VAIL, Colorado - A proposal to replace the clubhouse at the Vail Golf Club consistently pops up on town council agendas. Just as consistently, the discussions are delayed.
The clubhouse plan - originally part of a $9.4 million package of town improvements passed by town voters in 2011 - has turned into that package's most controversial elements. Golfers have complained about cutting length of the 18th hole, but the most vocal complaints have come from people who own homes near the course.
Initial plans for a new clubhouse - which dates to the 1970s, and which everyone involved in the issue says needs to be replaced - called for event space that could accommodate fairly large weddings throughout the spring, summer and fall.
Neighbors opposed to the idea say the plan is simply too much development for that area of town.
In a January interview, neighbor Sam Maslak said plans to hold as many as 120 events per season at the clubhouse - mostly weddings - would be a "massive, invasive increase" in the number of events at the clubhouse, an increase that doesn't fit in with the neighborhood.
Neighbors opposed to the plan have hired lawyers, and last year filed suit against the town and the Vail Recreation District to stop the project. District Judge Frederick Gannett in January rejected a town motion to dismiss the case.
Vail Town Manager Stan Zemler said the town's planning commission over the past couple of months has been listening to neighbors, as well as proposing some of its own ideas for the new clubhouse.
"It's pretty likely we'll come back with changes (to the plan) that are responsive to issues the planning commission and others have brought up," Zemler said.
The planning commission will take its next look at the plan at its March 28 meeting. Before that, though, Zemler said the town council will review some proposed changes at its March 19 meeting. Council members will provide comments on the proposal since the town is the developer of the project.
Jim Lamont, the director of the Vail Homeowners Association, said he hopes the delays in the golf course plan mean some sort of compromise with the neighbors is being hammered out.
"It's a very complicated issue," Lamont said, adding that he hopes that the town government's recent focus on economic development may be cooling off.
"Some people feel that certain aspects of (the town's focus) have gotten out of control," Lamont. "The frenetic pace brought on by survivalist economic pressures isn't needed any more."