An update on design concepts illustrating various citizen-driven themes for improvements to Vail’s civic spaces will be presented to the Vail Town Council at its Tuesday, April 2 meeting. The item is listed as 1.3 on the meeting agenda which begins at 2:05 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers.
Since gathering community feedback on ideas for future improvements to the town-owned properties that collectively make up the Civic Area, the town’s master planning team, led by 4240 Architecture, Inc., has been translating these community ideas into numerous design, program expansion and place making opportunities to illustrate what might be possible both physically and experientially. The properties within the study area include Dobson Ice Arena, Vail Public Library, Lionshead Parking and Transportation Center, charter bus lot and the Vail Municipal Building Complex.
The concepts to be presented Tuesday range from big ideas, such as exploring the charter bus lot east of the Lionshead parking structure as a centerpiece for a variety of civic uses, to more modest improvements such as adding a second floor to the library.
The concepts have been developed based on responses from nearly 400 participants who provided input through an online survey hosted by the town at EngageVail.com. In addition, numerous stakeholder groups have shared their ideas including adjacent property owners, members of town boards and commissions, representatives from the Eagle River Youth Coalition as well as facility managers and users.
Tuesday’s presentation will also include an introductory discussion of market and financial considerations by Economic Planning Systems, a Denver-based economic and financial feasibility planning firm that has been hired as part of the project team.
Feedback from the Town Council will be incorporated into next steps for the planning process which will invite community members to share their reactions to the design concepts on the EngageVail.com online portal beginning April 9. There will also be “pop-up” outreach events and stakeholder focus groups.
In May, the Town Council will review the public input which will be used to narrow the concepts with additional analysis provided by civil engineering, environmental, traffic and economic/market specialists on the project team. The Town Council will eventually select a preferred concept in July, which will be incorporated into a draft mater plan for refinement and adoption later in the year.
Completion of the Civic Area Plan has been identified as a high priority by the Vail Town Council. Upon adoption, the plan will provide guidance on future decision-making, funding and implementation of improvements to the Civic Area.
To provide additional structure to the planning process, the following goals have been adopted:
- Identify the community's opinions of how to best utilize the land within the defined study area for the Civic Area Plan;
- Evaluate and comprehend the issues, opportunities and constraints that will influence the development of the Civic Area, including the identification of potential highest and best uses;
- Prepare a plan that is viable, is reflective of the community’s goals, is economically feasible in terms of market considerations and is responsive to the site and the surrounding neighborhoods, and;
- Define strategies to guide future decision-making and the implementation of improvements to the Civic Area that will establish vibrant, aesthetically pleasing and thoughtfully designed places that will serve the needs of the local community and guests.
The majority of the study area is contained within a Tax Increment Finance District, established in 2005, and represents the last phase of a planning effort that has included adoption of the Lionshead Redevelopment Master Plan in 1998 and related TIF-funded improvements to include construction of a new transit center and welcome center, plus streetscape improvements, remodel of the library, guest service enhancements, reconstruction of the Lionshead parking entry and construction of the Zeke M. Pierce Skatepark. Most recently, TIF funds have been used to fund the town’s portion of the Sandstone Underpass. The TIF district will expire in 2030 in accordance with state law following a 25-year collection period. The TIF money is available to secure bonding for future projects in the district at the direction of the Vail Town Council sitting as the Vail Reinvestment Authority.
To view the Town Council presentation outlining the various design concepts identified through the first public engagement process and other details, click here. For more information, contact Matt Gennett, community development director, at 970-479-2146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.