Vail Village Homeowners
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.
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!
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
VVHA has been informed of a proposal to redevelop the
Rucksack Building in Vail
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.
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:
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.
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.”
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.
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
“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.
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
The word on the street:
blurb was spotted in a local realtors’ newsletter:
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.
begins June 28th, Ends Aug 3.
Hot Summer Nights Concerts have
begun (June 21).
to appropriate parties.