the proposal, several elements of which she said contained errors regarding the legal criteria for approval.

Langmaid has opposed building on the 23.3-acre parcel in East Vail since Vail Resorts, the property owner, in 2017 proposed rezoning the property to allow workforce housing and preservation.

Langmaid’s opposition has been based in large part on the potential effects development would have on a herd of bighorn sheep that use part of the property and the surrounding area as winter range.

In proposing her motion, Langmaid also cited the proposal’s size and density, as well as problems with parking and trails.

In response, Moffet said he’d also reviewed the planning board’s deliberations.

“I’ve found no error, and (the board) applied the criteria correctly,” Moffet said.

Final option for opponents

The council vote leaves one avenue of appeal for opponents of the plan. The town code allows “aggrieved” or “adversely affected” citizens to appeal a planning board decision to the council. That appeal must be filed no later than 20 calendar days following a planning board decision. That puts the deadline for a citizen appeal at Sept. 16, since Sept. 14, the true 20-day mark, is a Saturday.

Vail Community Development Director Matt Gennett said the town code states that appeals can be launched by any aggrieved or adversely affected person who’s a town resident.

That grievance, though, must be more than the average citizen complaint, he said.

When an appeal is filed, the town planning staff will first make a determination whether or not that person, or people, have standing to launch an appeal. That decision can also be appealed to the Town Council.

The council next meets on Sept. 17, after the appeal deadline has passed.

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