The Town of Vail is seeking proposals from experienced planning and design firms to lead the community in developing a Vail Civic Area Plan – a master plan for future improvements on town-owned land and adjacent properties in Lionshead. The civic planning area represents approximately 10 acres to include the Lionshead parking structure, Dobson Ice Arena, Vail Public Library, East Lionshead Circle, West Meadow Drive and properties west of the Vail Health medical center, as well as the existing municipal complex on South Frontage Road. The deadline for proposals is 12 p.m. (MDT) Monday, July 30.
The study area is contained within a Tax Increment Finance District, established in 2005, and represents the last phase of a planning effort that has included adoption of the Lionshead Redevelopment Master Plan in 1998 and related TIF-funded improvements to include construction of a new transit center and welcome center, plus streetscape improvements, remodel of the library, guest service enhancements, reconstruction of the Lionshead parking entry and construction of the Zeke M. Pierce Skatepark. Most recently, TIF funds have been used to fund the town’s portion of the Sandstone underpass. The TIF district will expire in 2030 in accordance with state law following a 25-year collection period of approximately $88.2 million in total. A projected $32 million remains and is available to secure bonding for future projects in the district to be identified in the master plan.
To conduct the study, the town is looking for expertise in the areas of citizen engagement, urban planning and urban design to be used to determine conceptual solutions and goals for the civic planning area. This will include a citizen engagement process to identify community needs and public facilities desires, an analysis to determine which uses best fit within the study area and how the uses might positively impact and benefit the Vail community.
To provide additional structure to the planning process, the following parameters have been identified:
- The Vail Town Council, acting as both the Vail Reinvestment Authority and the property owner of those parcels within the study area, has final decision-making authority;
- The study area is assumed to include the properties listed above;
- The Town of Vail, which largely relies upon visitor-based revenues, seeks to be economically diverse and competitive;
- The Dobson Ice Arena, with the possible inclusion of adjoining undeveloped property, could serve a significant role in providing multiple uses on a year-round basis;
- Resident-occupied (deed-restricted) housing remains a high need for the Town of Vail and throughout the community;
- Emerging technologies should be employed within the context of the plan when and where opportunities arise;
- Proposed development should be consistent with the town’s commitment to environmental sustainability;
- Citizen engagement tools shall be utilized to foster strong public outreach and citizen participation;
- The Lionshead Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District expires June 6, 2030 and revenues from TIF need to be expended by that time;
- These future TIF revenues could be used, as they have in the past, to secure a bond issuance that would enable the financing of some or all of the plan outcomes in the near future.
Planning firms and other design professionals interested in submitting a proposal for the Vail Civic Area master plan process must register for access to the share file site by emailing Shelley Bellm at sbellm. Candidate finalist interviews are scheduled for Aug. 22 with the project start on Sept. 3. The master plan process is anticipated to take 12 months to complete.
To sign up for citizen updates on the master planning process, go to sbellm.