Opportunity to turn NIMBY to YIMBY
Most of us first came to the Vail Valley because of the world-famous ski mountain and started with a seasonal first job and a dream. We then fell in love with this community, often making Vail home. However, many were unable to remain in this very special valley due to the cost of housing.
Lack of workforce housing has been a major issue the past 30 years but has risen to a crisis level since 2015. Many employers have been unable to recruit and retain employees and now risk losing their businesses. The town of Vail has made workforce housing a very high priority in its most recent Master Plan.
Vail Resorts has recently proposed to rezone a 23.3-acre property it owns in East Vail for 17.9 acres of preserved “open space” and 5.4 acres of primarily workforce housing. The fact that Vail Resorts is offering approximately 3/4 of their land to conservation and 1/4 to primarily workforce is in total alignment with Vail’s Master Plan. Vail Resorts must be commended for its generosity and commitment to a sustainable community. Additionally, this offer by Vail Resorts is consistent with Vail’s sustainable destination principles.
This is a win-win opportunity for all: a private piece of land that already has zoning for residential development on a bus route. Vail Resorts is leading the way to a more sustainable community by providing their land for new workforce housing units.
We recently co-chaired the NIMBY (not in my back yard) Jamboree conference co-sponsored by the Vail Symposium and the Vail Valley Partnership. One of the main goals of that program was to discuss possible solutions for workforce housing in our valley and to begin the process of opening our minds to YIMBY (yes in my back yard) rather than NIMBY.
Those of you who understand the critical need for new workforce housing solutions in our valley can no longer remain silent. Please join us in support of Vail Resorts’ creative solution to the workforce-housing crisis by attending the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission hearing Monday Sept. 11, at 1 p.m. at the municipal building at the town of Vail.
Bobby Lipnick, M.D., MBA, LEED AP
Michael Hazard, AIA