Vail’s summer projects
Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from the Vail Homeowners Association Newsletter. The association keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the Vail community. The electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at http://www.vailhomeowners.com.
The town of Vail is moving toward installing the infrastructure and initiating the construction of between 30-50 units of deed restricted, owner occupied, affordable housing on its Chamonix site in West Vail near the new fire station. The council is also considering adding another 20,000 square feet to the project and increasing the unit count to nearly 70. The concept of using a portion of the Chamonix property to relocate the municipal office complex has been rejected. A town report provided a demographic profile of owner-occupied affordable housing units. The household profile is dominated by post-child-rearing unmarrieds with one cohabitant who is employed within the town of Vail. This data seems to indicate that Vail’s inventory of owner-occupied subsidized housing is on a trajectory over the next decade to be inhabited primarily by retired local workers. A side effect of an aging local population is that Vail may well have fewer children entering the Red Sandstone Elementary School. The Red Sandstone school is a symbol for many of the vitality of a growing local community. The town of Vail is looked to for financial and other forms of support to keep the school in operation.
Mapping of the Gore Creek drainage will occur this summer to identify the storm water collection areas and the location of the town of Vail’s urban runoff system that flows into Gore Creek. The mapping will more precisely locate sites where urban runoff is entering the stream. The information gathered may result in a better knowledge of how pollutants are migrating into Gore Creek through surface runoff and underground seepage. Once known, with systematic water quality monitoring, corrective improvements can be initiated that will restore the stream’s aquatic habitat to healthy levels. The cost to further improve the Vail’s urban runoff system is the responsibility of the town and its taxpayers, which could be partially offset with the potential participation of state and federal authorities.
Gore Creek stream tract protections legislated: It is the intent of the town to remove unauthorized private encroachments and restore the Gore Creek stream tract to its native condition. The town has initiated legislation that will specify which stream tract lands must comply with its order to remove unauthorized private encroachments from public lands. Stream tracts were once owned by Vail Resorts and subsequently were conveyed to the town of Vail in the 1990s. Stream tract lands were established as part of subdivisions created by Vail Resorts that eventually became the town of Vail. There are protective covenants that limit the types of improvements that are allowed on these stream tracts. Private uses of the stream tract occurred under VRI’s administration. Litigation is underway which alleges that representations were made that certain private property owners were allowed to use stream tract land adjacent to their property for their personal use. Litigation over a variety of issues between property owners and the town has become noteworthy in recent years.