West Vail Master Plan

Merit - General Planning Project

by: Matt Gennett, Community Development Director

West Vail functions as the commercial core outside of the Town’s two main Villages. Vail Village and Lionshead Village at the base of Vail mountain are geared towards resort style retail stores and restaurant, while West Vail is the commercial hub for the Town’s residents and also has a significant amount of the locals housing.

Much of West Vail does not conform with current zoning, as it was originally developed under Eagle County regulations and later annexed into the Town of Vail. As a result, development has been stunted since the 80’s due to the wish to preserve the existing densities that would not be permitted under the code as existing.

Over time a real need has been shown to create a specific plan for West Vail to establish the correct zoning and provide a vision under which potential new developments can come to fruition. The West Vail Master Plan lays the groundwork for that work to begin.

The residential areas were studied to produce ideas on how appropriate zoning could be established to encourage redevelopment while maintaining the type of housing that will provide the workforce a place to live. The greatest worry would be that these homes would redevelop into luxury housing and be outside the reach of locals. The approved plan lays the foundation for specifically tailored new zoning that will hopefully achieve the goal for the area.

As this is also the main commercial hub for the necessary stores to support a year-round population, great care went into how this area could redevelop while maintaining the functionality of the area. Urban design is the key to maintaining the character of Vail and finding a framework of possible buildings and densities that keep the look and feel of Vail was a difficult balance. The West Vail Master Plan studied multiple approaches with varying densities and commercial square footages to give future decision makers various options depending on what fits the town best.

These combined efforts show the breadth and depth of the project as it aims to preserve West Vail’s character while giving it the opportunity to redevelop. 


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