VAIL VILLAGE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.

President - Alan Kosloff     Secretary - Ellie Caulkins    Treasurer - Patrick Gramm    Executive Director  -  Jim Lamont

Directors:  Judith Berkowitz  -  Dolph Bridgewater  -  Richard Conn  -  Gail Ellis  -  Eugene Mercy 

Bill Morton  -  Trygve Myhren  -  Gretta Parks  -  Emeritus: Bob Galvin

 

VVHA 2006 Annual Report - Executive Summary:

 

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Issues: Defending open space and stream tract covenants against encroachments was one of several Association environmental initiatives.  The Association turned its attention to larger scale civic and infrastructure improvements to preserve the community’s natural environment, resort identity and livability as it grows.  Short and long-range proposals were advocated to deal with noise pollution from Interstate 70 including the installation of “quiet pavement,” noise berms and the possible removal of the freeway.  The Association furthered its long-term initiative for comprehensive streetscape improvements and the building of enclosed trucking terminals, which will reduce nuisance noise and enhance the appearance of Vail Village.  The expanded use of the Real Estate Transfer Tax Fund was favored by the Association to support environmental protection and clean up of Gore Creek, forestlands and similar projects.  Forest restoration efforts by the Association were directed at changes to management systems to hasten reforestation through replanting sustainable tree species subsequent to the removal and use of dead trees as fuel for clean energy and other forest products.  The Association pressed for the highest priority to be given to the preparation of a detailed emergency evacuation procedures and communications systems to guide the community swiftly to safety in case of catastrophic wild fire.

  

  • Tract E/Covenant protected open space defended by neighbors in Colorado Court of Appeals. 

  • TOV to cause Gore Creek Stream Tract encroachments to be removed supported by Association. 

  • Seibert Circle Fountain funded through efforts of Association President and businessman Ron Riley.

·        Association assisted in Thirteenth Filing Neighborhood Association I70 noise berm negotiation.  

 

Transportation and Related Infrastructure Issues:  The Association is concerned that the current state of planning for the expansion of I70 from Denver to Vail and beyond, will not be adequate to provide for dependability of access and environmental compatibility.  Long-range planning for transportation systems to and around Vail is essential to the continued success of the community’s economy and the quality of life of residential property owners.   The Association advocates:

 

·        A comprehensive transportation system in accord with a “vision” for the community that could free it from the negative effects of Interstate 70.

·        Provide for the expansion of the community’s internal traffic circulation independent of I70. 

·        Provide for enhanced regional ground and air mass transit. 

 

Efforts by the Association to implement the vision is resulting in the development of a plan for a central four lane landscape boulevard from Ford Park to the West Vail commercial center including a new I70 (Simba Run) underpass west of Lionshead, served by additional parking structures, mass transit and trucking terminals.  With encouragement from the Association, the Town of Vail is funding the frontage road project through impact fees and property tax revenues from development projects.  The Association is also encouraging officials to improve the Eagle County Airport and other forms of bus and rail mass transit.  Accessibility by all forms of transportation, with an increasing emphasis on the region west of Vail, is essential to the success of the community’s economy and livability. 

 

·        Public attention brought by the Association to short and long-term solutions to I70 noise and expansion. 

  • Association advocates the Town ‘s “Vail 20/20 Strategic Plan” address I70 noise and expansion. 

·        Association establishes I70 Action Fund and Advisory Group. 

 

Affordable Housing Issue:  The on-going building boom and the perception of a shift in the balance of political power in the local electorate is causing elected officials to consider a far-reaching impact fee upon all new construction.  The impact fee is intended to provide affordable housing for 30% of new jobs in the Vail community.  As proposed, if affordable housing is not built on-site the pay-in-lieu fee is to be $315.50 per sq. ft.  Planners calculate that the fee would add $473,000 to the building cost of a 5000 sq. ft. home and $24,000 for a 250 sq. ft. addition to a condominium.  As currently proposed, the fee would place a lesser burden upon commercial than on resort residential development.  The imbalance favors commercial hotel, retail and office development.  A regional government study reports spending by part-time residents constitutes 43% of the local economy, which indicates a more balanced fee is justified.  Commercial incentives will increase demand for affordable housing, as more jobs will be generated.  Land is very limited on which to build affordable housing thus forcing it to be built into new development.  Many in the Vail development and real estate industry say that the size and imbalance in the proposed fee could significantly dampen new resort residential construction, thus drying up impact fee revenues and jobs.  They also are worried about the eventual size and competitive power of a government controlled affordable housing fund because it could damage the local development industry by driving up construction cost.  There is no sunset provision to terminate the fee when the affordable housing quotas and community master plan limits are attained.  Many question the reliability of statistical data used for housing forecasts and the calculation of employment generated by resort residential development.  Once its effect is fully felt, the impact fee could meet with disapproval.  A significant portion of the local population is employed in the resort development and real estate industry.  The Town’s affordable housing policy is not balanced, for example; it does not provide for non-employed seniors who worked in the community, which is an increasing segment of the local population.  The Association favors a constructive affordable housing policy, however before proceeding with a potentially disruptive impact fee, concerns need to be fully addressed by the Town Council and widely debated by the community.  Meanwhile, the unintended consequences, including suspending or frustrating development approvals and waiting for the adoption of an impact fee, could also potentially prove to be harmful. 

 

Redevelopment Issues:  The Association objects to the continued abuse of Special Development Districts (SDD’s) whereby the Town’s zoning and master planning are altered in exchange for increases in zoning density to fund public improvements.  SDD’s can be damaging to the interest of adjacent property owners as larger buildings are permitted than would otherwise be allowed by standard zoning.  The Association favors the imposition of reasonable standardized impact fees upon all new development to fund projects provided for in adopted master plans for civic and infrastructure improvements.  The property rights conferred by zoning should apply equally to all property owners in the same or similar circumstances.  The Association notes that SDD’s are being used more frequently because some political interests are able to manipulate the local political system to their own advantage. On the other hand, other political interests are able to require higher fees in exchange for greater density than would otherwise be required by standardized impact fees.  Public confidence in the Town of Vail’s development review process and zoning regulation is being undermined.  In order to restore trust in the integrity of Vail’s planning and design, the Association advocated and participated in the updating of neighborhood master plans.  The result will be uniform rezoning and developer improvement agreements, so that all neighborhood property owners would benefit similarly.  Additionally, the Association worked to update public infrastructure and service master plans.  The Association participated in the review and the negotiations of major redevelopment and planning projects throughout the community on behalf of its membership.   

 

Membership and Communications:  The Association significantly increased its membership as well as the scope and frequency of its communication with the membership.