The next phase in the update of the Town of Vail Comprehensive Open Lands Plan will take place during a community workshop from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Grand View on the third level of the Lionshead Welcome Center. The workshop follows a series of kick-off meetings held in December and January that introduced the planning update to the community and began identifying themes for future priorities. A summary of the community scoping meetings was presented to the Vail Town Council at its Feb. 7 meeting which concluded the first phase of the four-phase update process.
During phase-two, which focuses on research, analysis and additional community feedback, the town staff will be using the community input received to date to shape specific questions about how the town uses its land, the possibility of additional land acquisition and how to prioritize and decide upon uses. This preliminary work will be the basis for the Feb. 22 workshop.
During the two-hour session, participants will hear a brief presentation on what the current plan says, what the town has heard from the community thus far, and thoughts, ideas and questions about how the plan should be updated or changed related to open or vacant lands, land acquisitions, open space, land swaps, trails and more. Participants will then work with their neighbors at individual tables to provide feedback that will help the town prioritize actions in the plan. Each table will then report back to the group for an open discussion.
Refreshments will be served at the workshop and parking is free in the Lionshead structure upon entry after 3 p.m. Workshop participants are encouraged to RSVP in advance, if possible, by emailing Kristen Bertuglia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback from the Feb. 22 workshop will be used to help identify recommended actions for specific parcels for discussion at the next community meeting to be held in March with date and time to be announced. The town staff will be also calling upon a variety of agencies, such as Colorado Parks and Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service, to provide technical expertise on specific topics addressed from the Feb. 22 workshop.
Following this next round of community meetings, a draft plan will be prepared during phase-three of the update which will include a work session with the Planning and Environmental Commission. From there, the draft plan will be distributed for a 30-day public review period. Phase-four will involve formal review by the Planning and Environmental Commission and the Town Council. It is anticipated that adoption of the plan will occur during the fall.
The Town of Vail Comprehensive Open Lands Plan was adopted in 1994 and has provided the town with a framework of recommended actions that has established a comprehensive system of public benefits, including parks, recreation, protection of sensitive habitats, trails and land to be reserved for public uses including public buildings and employee housing. More than 30 of the 52 parcels identified in the plan have either been acquired, are close to being acquired or have met the objective of the plan without acquisition.
Last September, the Town Council authorized an update of the plan and directed staff to work with the community in determining which parts of the original plan have been completed, which parts are still relevant and to identify new needs based on current issues such as protection of Gore Creek water quality, recreational opportunities, including trails, as well as the potential for acquisition of sites for housing.
For additional details, visit vailgov.com/openlandsupdate.
Contact: Kristen Bertuglia
Environmental Sustainability Manager