Vail Valley Voices: Complex plans are … complex
Vail, CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report. We publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town. The newsletter electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at http://www.vailhomeowners.com.
Documents have been filed with the town for the redevelopment of the municipal building site to include a new Town Hall and medical office building.
The filing begins the official town of Vail public review process. The proponents’ purpose of the joint project is to ensure that the Vail Valley Medical Center hospital presence is retained and that it will continue to contribute to the community’s health and financial
However, there are many complex details to work through before the larger goal becomes a practical reality.
Concerns of affected neighborhoods: Many property owners who are impacted by the town of Vail and Vail Valley Medical Center redevelopments have registered their concerns with town and hospital officials.
Most are supportive of the proposed redevelopment, provided that developers invest in the resolution of long-term problems with parking, back of the house loading and delivery and neighborhood safety concerns.
A neighborhood coalition has been formed to assist in the negotiations of these concerns. The concerns forwarded to officials:
1. Growth in Vail Valley Medical Center traffic could cause the Vail Road intersection to experience unacceptable levels of traffic congestion affecting Vail Village, Forest Road, Rockledge Road, Beaver Dam Road and West Meadow Drive neighborhoods.
2. Ensure traffic safety on Vail Road and West Meadow Drive by moving medical center traffic to the South Frontage Road and take other necessary, appropriate steps to assure that unacceptable levels of traffic congestion do not occur.
3. Ensure that access to medical center holdings from the South Frontage Road does not impede or constrict through traffic or constrain the right-of-way so that future traffic flow safety improvements may be incorporated, including a roundabout, mass transit stops and a separated grade crossing for public/private pedestrians and associated
4. Remove safety and other threats, nuisance or otherwise, to adjacent and surrounding residential neighborhoods from medical center helicopter operations.
5. Contain circulation on-site for medical center truck deliveries, trash and back-of-the-house operations within indoor enclosed facilities.
6. Guarantee town zoning and planning protections for adjacent and affected residential property owners: setbacks, landscape, height, site coverage, open space and construction technology protections.
7. Ensure compliance with equivalent development standards as imposed upon private developers, such as the provision of on-site or off-site affordable housing requirements, parking and roadway improvements.
8. Assure performance guarantees for affected property owners.
It is the desire of the coalition of property owners in the affected neighborhood to avoid conflict by forming a collaborative working relationship with town and medical center officials in order to avoid confrontations that could impede improvements that would extend the competitive life of the hospital in the community and the neighborhood.
The coalition has provided a suggested planning procedure to assess their concerns.
The coalition has requested that necessary traffic studies for a street accessing the medical center begin immediately so that summer vehicular and pedestrian counts can be gathered now rather than waiting another year.
The proposed deal would be a three-way agreement between the town, the developer and the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.