CEOs living next to busboys in Vail? |

CEOs living next to busboys in Vail?

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colo. ” Kim Newbury wants to see all kinds of people living in Vail’s neighborhoods.

“I definitely have benefited from living in my neighborhood, where we have CEOs of companies, police officers, hotel front-desk workers and bartenders all living in the some community, and we can all learn something from each other,” said Newbury, who lives in town affordable housing in West Vail.

And she doesn’t want to see neighborhoods made up of only low-cost housing, either, she said.

That was part of the reason why Newbury, a town councilwoman, voted for new rules that require more worker housing to be built alongside expensive second homes.

Under the proposal, one-half of required worker housing must be on the same land as new residential projects. Developers could previously build required housing anywhere in town, including in the outlying neighborhoods of East Vail and West Vail, where property values are lower.

Last year, the town adopted stricter affordable housing laws that require developers to provide a certain amount of housing for employees. Under the laws, 10 percent of new residential projects must be set aside for employees.

The Town Council recently gave preliminary approval to the new “on-site” rules. Final approval could come Tuesday.

Other developers said they were OK with the rules. Craig Cohn, who works with developer Peter Knobel, said the rules create more concrete expectations for builders.

“I think what they’ve done is good for the community,” Cohn said. “From a developer’s standpoint, what you really hope for is to know what you’re getting into.”

But Cohn added that it “probably is more expensive” to build the housing on-site.

And buildings won’t be allowed to be taller or bulkier as a result of the new rules, said George Ruther, director of community development for the town.

Some big developments have already planned to mix employees with second homes. Vail Resorts plans 123 beds of affordable housing in studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments for its $1 billion Ever Vail project.

The recently completed Vail Plaza Hotel and Club project has housing for 38 employees.