Vail approves golf clubhouse downgrades
March 19, 2013
VAIL, Colorado – The outspoken neighbors around the Vail Golf Course who have objected to many, and sometimes all, of the proposed upgrades at the clubhouse there got a small victory from the town council Tuesday night.
The controversy that has surrounded the remodel of the Vail Golf Course Clubhouse project over the last year was small potatoes compared to a heated discussion about proposed projects at Ford Park earlier in the Tuesday evening council meeting, but the council’s decision was still a step showing a desire for compromise..
The council unanimously approved a plan to reduce the capacity of the clubhouse from 200 to 160 people, prohibit overflow parking on Sunburst Drive and allow a valet parking program. Neighboring residents have complained for months that the improved clubhouse was too large and too disruptive to the neighborhood.
Tom Braun, of Braun Associates, told the council that the changes were the result of many Planning and Environmental Commission discussions.
And while the changes address some of the concerns neighbors have, the debate is likely not over here.
Voters overwhelmingly approved a concept to redesign and upgrade the clubhouse in November 2011, but when details about the design were presented in 2012, the opposition grew. Residents accused the town of moving forward with a plan that wasn’t clearly stated on the ballot, misleading voters to approve something they didn’t really want.
Neighbors have hired lawyers and filed a lawsuit against the town and the Vail Recreation District to stop the project – a lawsuit the town moved to dismiss, but a district court judge ruled would be allowed.
The complaint alleges the clubhouse proposal violates a covenant on the property that required the town of Vail maintain the “golf course property as a public golf course or open space or park for the benefit of the public and only such other related support facilities required for those purposes.”
Residents near the clubhouse argue that upgrading it for the purpose of hosting weddings is not a permitted use.
The development proposal Tuesday shows plans to host 50 weddings per year at the clubhouse, as well as limited corporate and community use.
The planning commission is scheduled to look at the clubhouse plan again at its March 28 meeting.
Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.