West Vail housing plan could add 53 for-sale units to town
By the numbers
53: Total proposed units.
3.2: Size, in acres, of the site in West Vail.
1.5: Number of proposed parking spaces for condo units.
12: Years since the town purchased the property.
VAIL — Work could start this year on a new neighborhood in Vail.
The Vail Town Council gave informal approval Tuesday to a plan to start construction this fall at a parcel on Chamonix Drive in West Vail. That parcel has been owned by the town for more than a decade and has always been viewed as a place to build for-sale housing.
Ideas for the parcel at first centered on high-density housing, but have been revised in the past several months to try to create a neighborhood that has places to play as well as live.
Over the past several months, the Vail Community Development Department has worked with architect Will Hentschel, of 359 Design, on preliminary plans for the parcel.
George Ruther, the town of Vail’s community development department director, suggested a plan to the council on Tuesday that would start work first on utilities and other below-ground improvements for the community. That work could start as soon as this fall.
Planning the neighborhood
Once that work begins, town officials will begin having detailed discussions in the fall and winter about exactly what the neighborhood should look like, how much specific units will cost and who will be hired to construct the neighborhood.
Once those questions are answered, work on the first phase of the above-ground portions of the project could begin spring 2016.
That schedule will also give town officials a chance to show the preliminary plans to the public at forums including Vail’s series of town picnics over the summer.
As envisioned now, the Chamonix property would be broken into three areas. A multifamily complex of condominiums would have 36 units, split evenly between one- and two-bedroom units. Just to the west would be three two-bedroom and four three-bedroom townhomes. Another five buildings would hold a total of 10 duplex units of three bedrooms each.
Parking would be located underneath all the units, and a road would ring the perimeter of the property. The center of the property would be open space for residents.
Any of those details could change during the in-depth discussions to come, but the information that is available now is enough to start planning for work on the below-ground portion of the project.
PRICES TO BE DETERMINED
While the units will all be sold, the prices and ways to determine eligibility have yet to be determined.
Mayor Andy Daly reminded the council that any discussion of pricing has to assume that the town won’t recover its costs on the land purchase or utility work. And bringing the project to market at the correct price may require further contributions from the town, he said.
The council agreed and seems eager to get started.
“I talked to a constituent last Friday who asked me whether he should sell his place now and move downvalley or wait,” council member Greg Moffet said. “I told him to wait. But we’ve all got a stake in this moving forward.”
Developers are circling Minturn, with hundreds of new homes being proposed, but town’s water situation will dictate their fate.