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Eagle County District Court affirms Town of Vail approval of Booth Heights

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October 21, 2020, 6:39 pm

The Town of Vail on Wednesday issued the following press release on the Eagle County District Court affirmation of the town’s approval of the Booth Heights workforce housing project in East Vail:

Vail Town Council’s decision to uphold the Planning and Environmental Commission’s 2019 approval of the Booth Heights development application in East Vail has been affirmed by Eagle County District Court Judge Russell Granger. In an order issued earlier this week, Judge Granger found the Town Council neither exceeded its jurisdiction nor abused its discretion in its decision to approve the application.

Town Council’s quasi-judicial review and approval of the development on Oct. 15, 2019, followed approval, with conditions, by the Planning and Environmental Commission on Aug. 26, 2019, and was challenged by six plaintiffs on July 9, 2020, naming the Town of Vail and Triumph Development as defendants.

In his order affirming the approval, Judge Granger found no basis to assertions by the plaintiffs that Town Council abused its discretion in approving the application. In particular, the court found the development application met all requirements to establish a system for safe pedestrian circulation to the development site, that environmental mitigation plans had been appropriately identified and addressed as required by the Town Code and that no conflict of interest occurred during review by the Planning and Environmental Commissioners.

After reviewing the court’s decision, Vail Town Manager Scott Robson says he’s appreciative of the hard work from the town’s legal team and staff and is especially proud to see the court’s recognition of the town’s adherence to its adopted codes and policies.

The 23-acre Booth Heights property is owned by Vail Resorts. Triumph Development has a contract to purchase 5.4 acres of the property. The approved development includes the construction of 61 residences comprised of 30 employee housing unit apartments, 19 employee housing unit townhomes and 12 market-rate townhomes. In addition, the development application specifies the remaining 17.9 acres of the property be zoned Natural Area Preservation as wildlife habitat. 

Since January, the Vail Town Council has initiated discussions with Vail Resorts and Triumph Development to explore alternative housing sites with negotiations continuing. On Oct. 6, Town Council approved a resolution extending the development plan approval for the Booth Heights project through Dec. 1, 2024, to ensure there is adequate time for all parties to meet the respective alternative housing site goals. A public update on the negotiation process with opportunities for public comment will take place at an upcoming Town Council meeting.

Access the Eagle County District Court decision here.  

For a timetable on the Booth Heights review process, visit vailgov.com/alternativehousingsites.

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