Vail Town Council will hear Booth Heights appeal on Oct. 15
Citizen appeal triggers council review of Planning and Environmental Commission decision
VAIL — The Vail Town Council has set Oct. 15 to hear an appeal over the approved Booth Heights housing proposal. That proposal was approved Aug. 26 on a 4-3 vote by the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission.
Planning board decisions are usually the final word on development applications. But those decisions can be appealed to the council in one of a couple of ways.
A majority of council members can ask to review a planning board decision. Council members, by a 4-3 vote, declined to approve a review of the planning board’s decision.
Applicants can appeal board decisions, but that rarely happens in the case of an approval.
Citizens can also appeal planning board decisions, although the Vail Community Development Director determines if those appellants have “standing” to appeal a decision.
In an update Tuesday to council members, Vail Community Development Department Director Matt Gennett said his office had received 22 appeals. Of those, one had been determined to have standing. Gennett said his office expected to make decisions on the remaining appeals by the end of the day Wednesday.
One appeal with standing is enough to prompt a council review, and that review is now set for Oct. 15, the day of the council’s next-to-last meeting before the Nov. 5 election.
Voters in that election will select at least one new council member since current Councilman Greg Moffet is ineligible to seek another term due to the town’s term limit rules.
The Booth Heights proposal has been controversial since 2017, when the parcel was first proposed for housing.
Vail Resorts has for decades owned the 23.3-acre parcel just north of the East Vail Interstate 70 interchange. The council approved that rezoning request in October of 2017.
In October of 2018, Vail Resorts and Vail-based Triumph Development signed an agreement for Triumph to build workforce housing on a 5.5-acre portion of the property.
The Planning and Environmental Commission in June held its first hearing on Booth Heights. That proposal has been both praised for bringing needed workforce housing to town. It’s also been opposed for its potential environmental impacts, particularly to a herd of bighorn sheep that winters in the area.
Eagle County Schools added six mental health counselors and the district will add two more school resource officers, according to the school district’s 2019-2020 budget book. The district also aised starting pay and gave staffers a 2.3% cost-of-living raise.