Civic Area Plan to be Adopted at Nov. 5 Town Council Meeting

  • 11 October 2019
Civic Area Plan to be Adopted at Nov. 5 Town Council Meeting

UPDATE: This item has been tabled to the Tuesday, Nov. 5 evening meeting.

The Vail Town Council will review a resolution adopting the Civic Area Plan during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Resolution No. 41 is listed as 2.1 on the meeting agenda which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers with opportunities for public comment.

The long-range planning project was initiated last December to provide a cohesive vision for future improvements to town-owned properties in the study area, including Dobson Ice Arena, Vail Public Library, Lionshead parking structure, charter bus lot and the Vail Municipal building.

The 76-page draft incorporates community-driven themes and includes various approaches in combining sites to the greatest extent possible to link spaces and future uses. Possibilities include:

  • Rebuilding Dobson Ice Arena with a modest expansion to include other programming with ice as the primary utilization; multi-purpose events center; community/performing arts space; community space or Town Hall; and public space.
  • Rebuilding Dobson Ice Arena with a major expansion to function as an events center with the events as the primary utilization, plus a utilitarian dedicated second ice sheet; community/performing arts space; community space or Town Hall; and public space.
  • Renovating Dobson Ice Arena with ice as primary utilization; multi-purpose events center; community/performing arts space; private development at charter bus lot; and public space.

The draft plan includes recommendations for detailed market and economic studies to help define desired programming as well as design studies, pricing and funding strategies.

The plan also provides options for future improvements to the remainder of the civic spaces, including the library, the south side of the parking structure and a town-owned parcel, lot 10, located east of Dobson Arena.
Possibilities for the Municipal Building site include: replacing town hall, creating a public-private development opportunity, adding housing or other development on west side and adding a shared event/auditorium space with the Council Chambers. Suggested next steps for this site include defining the highest and best use to determine the best location for town hall, preliminary design studies to determine development potential and exploring public-private partnership opportunities.

The draft plan was presented to the Planning and Environmental Commission at its Sept. 23 meeting and will be formally reviewed by the PEC on Oct. 14 with recommendations forwarded to the Town Council.

To view and comment on the draft plan, visit or to comment in advance of Tuesday’s meeting, email

The Civic Area planning process has been guided by a multi-disciplinary Colorado-based consultant group with representation from 4240 Architects, Braun Associates, Inc., Russell Mills Studio, Trestle Strategy Group and Economic & Planning Systems. The team was selected for its expertise in citizen engagement, urban planning, urban design and economic planning.

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.  

For more information, contact Matt Gennett, community development director, at 970-479-2146 or email



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