Vail Valley Voices: Vail Golf Course clubhouse expansion modified
Ryan Summerlin November 8, 2012
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report. We publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town. The newsletter electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at www.vailhomeowners.com.
The Vail Town Council has taken steps to acknowledge the concerns of neighborhood homeowners after recognizing the extent of the opposition to an overly aggressive redevelopment of the Vail Golf Course clubhouse and its immediate environs.
Expanding the area of the parking lot onto the land now occupied by the 18th hole has been eliminated from the proposal.
The town’s planning and design studies for the clubhouse and related projects are to some extent being modified to lessen the impact on the privacy and safety of the neighborhood.
Neighbors, to this end, have submitted their own version of a design for the clubhouse that would increase their privacy by moving the location of the proposed party hall to the opposite side of the building that faces their homes.
Along with the design, the neighbors’ bill of particulars laying out their concerns and proposed remedies was delivered by a representative of the neighborhood to the Town Council.
The neighbors and some golfers remain dissatisfied with the proposed shortening of the 18th fairway, which is recommended by golf safety experts to reduce the hazards from errant balls coming from the practice driving range.
There are golfers who suggest keeping the 18th as it is and eliminate the source of the problem. To them, the simpler choice is to do away with the driving range and its unsightly netting and high-rise supporting poles.
They say there are other more technologically advanced methods to improve a golf swing.
Parking is insufficient to simultaneously serve golf and social functions, but there is no budget to build a parking structure.
Neighbors object to the town sidestepping its own parking standards to allow what the neighborhood fears will be more frequent parking on the adjacent public streets, especially on weekends for events that benefit the town’s tenant, the Vail Recreation District.
On-street parking is a practice not allowed elsewhere in the community.
Critics are saying that authorities are trying to incorporate too many unrelated activities into what should be a golf facility in summer and a Nordic skiing center in winter.