VAIL, Colorado - Some Vail Golf Club neighbors say they need town and Vail Recreation District officials to make a fresh start on plans to renovate the golf course clubhouse. The alternative may be a court case.
Town and recreation district officials want to renovate the existing clubhouse, using money from funds once dedicated to build a conference center in town. Initial plans called for both shortening the 18th hole at the golf course and creating new space for weddings, meetings and similar events.
Some golf course neighbors object to the plans for the clubhouse, saying holding more events will create unacceptable light, noise and parking problems in the area.
Local attorney Art Abplanalp, who represents course neighbor Glenn Hilliard and other property owners, said the neighbors appreciate the town's efforts - started last month - to hear from both golfers and property owners.
But, Abplanalp said, neighbors believe the current plan won't work, adding that voters last year approved a plan that kept the clubhouse within its existing building footprint, and that plans for events and other uses violate a covenant the land's previous owners put into the sale documents when the property was sold to the town.
Abplanalp said his clients "urge the town to put the brakes on this and develop a plan for a world-class clubhouse, consistent with the covenenants."
Otherwise, he said, his clients will have "no alternative" to take action. Aplanalp never said "lawsuit," but that was Vail Mayor Andy Daly's understanding of his statement.
Besides residents, avid golfer Dale Bugby said officials haven't spent enough effort to talk to people who play the course. Several golf course regulars have urged the town to leave the 18th hole in its current layout, instead of shortening the hole and turning it from a par-five to a par-four.
"We'll let you do what you want with the clubhouse if you leave 18 alone," Bugby said.