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Rules of procedure set for Oct. 15 Booth Heights appeal hearing

October 3, 2019, 5:24 pm

The Oct. 15 Booth Heights appeal hearing will follow rules of procedure adopted by the Vail Town Council at its Oct. 1 meeting to provide due process for all parties involved. Resolution No. 38 outlines a sequence for the appeal hearing which will challenge the Aug. 26 approval of the Booth Heights development by the Planning and Environmental Commission.

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The Oct. 15 hearing will address seven citizen appeals to be heard simultaneously as part of the Town Council’s regular evening business meeting which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers. All seven appeals challenge the PEC decision approving the project, alleging the decision should be overturned for various reasons. It is the appellants’ burden of proof, as a whole, to establish the PEC decision was made in error.

The adopted rules of procedure include a submittal process prior to the hearing. In compliance with the Vail Town Code, the Community Development Department will forward to the Town Council a summary of all records concerning the decision. Additionally, appellants and the applicant, Triumph Development, shall be allowed to submit written materials to the Community Development Department prior to Town Council’s review. All written submittals must be relevant, legible, clearly labeled, signed and dated. Appellants and the applicant may send these to Jonathan Spence, senior planner, at jspence@vailgov.com.

The adopted rules of procedure also address orderly conduct, providing testimony under oath and the order of proceedings as follows: The hearing will be opened by the mayor and town staff will present the procedural history, including dates of the PEC hearings and the decision. The Town Council may ask questions of town staff during this presentation.

Each applicant shall be allotted a total of 10 minutes to present evidence, witness testimony, statements and arguments in support of the appeals, provided that pooling of time shall be permitted between appellants who are present at the hearing. No cross examination of witnesses will be allowed.

The applicant will then present any evidence, witness testimony, statements and arguments in support of the decision. This presentation will be limited to 70 minutes.

Town staff may then respond to or supplement the evidence and testimony presented by the appellants and applicant.

Following the town staff presentation, the Town Council will allow limited public comment. Each public comment will be limited to 3 minutes, provided that pooling of time shall be permitted and repetitive and irrelevant comments may be disallowed. Public comment will be on a first-come, first-served basis, based on a sign-in sheet at the hearing.
The rules of procedure further state the Town Council will have the right at any time to temporarily recess to review any written evidence provided by any person if such review cannot occur while the hearing proceeds.

Once the hearing has commenced, the Town Council may continue the hearing to a date certain upon its own motion, for good cause including without limitation the need for additional time for presentation or consideration of evidence or the need for additional information. Re-notification to adjacent property owners and interested parties shall not be required for any continued hearing. At the continued hearing, no additional time shall be allotted for public comment. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the hearing will be concluded and a final decision rendered prior to the new Town Council members being sworn into office.

At the conclusion of all testimony, the Town Council may deliberate. Following deliberation, the Town Council shall make a decision on all of the appeals at once by a voice vote and a simple majority shall be required to uphold or reverse the PEC decision.

As approved by the PEC with 14 conditions, the Booth Heights development contains 61 residential units, including 49 units of deed-restricted employee housing units, of which 30 EHUs are in 3 multi-family apartment buildings and 19 EHUs in townhomes, plus 12 unrestricted townhomes in addition to 125 surface parking spaces and 31 garage spaces.

For details on the approval, visit https://www.vailgov.com/projects/booth-heights-timeline.

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