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  -  Ron Langley

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

 

FALL 2006 NEWSLETTER

 

I-70 Noise - Eliminating I-70, It Could Happen.  The Homeowners Association is working to find solutions to reduce traffic, noise, and pollution in the Vail Valley from I-70, and also encouraging smarter ways of traveling through the valley by mass-transit, among other long-range concepts.  Solutions being considered involve rerouting I-70 under Vail Mountain through a bypass tunnel, or burying portions of the existing highway through a “cut & cover” tunnel.  The Vail Town Council is being urged to include these solutions in its long-range plans and to actively pursue them with State and Federal Transportation authorities. The Association supports short-term solutions such as resurfacing with “quiet pavement”, and long-term improvements to the Eagle County Airport with a connection to Vail using advanced mass transit.  The Town Council has released its 2005 consultant study of the tunneling proposals, which is expected to generate a lively community debate.  See VVHA Vail Grand Vision/170 Status Reports and Vail Daily news article.  

 

Vail 20/20 Community Visioning Meetings:  The Town of Vail hosted a number of meetings to boost community confidence in its future.  The purpose of this “community visioning process” is to present options on issues facing the community, such as Pine Beetle kill, I-70 Noise, and Affordable/Resident Housing.  Some three hundred people attended the meetings.  The consensus called for more aggressive action by the Town on the major issues.  An action plan to carry out the community consensus is being prepared for public comment by the Town staff.   The opinion of non-resident property owners is desired by public officials…so speak up.   See TOV website for details.

 

Town considers Lionshead Parking Structure redevelopment with two Developers: The Town of Vail is moving forward with its consideration of redeveloping the Town owned Lionshead Parking Structure.  A financial appraisal of the site is the next step and the Town is considering design-concept proposals from each of the two chosen development companies competing for the project. Both concepts offer public amenities, public and private parking, affordable and resident housing, retail commercial, hotel, and convention center.  Jointly the proposals include possible public amenities for the performing arts, offices for selected community non-profits, a large spa facility, and transportation center.  The Town Council is evaluating the proposal in measured steps. There are no hard and fast positions being taken by either the Council or the Association at this time.   See VVHA Status Report and Vail Daily news article.

 

Open Space Litigation to Court of Appeals:  The Tap Room Bar and Grill is at the center of a dispute with neighborhood property owners by encroaching into covenant protected open space with a Town approved expansion of a private dining deck.  This proposal violates private covenants that protect open space for public use.  Affected property owners have brought the matter to the Colorado Court of Appeals seeking to uphold the covenants.  Property owners through out the Town of Vail could face the same challenge to covenant protected open space lands.  As property owners they are directly responsible, as individuals or as a coalition, to ensure open space is aggressively defended in the courts because the possibility exists that they can be lost, along with their value. 

 

Town of Vail partners with the U.S. Forest Service to take on the Mountain Pine Beetle and more: In order to target the forest conservation and wildfire issues facing the area, the TOV is working with the U.S. Forest Service to remove dead or infested pine trees, improve aspen stands and reduce wildfire threats on 22 acres of Town owned land and 143 acres of Forest service land.  This will include the removal of logs by helicopter; others will be left behind and destroyed by controlled burns managed by the Forest Service.  This is one of several projects to reduce wildfire threats in forested areas near the Town boundary which are infested with pine beetle and other diseases.  The threat of epidemic diseases to the forest is an escalating and troubling problem throughout the Western States as reported in the New York Times and the Vail Trail.  The regional epidemic has aesthetic and economic consequences for Vail and other mountain resorts requiring aggressive conservation measures by governments and property owners.  The Association has endorsed the concept of installing steam and electric generators fueled by dead trees because of the potential for both economic and environmental benefits in ridding the surrounding forest of biohazards.   See VVHA Status Report, 2005 Annual Report, and news article.

  

Many homes are surrounded by infested trees:  Vail homeowners and residents are encouraged to schedule free pine beetle and “Firewise” wildfire defensible space reviews with the Vail Fire Department. A review will recommend solutions to help homeowners prevent the spread of pine beetles by removing infected or spraying healthy trees.  Call the Vail Fire Department at 479-2254, TOV Environmental Health Office at 479-2333 or the U.S. Forest Service at 328-6388.  Learn more about protecting your home from wildfire.  Link to Firewise Communities

 Affordable Housing: Negotiation over the design and planning for the redevelopment of the Town owned Timber Ridge affordable housing has been taking place largely behind closed doors.  It is rumored that one of the proposals being given serious consideration is 3 to 4 times larger than the Middle Creek project.  Additionally, the Town currently has under serious consideration increasing affordable housing requirements for new development including all residential and commercial projects.

 

Voicing Concern Makes a Difference:  Neighborhood activism caused the developer of the Roost Lodge to significantly lower the height of the proposed building.  The project is to be a Marriott Residence Inn and condominiums.

 

Master Plans: Town approval is pending. Master Planning remains in progress for West Lionshead and West Vail Commercial Center.  Each is being proposed for major new development.  Concerns over increased traffic congestion and beautification of the North and South Frontage road has resulted in a detailed study of roadway improvement options between Ford Park and the West Vail interchange with I-70.  The price tag could be $50 million. 

 

Vail Recreation District and Ford Park Master Planning:  Initial results of the VRD/TOV master planning process include new proposals for a community recreation/swim center, and changes to Ford Park including a 900 car parking structure to be built under the baseball fields.  The Association cautions that evidence suggests the importance of recreation facilities has decreased compared to more pressing needs for environmental protections and community infrastructure improvements.  It was suggested that greater emphasis should be given in planning for improvement of existing facilities such as Dobson Arena versus building new ones.  The Association contributed to the preparation of the current 1997 Ford Master Plan along with all other interests, which use the park, including the surrounding Vail Village neighborhoods.  The Association would like to see ample opportunity for public comment as specific projects and programs are considered for inclusion in the plan.  See VVHA status report

 

People are asking about…

§         Four Seasons:  The project has a building permit. De-watering and site preparation is to begin this fall. 

§         Arrabelle, Lionshead – reported completion 2007

§         Crossroads (Solaris), Vail Village, – final Town approvals pending.

§         Vail Plaza Hotel, Vail Village – in construction.

§         One Willow Bridge Place  – nearing completion.

§         Ritz-Carlton Residences – reported to begin Spring 2007.

§         Siebert Circle Fountain, Vail Village  – final Town Council approval pending.

§         Vail Front Door, Vail Village  – in construction.

§         Lionsquare North, Lionshead – in litigation with neighboring property owners.

§         Vail Village Streetscape: nearing completion

 

Did you know?

§         Ski Season opening day, November 17th See www.snow.com

§         Eagle/Gypsum Costco opens end of October, and is offering a discount gasoline program.

§         Annual Membership Meeting will be held Thursday, December 28th.

 

Membership:  Contact Jill Gordon, membership@vail.net, for information about VVHA membership.