West Vail Master Plan Virtual Open House

Welcome to the West Vail Master Plan Virtual Open House! The West Vail Master Plan will be a community blueprint for environmentally and economically sustainable land use, zoning, and development decisions in the West Vail neighborhood. This Open House is the public kick off for the plan, and the planning team is eager to hear your vision for West Vail to guide the planning effort. On this page, you’ll find everything you’d typically find at an in-person event: plan information, analysis results, and many opportunities to provide your feedback and ideas. Scroll down to get started!


About the Plan

The intent of the West Vail Master Plan is to re-envision planning, zoning, and community character as well as transportation infrastructure, housing, and economic development for the West Vail area. The plan will establish policies and guidelines to support a community vision for West Vail, influence future redevelopment of commercial properties, encourage workforce housing, and preserve the existing residential character of the West Vail neighborhoods. The intent of this Virtual Open House is to get feedback in order to establish a community vision that will set the foundation for this plan.

The planning process is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, with adoption by the Town Council in the spring/summer of 2021. The planning process is divided into four phases. We are currently in the first phase of the plan, Background Research and Community Visioning, which is focusing on understanding the issues and opportunities for West Vail and bringing the community together around a vision for the plan and the area’s future.

This plan will be community-driven, with a robust level of public engagement. In-person events will be incorporated once permissible, with necessary precautions taken to assure social distancing. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to provide feedback on design, policies, and other plan elements!

West Vail Master Plan Study Area


20-Minute Neighborhood

The planning team has proposed the “20-minute neighborhood” as an organizing structure for this planning effort. The 20-minute neighborhood is a sustainability idea that is taking hold around the world, from Paris to Melbourne to Boulder. A 20-minute neighborhood is a place that has all the services that one might need within a short walk, bike ride, car, or bus trip. This planning process will identify and address the gaps in businesses, services, transportation infrastructure, housing types, and recreational opportunities, towards making West Vail a true 20-minute neighborhood.


Past Planning Efforts

In 2004/05, the Town worked on a master planning effort for the West Vail commercial area. Key themes of that effort include mixed use development, taller building heights, higher quality design, and infill development on surface lots. This planning process will build off that work and develop new ideas based on the current context. This process also encompasses the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Design Ideas from the 2005 West Vail commercial area master planning


Topic Areas

The three topic areas of this plan are housing + economics, land use + design, and transportation + mobility. The plan will include analysis, recommendations, and implementation strategies for each of these topic areas. Over the past few months, the planning team has analyzed the existing conditions for each topic. The full analyses can be found here. Continue scrolling for key takeaways and next steps for each topic area.

This open house is focused on visioning and issue identification. Over the next few months, there will be topic area workshops to dive into each of these in greater depth.

Housing + Economics

This plan will determine strategies to support economic development and housing opportunities in West Vail. The process involves engagement with key business and property owners, identification of resident and visitor preferences for new businesses, and analysis of existing housing stock and opportunities for future housing.

Key findings of the initial analysis are:

  • West Vail is less expensive than the rest of Vail – but still expensive! West Vail has a much lower percentage of second homes and a higher percentage of employee housing units than the rest of the Town.
  • About 10% of the Town’s jobs are in West Vail and West Vail is the source of 11% of the Town’s sales tax revenue. Sales tax in revenue has grown in West Vail, largely through growth in lodging revenue.
  • The demographics of West Vail (median age, median income, owner/renter breakdown) are very similar to the rest of the Town.
  • 30% of Vail’s workers commute more than 50 miles

Over the next few months, the planning team will continue to engage with business and property owners, identify desired housing types in West Vail, and develop appropriate housing policies and investment strategies to support the vision for West Vail.


Land Use + Design

This plan will generate ideas, designs, and possible code changes to align with the community’s vision for land use and design in West Vail. The process involves analysis of existing zoning and the buildings, streetscapes, and neighborhoods of West Vail; public engagement around desired character and visual preferences; and initial designs for commercial and civic areas.

