Land Use and Affordable Housing Vision Statement II
by By Tom Kennedy, 15-Year Mountain Village Plan Task Force Member
May 20, 2009 | 747 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GUEST COMMENTARY Editor’s Note: This is the second of a five-part series that outlines Mountain Village’s 15 Year Plan Vision Statements. The statements came out of a recent visioning process of the public and the M.V. Task Force. Town Council will review the draft Vision Statements at its June 9 meeting. In the first guest commentary, published May 7, 15-Year Plan Task Force member Hillary Mescall wrote about the Umbrella and Local Economy Vision Statements. The M.V. Task Force has identified and examined nine interrelated and community-related elements, and now examines each one of those. This examination exercise was vital, as each element must fit into the final town model. Below, a “snapshot” of the Task Force efforts.

Land Use Vision Statement (draft)

After receiving an abundant amount of community input – input that we have eagerly embraced, diligently sorted through and remolded – we drafted the following Land Use Vision Statement:

Mountain Village is a walkable community where diverse interconnected neighborhoods and a vibrant commercial center are bordered by open space, outdoor recreation amenities and other land uses that support a sustainable community. Neighborhoods and activity centers are connected by efficient infrastructure, interconnected streets, and an efficient and effective transportation system. Development strikes the appropriate balance between the needs of the community and the resort so that neither dominates or has an adverse impact on the other. Maintaining this balance is central to retaining and preserving the essential attributes of Mountain Village as a small, attractive alpine community.

This Vision Statement is our aspiration for 2025. And just as we have with each Vision Statement element, the Task Force has evaluated our land use strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). This exercise is done to ensure each crafted vision statement is attainable. With regards to the Land Use Vision Statement, one of our identifiable strengths is our PUD – our current building guide. Currently, the PUD requires that just over 56 percent of the land in our boundaries is kept as either passive open space or active open space, 43 percent is used for residential uses, and the remaining 1 percent is used for commercial uses. We see this limitation on density as a good thing. What we don’t agree with is how the PUD imposes unclear, poorly defined rules and guidelines. For example, the definition of active open space will need careful review and clarity – a great reason why you should attend our Task Force meetings, and provide input.

On a similar note, we understand that affordable housing is a hot topic for many of you, and again, we encourage your input on the matter. After compiling and analyzing your feedback thus far, we crafted the following:

Affordable Housing Vision Statement (draft)

By the year 2025, high quality, affordable housing has improved the community, and helped diversify the local economy by supporting permanent and seasonal employees. A sufficient supply of safe, diverse and attractive affordable housing is available for people who work in Mountain Village and have a desire to live here. Mountain Village participates in regional efforts that develop more affordable housing opportunities in the region.

This Vision Statement is a bold declaration considering the cost of land and construction in Mountain Village and the region, and the increase in the sales prices of deed-restricted units. The other obstacle is the estimated amount of affordable housing that is actually needed now and by the year 2025, when the town is close to being fully built-out. According to the Telluride Regional Housing Demand Analysis, as of 2007, Mountain Village had 524 units of affordable housing. At the same time, there were over 2,200 jobs in Mountain Village. This vast division will only get worse as the Village and county population continues to increase.

There are a number of strengths and opportunities to help resolve the future affordable housing dilemma. First, the Village owns 24 acres of active open space, which by right, can be used to develop affordable housing. Second, the Village currently has a very financial savvy and qualified Town Council who are well aware of the current and future benefits of housing the local workforce in Mountain Village. In addition to being able to subsidize affordable housing, the Council may also be able to require additional housing mitigation on any existing or future developments.

Again, this is just two of the 10 Vision Statements we have drafted, and only a few examples of each elements strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. To learn more about the various Vision Statements, we encourage you to participate in our 15 Year Planning process – attend meetings, visit our Web site, but most importantly, participate in this process, as the 15 Year Plan is the community’s plan.

Questions and comments may be directed to Community Development Director Sally Vecchio at

This is the second of a five-part series outlining Mountain Village’s 15 Year Plan Vision Statements. The statements came out of a recent visioning process with the public and the M.V. Task Force. The M.V. Town Council will review the draft Vision Statements at its June 9 meeting.
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