Vail Daily letter: NIMBY Jamboree presented a lot of useful information | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: NIMBY Jamboree presented a lot of useful information

Paul Rondeau

Report from the NIMBY Jamboree

The recent NIMBY Jamboree event held in Vail was very well organized and attended by a diverse set of professionals involved in employee housing in a number of ways — some coming from greater distances. The combination of speaker and breakout format worked well for the size of the large group. I did not attend the afternoon field trips or last half-day, more open format.

My comments from the break-out group I attended are:

• Issue Of Employer Responsibilities: We had excellent talks by the Sonnenalp, Vail Valley Medical Center and Vail Resorts — where they are either large or own/control their business facilities. However, its difficult for small businesses to take on much responsibility for their employee housing needs. Business owners frequently lease their space from out-of-town landlords who do not have a lot of involvement locally.

“The new Chamonix for-sale units are great, but go forward some years and it’s the same problem.”

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Further, business owners experience passed-on, increasing lease costs — whether generated from increasing property taxes, etc. or just periodic increases. No real solution in sight, except to perhaps allow owners of commercial property and second homeowners to vote in local issue elections to help make them "part of the community" — a key and main focus of the whole NIBMY event.

• Diminishing Returns As Folks Retire In Place: Aspen's situation was highlighted with the large number of older folks in deed-restricted units who are retiring and plan to enjoy the fruits of their labors where they are. The new Chamonix for-sale units are great, but go forward some years and it's the same problem. There are positive reasons for some folks wanting to move out of subsidized (purchased or rental) housing to market housing over a period of time. The many incentives might include (a) the ability to change jobs going from Eagle County to "out-of-network" Summit County, etc.; more privacy, space, etc. and; for a purchased unit, pass housing onto one's children or potentially build equity up faster. The challenge is to provide creative assistance for those so inclined, hence opening up needed "employed-occupant residences."

Just a view from the sidelines. But feeling empowered by some of the presenter's projects discussed that are outside the Vail Valley — where the project had residents of the community super involved in the whole process, including design decisions. That's way out of the box.

Paul Rondeau

Vail