An overview of the Vail Town Council’s alternative housing sites initiative to the Booth Heights housing development approved for East Vail will be presented during the council’s Tuesday, July 7 evening meeting. The item is listed as 5.2 on the meeting agenda which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers with social distancing protocols in place. The meeting will be live streamed at www.highfivemedia.org/live-five.
The 45-minute presentation will outline the sequence of steps that have been taken at the direction of the Town Council to achieve an equitable balance between the town’s adopted housing and environmental goals. These efforts have most recently led to preparation of a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the parties involved which will be presented publicly during Tuesday’s meeting. Opportunities for public comment on the draft MOU will be scheduled at upcoming meetings on July 21 and Aug. 4 to allow time for members of the public to thoroughly review the document.
Efforts to identify alternative approaches to the Booth Heights development have been underway since January when Mayor Dave Chapin announced the Town Council’s desire to pursue a win-win outcome. This has included exploration of partnership opportunities with Vail Resorts and Triumph Development to provide housing for a minimum of 144 people, as has been approved for the Booth Heights development, by November 2022, and an opportunity for the town to manage future land use on Booth Heights while implementing large-scale fuels reduction and wildlife habitat enhancements in East Vail in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
Tuesday’s presentation by the town manager and housing director follows updates that occurred on June 2 and May 19 in which 11 possible housing site scenarios were referenced and analyzed with a series of recommended actions and next steps. This has included exploring the feasibility of building deed-restricted homes on the town-owned property east of Middle Creek at Vail Apartments. This option would require finding a new space for the Children’s Garden of Learning facility which occupies a portion of the site. The town, Vail Recreation District and Children’s Garden of Learning Board are collectively exploring the possibilities of expanding the nearby Vail Gymnastics Center as a possible location, along with other locations that the Children’s Garden of Learning Board of Directors may choose to explore.
As drafted, the MOU is a non-binding agreement by and between the town, Triumph Development and Vail Resorts and serves to outline the terms and details of obligations and responsibilities as the parties work toward executing legally binding agreements.
Key provisions of the MOU include:
- An extension of the approved Booth Heights entitlements will be granted to cover the additional time needed to achieve the win-win outcomes expected of the Alternate Housing Sites Initiative
- Lot 3, Middle Creek Subdivision will be made available for a future deed restricted housing development as an alternate site to Booth Heights
- Employee Housing Unit credit will be granted to Triumph Development/Vail Resorts equal to what has been approved on the Booth Heights parcel. The credit may be applied towards a future housing obligation
- The Timber Ridge Village Apartments will be redeveloped in the future assuring a notable increase in the number of deed-restricted homes
- The town will be granted the title to the Booth Heights parcel upon successfully demonstrating measured progress towards achieving the housing and environmental stewardship goals
- Wildlife fuels reduction will occur and wildlife habitat enhancements will be completed over multiple years to protect Vail’s bighorn sheep herd
Following Tuesday’s presentation, public comment on the draft MOU will be accepted by email to email@example.com, or in-person or remotely via Zoom at the July 21 evening meeting. Additional public comment will be accepted at the Aug. 4 meeting when the Town Council will consider a resolution to adopt the MOU.
To review the draft MOU is its entirety as well as other agenda items for the July 7 meeting, visit www.vailgov.com/agendas.