This following is an unofficial summary of the Nov. 7, 2023 Vail Town Council meeting produced by the Communications Department. To read the official minutes; please click here. Minutes are posted once they are approved.
Council members present: Coggin, Davis, Foley, Mason, Seibert, Staufer (Langmaid absent)
Summary of Winter ’22/’23 and Summer ’23 Guest Post-Visit Surveys
Vail Summer 2023 guest research was conducted by the Town of Vail and the Vail Local Marketing District. A report out from RRC Associates compared summer 2023 results to winter 22/23 results. Key takeaways included high marks for cleanliness, maintenance, the Welcome Centers and overall customer service. Parking access and affordability remain issues to be addressed but not ones that are unique to Vail.
Excellent Customer Service Plan
Deputy Town Manager Kathleen Halloran presented a draft plan for the town’s “Excellent Customer Service” initiative, one of the top town council priorities identified earlier in the year. The town is not only interested in measuring the quality of its customer service, but also ensuring the ability to take action based on learnings from the data. Council was supportive of the plan. Members expressed interest in finding ways to separate feedback received regarding council policies and decisions from service provided by town staff. They liked the idea of a business survey and an internal survey to round out input.
2024 Special Event Funding
Staff presented the special event sponsorship funding allocations for events occurring in 2024. Recommended allocations total $1,225,500 in the event categories of Signature, Visitor Draw, Recreation/Tournament and Education and Enrichment.
Housing Zone District
Town of Vail and the Vail Local Housing Authority proposed to amend the current Housing (H) Zone District, create a new Housing Two (H-2) Zone District and amend the town code to allow retaining walls in the H and H-2 districts to extend up to 15 feet in height. This update was intended to provide basic standards in the zone district that allow for a streamlined process. Citing concerns with a “one size fits all” approach and the large change in retaining wall heights, the ordinance was denied on a 3-3 vote, with Foley, Mason and Staufer opposed.
Staff from the town’s Finance Department presented the first reading of the 2024 budget ordinance which incorporated council feedback to-date. The town’s 2024 revenues are projected at $100.4 million across all funds. Excluding one-time transfers, this represents a 3.2% increase from the 2023 amended budget and a 3.3% increase from 2022 actuals. Across all funds, 2024 expenditures are proposed at $135.7 million, which can be grouped into three main categories: municipal services, capital expenditures and debt service. As proposed, the budget includes 3.5 new FTEs. Council asked that requested a contribution to the Vail Valley Foundation be brought back for a decision in the spring, after winter revenues are known. In addition, the council discussed methods by which the RETT fund could pay back the General Fund for the acquisition of Booth Heights. Consensus was reached on a regular repayment schedule over 20 years, plus an annual review of RETT revenues to see if any excess could be used to pay down the amount sooner.
Banning Expanded Polystyrene To-Go Containers and Cups Per the State’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act
Staff presented Ordinance No. 25, which includes the prohibition of expanded polystyrene to-go containers and cups for ready-to-eat food in food retailers, including restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and school cafeterias as required by the statewide the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act. In addition, a ban on plastic carryout bags that affects grocery and retail stores is included in the act. Both bans go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Actions as a Result of Executive Session
There were no actions as a result of executive session.
Town Manager Report
Town Manager Russell Forrest confirmed with the council their approval of a request for his participation on the policy committee for the Colorado Municipal League. Forrest also mentioned the town is hosting a delegation from Yamanouchi Machi, the Mountain Towns 2030 conference, and the Colorado Association of Ski Towns this week.
Brian Sipes, in regard to the proposed Housing Zone District changes, commented that a minimum lot size of 10,000 sq. feet is not very big for the proposed zoning.
Sitting as the Vail Reinvestment Authority, Approved Resolution No. 5, Adopting the VRA 2024 Budget (6-0)
Sitting as the Vail Local Marketing District, Approved Resolution No. 4, Adopting the VLMD 2024 Budget (6-0)
Sitting as the Vail Local Marketing District, Approved a Net-Zero Update to the VLMD 2023 Operating Budget (6-0)
Approved Resolution No. 38, Operating Plan and Budget of the Vail Local Marketing District for 2024 (6-0)
Approved Resolution No. 39, Adopting the Town of Vail’s Five-Year Art in Public Places Strategic Plan (6-0)
Approved Resolution No. 40, Mutual Release of Restrictive Covenant Amended and Restated Development Agreement between the Town of Vail and David and Izabel Flowers (6-0)
Approved Resolution No. 41, Intergovernmental Agreement between the Town of Vail and Eagle County School District for a School Resource Officer at Red Sandstone Elementary (6-0)
Approved Resolution No. 42, State of Colorado Subaward Agreement between the Town of Vail and the Colorado Department of Transportation (6-0)
Approved Contract Award to 106West Couriers, LLC for the Loading and Delivery Program Renewal (6-0)
Approved Contract Award to Squire Broel for a Commissioned Sculpture for the Town of Vail’s Public Art Collection (6-0)
Approved a Net-Zero Update to the VLMD 2023 Operating Budget (6-0)
Approved Resolution No. 43, Adopting the 2023 Gerald R. Ford Park Master Plan Update (6-0)
Approved Resolution No. 44, Update to the Vail Land Use Plan Associated with the Rezoning of a Portion of Lot 1, Timber Ridge Subdivision (6-0)
Approved First Reading of Ord. No. 22, Designating the Zoning of the Proposed Addition to Lot 1, Timber Ridge Subdivision from Undesignated to Housing (H) District (6-0)
Denied First Reading of Ord. No. 23, Amending the Vail Town Code to Regarding Current Housing District Regulations and to Establish a New Housing District (3-3, Foley, Mason and Staufer against)
Approved First Reading of Ord. No. 24, Adopting the Town’s 2024 Budget (6-0)
Approved First Reading of Ord. No. 25, Series of 2023, Banning Expanded Polystyrene To-Go Containers and Cups Per the State’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Act (5-1, Foley against)
Approved Second Reading of Ord. No. 21, Adding Penalty Assessments to the Vail Town Code (6-0)
Upcoming Town Council Meetings/Activities
Vail Town Council Meeting, Dec. 5 – Includes swearing in of new council members