The Vail Town Council has voted 5-2 (Langmaid and Mason against) to approve second reading of an ordinance to rezone a 23.3-acre parcel of land owned by Vail Resorts. The action took place at the regular evening Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3 following a public hearing that offered testimony from the community in support of, and against, the ordinance.
In voting to approve the rezoning application, Ordinance No. 13, the Council majority found that eight review criteria had been met, noting that community concerns expressed about wildlife, density and traffic impacts would require appropriate mitigation as part of a future development application.
The property is located on the north side of Interstate 70 at the East Vail interchange. The ordinance changes the zoning of the property from the Two-Family Residential district to two distinct zoning classifications - the western portion of the site representing 5.4-acres will be rezoned to the Housing district zoning classification while the eastern portion of the site representing 17.9-acres is rezoned as Natural Area Preservation district. The rezoning will take effect upon the recording of the final subdivision plat with the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder.
The Planning and Environmental Commission reviewed the rezoning application at its meeting on Sept. 11 and voted 6-0 to forward a recommendation of approval to the Town Council, noting the proposal meets the criteria outlined in Section 12-3-7 of the Vail Town Code for a zone district boundary amendment.
No specific development plans or designs have been submitted to the town for any employee housing units on the site. Any future development would require additional review at public hearings with the Planning and Environmental Commission. The architecture, site plan and building materials for any future development proposal would also require review by the Design Review Board. In addition, a development application would initiate the requirement for an environmental impact report, which would include a wildlife habitat assessment as well as an analysis of the geological conditions on the property, including geological hazards.
The Housing zone district allows employee housing units, bicycle and pedestrian paths, communications antennas/equipment and passive outdoor recreation areas, plus other uses that are secondary and incidental to the primary use. The Natural Area Preservation district is one of the most restrictive zone districts in town and limits permitted uses to nature preserves. Conditional uses in the Natural Area Preservation district include equestrian trails, interpretive nature walks, parking (when used in conjunction with a permitted or conditional use), bicycle and pedestrian paths, picnic tables and informal seating areas.
Town ordinances require two readings before Town Council for adoption. These meetings are live streamed at www.highfivemedia.org/ and are cablecast on channel 5.