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  -  Bob Galvin  -  Ron Langley

Eugene Mercy  -  Bill Morton  -  Trygve Myhren  -  Gretta Parks

NEWSLETTER 


 June 2006

Vail Village Homeowners Association News: 

 

      The Crossroads redevelopment, Solaris, is hitting yet another major bump in the road.  The Vail Town Council convened on June 6 to reconsider the approval it had previously given for the project to go ahead.  The Council did not vote to repeal their prior approval at this meeting.  The issue will now go to a public vote on July 11.  Enough signatures had been collected by a local citizens group to force the issue to the impending public vote.  Opponents say that the project is too big in both size and scale, and is asking developer Peter Knobel to reduce the size; Mr. Knobel is not willing to re-size the project.  Supporters say it is a much needed face lift to the Crossroads area, bringing activities, such as a bowling alley, ice rink and movie theater, back to the Village.  A recent article in the Front Range paper “Westword”, described the fracas over the project in minute detail, quoting several sources, including VVHA Executive Director Jim Lamont and Board President Alan Kosloff, regarding the VVHA position on the project. It makes for very interesting reading.  See “Vail at the Crossroads” May 4, 2006 www.westword.com.  (Search Archives – keywords: Vail Crossroads)

      The Conference Center, which was thought to be a dead issue, has reappeared.   Eight development entities responded to a request for proposal issued by the Town of Vail to redevelop the Lionshead parking structure in conjunction with hotels, retail space and perhaps a conference or events center on the site.  Funds would come from a private developer rather than from the public, which could change the debate over the project’s viability.  The TOV is accepting proposals for such a project.  Stay tuned.

The VVHA was successful in improving land use protections to the south of Gore Creek, near Lionshead.  After catching an inconsistency in an amendment before the Town of Vail, a modification was made to help retain the existing residential character of the neighborhood.  The land use plan which was upheld stipulates that the area’s wetlands and stream banks are to be protected and that snow cats access is to be removed from West Forest Road.  Congratulations to VVHA and to the residents of the area, represented by attorney Art Abplanalp for upholding these protections!

The US Forest Service rejected a protest to the Vail Front Door–USFS Land Exchange, by an adjacent property owner resulting litigation.  A compromise was worked out for the Vail Front Door Developer Improvement Agreement (DIA) with the Vail Town Council, VRI, and VVHA.  The compromise followed intense negotiations between the Homeowners Association, the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts and others concerning the Special Events portion of the agreement. It was the intent of the Association to formulate a collaborative rather than an adversarial oversight process for the conduct of Special Events.  Final zoning is approved and construction has begun on the project. 

The VVHA has been informed of a proposal to redevelop the Rucksack Building in Vail Village.  A formal application has not yet been submitted to the TOV.  The redeveloped building would be both residential and commercial, and may request Special Development District (SDD) zoning.

 The VVHA is asking that the developer circulate digital photographic context studies to the surrounding property owners for the review and comment.  There is a website www.vailrucksack.com where some of their proposals can be viewed.  Other property owners in the immediate neighborhood are considering redevelopment proposals as well.  We will keep you informed as this situation takes shape.

In the Newspapers:

The Town of Vail is delaying a vote on the use of $8.2 million in collected conference center funds until Nov. 2007.  Wanting to look at several options for the use of the money, including remodeling Dobson, renovating the Golf Course Club House or marketing Vail or special events, the TOV has decided not to rush to a Nov. 2006 vote.  Other factors which could influence the use of the money could be the Lionshead Parking Structure redevelopment, the Crossroad project, the in-process Recreation Plan or the Community Visioning Plan.  More on this as the choices are better defined.

Recent Articles in the Vail Daily by staff writer Scott N. Miller have discussed the reality of second-homeowners in the Colorado High Country, such as “Boon or Bane, Second Homeowners Dominate” – Vail Daily 4/30/06.  Statistics in these articles indicate that part-time residents are spending or wanting to spend more time in their second homes and an increasing number are retiring here.  Other owners are still working and doing more from their mountain homes. VVHA Board President, Alan Kosloff is quoted as saying, “Technology allowed me over the years to spend an increasing amount of time in Vail.”  

A recent survey said that 34% of all the outside money coming into the region came from second homes. The article also points out the downside in that second homes “create jobs increasingly filled by people who must commute from farther and farther away.  Approximately 5000 people commuted in to Eagle County in 2005 to fill jobs.

Another article in this series, “Seeking a Voice in Vacationland”, Vail Daily, May 8, 2006, discusses the various ways second homeowner find a voice in their communities. “Finding a voice for second-home owners led a number of Vail property owners to start the Vail Village Homeowners Association in the early 1990s. The association was founded based on some second-home owners’ feeling they were being left out of the political process.”

“It was probably the late 1980s when (the feeling) started,” association director Jim Lamont said. “Vail’s government was turning away from the consensus of the 1970s about controlling growth.”
Since the association was formed, Lamont has attended countless town meetings, and often comments about development proposals and other issues. Those comments, as well as newspaper articles and Lamont’s “position papers” are posted on the association’s Web site, giving members a way to keep up with, and comment on, Vail politics.

Some association members are gaining more political clout with a fairly simple step: moving into their vacation homes.  That’s what Alan Kosloff and his wife did a few years ago.  Originally from Kansas City, the Kosloffs started coming to Vail in the 1970s. They then bought a home to stay in during their vacations. Eventually, the couple bought a home along Vail’s exclusive Forest Road. When Kosloff stopped working full time, he and his wife made Vail their primary residence, and started voting in municipal elections.”

The Kosloffs aren’t alone. “We believe a lot of people will change their residence to Vail over the next several years,” Kosloff said. “Moving (to Vail) their votes are more important. Just a couple of hundred votes can change a lot here.”   Check out these articles at www.vaildaily.com.

The word on the street:

This blurb was spotted in a local realtors’ newsletter: 

“Did you know that there is an activist group in Vail that is an advocate primarily for the second-homeowners in Vail?  Vail is somewhat a strange place in that the people who own most of the real estate and pay most of the taxes do not have a say in the government or where their tax dollars are spent, What makes matters even stranger is that elections can swing at the whim of locals with an agenda; or even weirder, by transient locals who occupy employee housing and register to vote.  This supposition is supported by irrational election results that we have witnessed over the years.  Fortunately, there is a viable option for second homeowners – the Vail Village Homeowners Association, which is becoming an important influence in Vail.  The Vail Village Homeowners Association has the interest of the non-voting second-homeowners at heart in taking stances on local issues.  While we may not agree with every stance taken the VVHA, we do on most.  The VVHA is really the only real avenue for a non-resident homeowner to voice their opinion.  Visit their website at www.vailhomeowners.com.  You may want to consider joining.”  

Did You Know?

Costco is coming to Gypsum, close to the Eagle County Airport (date to be determined).

There is a new Post Office annex in the Vail Transportation Center.

The Vail Farmers Market (Sundays), The Minturn Market and The Edwards Market (Saturdays) have begun. 

Bravo! Season begins June 28th, Ends Aug 3.

Hot Summer Nights Concerts have begun (June 21). 

 

Please forward to appropriate parties.