Letter: West Vail rezoning will hurt property values

The proposed West Vail multifamily zones 1 and 2 would impose deed restrictions on properties redeveloping what they have now: a single-family home, a duplex or a condo/townhome complex. The town says the new zones will bring more properties into conformity with zoning regulations and that this is incentive enough to require new deed restrictions without financial compensation to property owners, which is how the town acquires most deed restrictions now.

Any redevelopment will require 1 deed restriction plus deed restrictions on 50% of what the town is calling “extra units.” These “extra units” already exist on many of the affected properties, so they are not what most people consider the word “extra” to actually mean. Here’s an example: An existing 12-unit condo building on a half acre would be allowed to redevelop at a minimum density, of five units, up to a maximum density of 12 units. The town considers the seven units over the minimum to be “extra units.” So the calculation is one deed restriction plus half of seven, which the town rounds up to four, equaling five required deed restrictions to redevelop exactly the same 12 units the building currently contains.

The town says HOAs would decide which units to deed-restrict but HOAs cannot legally do so because it would mean a loss of value and loss of use for those who don’t qualify to live in a deed-restricted unit. This disincentive will deter many properties from redevelopment, but if forced into it by circumstances these West Vail property owners stand to lose a significant amount of property value due to this rezoning scheme.

The proposed zones affect properties in Intermountain and along Chamonix Road and Chamonix Lane. The proposals are under review by the Planning Commission and will soon go to the Vail Town Council.

Susan Gadberry
West Vail

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