Key findings of the initial analysis are:

  • The West Vail commercial area and the strip commercial development is as prescribed in zoning. If the community desires a different land use pattern, changes to the zoning code will be necessary.
  • If redeveloped according to zoning, West Vail could see a slight increase in housing units, but most opportunities for an increase in units are located on commercial lots.
  • Many residential lots do not conform to zoning. Often these non-conformities support additional density that would be lost if the lot redeveloped.
  • The residential character of West Vail is very unique and eclectic. This character is a defining feature of the area and if desired, tools will need to be put in place to preserve that character.

With an understanding of the community’s vision, the planning team will begin site plans for key housing and commercial spaces, renderings of new and revitalized civic spaces, and recommendations for land use and zoning changes.


Transportation + Mobility

The transportation + mobility element of the plan is focused on improving community mobility across all modes – driving, walking, biking, and transit. This planning effort addresses issues with existing transportation infrastructure, low-stress walking and biking networks, transit ridership, and connectivity within West Vail and to the rest of Vail. The public will identify crossing and walking/biking issues, barriers to transit ridership, and other necessary transportation infrastructure

Key findings of the initial analysis are:

  • Transit ridership on Vail Transit routes serving West Vail has declined over the past 10 years. This decline has occurred over a time period when overall ridership on Vail Transit has increased.
  • There are limited on-street bicycle facilities that are comfortable for recreational bicyclists. The presence of sidewalks is also limited.
  • The planning team’s analysis found that while bicyclists can access destinations throughout West Vail on low-stress (easy, safe) travel facilities, pedestrian travel is more limited due to a lack of comfortable east-west travel options and high vehicle speeds.
  • Both bicyclists and pedestrians experience north-south travel barriers due to limited opportunities for crossing I-70.

Next, the planning team will create renderings of improvements for roadways and bicycle/pedestrian connectivity, identify strategies to increase transit ridership and functionality, and develop appropriate crossing treatments and traffic calming measures.


Welcome to the West Vail Master Plan Virtual Open House! The West Vail Master Plan will be a community blueprint for environmentally and economically sustainable land use, zoning, and development decisions in the West Vail neighborhood. This Open House is the public kick off for the plan, and the planning team is eager to hear your vision for West Vail to guide the planning effort. On this page, you’ll find everything you’d typically find at an in-person event: plan information, analysis results, and many opportunities to provide your feedback and ideas. Scroll down to get started!


About the Plan

The intent of the West Vail Master Plan is to re-envision planning, zoning, and community character as well as transportation infrastructure, housing, and economic development for the West Vail area. The plan will establish policies and guidelines to support a community vision for West Vail, influence future redevelopment of commercial properties, encourage workforce housing, and preserve the existing residential character of the West Vail neighborhoods. The intent of this Virtual Open House is to get feedback in order to establish a community vision that will set the foundation for this plan.

The planning process is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, with adoption by the Town Council in the spring/summer of 2021. The planning process is divided into four phases. We are currently in the first phase of the plan, Background Research and Community Visioning, which is focusing on understanding the issues and opportunities for West Vail and bringing the community together around a vision for the plan and the area’s future.

This plan will be community-driven, with a robust level of public engagement. In-person events will be incorporated once permissible, with necessary precautions taken to assure social distancing. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to provide feedback on design, policies, and other plan elements!

West Vail Master Plan Study Area


20-Minute Neighborhood

The planning team has proposed the “20-minute neighborhood” as an organizing structure for this planning effort. The 20-minute neighborhood is a sustainability idea that is taking hold around the world, from Paris to Melbourne to Boulder. A 20-minute neighborhood is a place that has all the services that one might need within a short walk, bike ride, car, or bus trip. This planning process will identify and address the gaps in businesses, services, transportation infrastructure, housing types, and recreational opportunities, towards making West Vail a true 20-minute neighborhood.


