Vail Town Council to hear appeal of East Vail workforce housing decision

Council's Aug. 2 meeting will include appeal hearing of East Vail housing approval

Staff report
Vail Daily
It was standing room only for the Tuesday, May 3, 2022 Vail Town Council meeting, where a large crowd of Vail Resorts employees showed up to express their support for building workforce housing in East Vail.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

VAIL — Citizen appeals of the Vail Design Review Board’s approval of the East Vail Workforce Housing development application, formerly known as Booth Heights, will be heard Tuesday, Aug. 2, by the Vail Town Council during its regular evening meeting. The hearing is listed as 6.1 on the meeting agenda which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers.

The fate of a parcel in East Vail targeted for Vail Resorts workforce housing has closely divided the region and Vail’s elected representatives.

The project is slated to be built on big horn sheep habitat, and local environmentalists across the region have mounted in opposition to the new development.

The appeal process was initiated after Community Development Director Matt Gennett, in his role as zoning administrator, determined that four citizens had met the legal qualifications to appeal the design board’s approval. The deadline to file citizen appeals was June 7.

The Vail Town Council on will hear an appeal of a Design Review Board approval of the East Vail housing project formerly known as Booth Heights.
Vail Daily archive

The Town Council has the authority to uphold, modify or overturn the design board’s approval after hearing testimony from the appellant, applicant and members of the public. Opportunities for public comment are available in advance of Tuesday’s meeting by emailing or will be available in-person at the meeting or virtually by registering at The meeting will be livestreamed by High Five Access Media.

The appeal hearing had originally been scheduled to take place July 5 but was continued to Aug. 2 to allow time for the applicant to review submission materials. The council on July 5 adopted rules of procedure for the appeal hearing with passage of Resolution No. 34.

The Design Review Board on May 18 voted 3-1 to approve the East Vail Workforce Housing development application with four conditions following two review sessions.

The appeal filings cited objections including changes to exterior materials, landscaping and lighting associated with the development. While the town received 15 appeal letters, only four were found to qualify under Town Code Section 12-3-3.

The East Vail Workforce Housing development application reviewed by the design board contains 61 housing units including 49 deed-restricted employee housing units and 12 dwelling units. This includes 30 multifamily employee housing units as well as 19 townhome employee housing units, both composed of two-, three- and four-bedroom units.

As a result of the upcoming appeal hearings, the Town Code requires a stay on all other proceedings related to the project. Following the Tuesday appeal hearings, the council will consider an emergency ordinance suspending the issuance of permits for the Booth Heights property. Ordinance No. 16 is listed as action item 7.1 on Tuesday’s meeting agenda with opportunities for public comment.

Additional information about the Aug. 2 hearings and the emergency ordinance are posted to the town’s website at as part of the Town Council meeting agenda.

According to Colorado law, if Vail proceeds with a condemnation case, the town will have to pay the “reasonable market value” of the property, based on independent appraisals. The value will ultimately be decided by a judge.

Vail Mayor Kim Langmaid said if the town proceeds, and prevails in its efforts, the town will tap its Real Estate Transfer tax fund.

Vail Finance Director Kathleen Halloran in an email wrote that fund currently holds about $15 million. The town has another $60 million or so in other reserves.

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