Vail votes to extend East Vail entitlements to allow settlement negotiations to continue |

Vail votes to extend East Vail entitlements to allow settlement negotiations to continue

Town and Vail Resorts are working to reach a settlement on controversial parcel following court-ordered mediation

The condemnation action of the East Vail site known as Booth Heights is temporarily on hold as the town and Vail Resorts attempt to reach a potential settlement. The parcel sits on critical winter range for an endemic herd of bighorn sheep.
Rick Spitzer/Courtesy photo

The Vail Town Council voted to extend the entitlements on Vail Resorts’ East Vail property, allowing the two entities time to reach a settlement through court-ordered mediation.

In a swift and unanimous on Tuesday night, the council voted to extend the expiration dates of the approvals of the development plan, conditional use permit and final design, as revised for the Booth Heights Project.

These entitlements — which were set to expire on Nov. 20, 2023 — are now extended to either between Nov. 20, 2024, or 365 days after the final resolution of the condemnation action — whichever occurs later.

We are currently engaging in some follow-up negotiations with the Vail Corporation which began as a result of a recent court-ordered mediation,” read Mayor Kim Langmaid from a prepared statement on Tuesday night.

“To allow the town and the Vail Corporation sufficient time to continue with these potential settlement negotiations, we have put the condemnation action temporarily on hold,” she added.

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After the Town Council voted to condemn the contested East Vail parcel in May 2022, the two sides initially attempted to negotiate and settle the matter out of court. However, after Vail Resorts rejected the town’s $12 million offer to buy the land, the town filed both a motion for immediate possession as well as a petition in condemnation on Oct. 14.

In November, during a case management hearing at the Eagle County District Court, Judge Paul Dunkelman ordered the two parties to attempt mediation ahead of the scheduled January hearing dates. And in a status conference at the District Court last week, legal representatives for the town and Vail Resorts asked to push these hearing dates until May as the two sides attempt to work toward a settlement.

The May hearing dates are scheduled in the event the two parties cannot reach an agreement.

“If these negotiations are unsuccessful, we will pick up where we left off in the court’s process and proceed with the condemnation action,” Langmaid said Tuesday.

At the same status conference, the two parties also asked Judge Dunkleman to enter an order prohibiting the parties from publically discussing the ongoing negotiations regarding the condemnation case. This means there will be limited public discussion allowed about the settlement negotiations going forward.

In closing out her statement on Tuesday night, Langmaid issued an apology “in advance, on behalf of council” about their inability to “comment on the nature of the negotiations at this time.”

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