Past Planning Efforts

In 2004/05, the Town worked on a master planning effort for the West Vail commercial area. Key themes of that effort include mixed use development, taller building heights, higher quality design, and infill development on surface lots. This planning process will build off that work and develop new ideas based on the current context. This process also encompasses the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Design Ideas from the 2005 West Vail commercial area master planning


Topic Areas

The three topic areas of this plan are housing + economics, land use + design, and transportation + mobility. The plan will include analysis, recommendations, and implementation strategies for each of these topic areas. Over the past few months, the planning team has analyzed the existing conditions for each topic. The full analyses can be found here. Continue scrolling for key takeaways and next steps for each topic area.

This open house is focused on visioning and issue identification. Over the next few months, there will be topic area workshops to dive into each of these in greater depth.

Housing + Economics

This plan will determine strategies to support economic development and housing opportunities in West Vail. The process involves engagement with key business and property owners, identification of resident and visitor preferences for new businesses, and analysis of existing housing stock and opportunities for future housing.

Key findings of the initial analysis are:

  • West Vail is less expensive than the rest of Vail – but still expensive! West Vail has a much lower percentage of second homes and a higher percentage of employee housing units than the rest of the Town.
  • About 10% of the Town’s jobs are in West Vail and West Vail is the source of 11% of the Town’s sales tax revenue. Sales tax in revenue has grown in West Vail, largely through growth in lodging revenue.
  • The demographics of West Vail (median age, median income, owner/renter breakdown) are very similar to the rest of the Town.
  • 30% of Vail’s workers commute more than 50 miles

Over the next few months, the planning team will continue to engage with business and property owners, identify desired housing types in West Vail, and develop appropriate housing policies and investment strategies to support the vision for West Vail.


Land Use + Design

This plan will generate ideas, designs, and possible code changes to align with the community’s vision for land use and design in West Vail. The process involves analysis of existing zoning and the buildings, streetscapes, and neighborhoods of West Vail; public engagement around desired character and visual preferences; and initial designs for commercial and civic areas.

Key findings of the initial analysis are:

  • The West Vail commercial area and the strip commercial development is as prescribed in zoning. If the community desires a different land use pattern, changes to the zoning code will be necessary.
  • If redeveloped according to zoning, West Vail could see a slight increase in housing units, but most opportunities for an increase in units are located on commercial lots.
  • Many residential lots do not conform to zoning. Often these non-conformities support additional density that would be lost if the lot redeveloped.
  • The residential character of West Vail is very unique and eclectic. This character is a defining feature of the area and if desired, tools will need to be put in place to preserve that character.

With an understanding of the community’s vision, the planning team will begin site plans for key housing and commercial spaces, renderings of new and revitalized civic spaces, and recommendations for land use and zoning changes.


Transportation + Mobility

The transportation + mobility element of the plan is focused on improving community mobility across all modes – driving, walking, biking, and transit. This planning effort addresses issues with existing transportation infrastructure, low-stress walking and biking networks, transit ridership, and connectivity within West Vail and to the rest of Vail. The public will identify crossing and walking/biking issues, barriers to transit ridership, and other necessary transportation infrastructure

Key findings of the initial analysis are:

  • Transit ridership on Vail Transit routes serving West Vail has declined over the past 10 years. This decline has occurred over a time period when overall ridership on Vail Transit has increased.
  • There are limited on-street bicycle facilities that are comfortable for recreational bicyclists. The presence of sidewalks is also limited.
  • The planning team’s analysis found that while bicyclists can access destinations throughout West Vail on low-stress (easy, safe) travel facilities, pedestrian travel is more limited due to a lack of comfortable east-west travel options and high vehicle speeds.
  • Both bicyclists and pedestrians experience north-south travel barriers due to limited opportunities for crossing I-70.

Next, the planning team will create renderings of improvements for roadways and bicycle/pedestrian connectivity, identify strategies to increase transit ridership and functionality, and develop appropriate crossing treatments and traffic calming measures.