On Tuesday, June 4, the Vail Town Council held a hearing regarding the planning commission’s approval of the golf course project.
Several things became clear to me during the hearing, not the least of which was the council came to the hearing with their minds made up.
But one issue needs to be addressed and exposed.
During a presentation by home owner Mrs. Webster, she addressed the issue of tented events on what is now the 18th fairway and green. Mayor Daly interrupted Mrs. Webster, and stated that the tents were out of the project.
He then had to ask the town’s representative whether the tents were still part of the project. They are, and we now know that simultaneous events may go on, one inside and another outside.
The questions are obvious.
Having already voted once to approve the permit, did the mayor know what he was voting for? If not, why not?
He clearly did not have the facts on June 4.
So, without taking in the total impact and size of the project, and without knowing a key component to the project, Mr. Daly voted to approve the project twice.
This leads me back to my first impression that the council had already made up their minds.
Another failure by the council was approving, as part of the permit, a parking plan that has no parking plan. While the town says the new facility will hold a maximum of 160 people, it does not take into account the outdoor area. The number could easily double with simultaneous events, plus the golfer traffic and parking. The plan is for some sort of valet parking, which is totally undefined. No one on the council could answer where the cars will be valeted to, who will pay for it, how much it will cost, and which of groups will have to use it. That’s about as undefined as it gets.
As for the removal of the 18th green and part of the fairway, the council refused to discuss the issue, and would not allow any public comment on the issue. When the town says that they are only adding 1,000 square feet for the event center, they eliminate the outdoor space in that number.
The project is many, many times bigger when you add in the outdoor space for tents. When it fits the town purposes, such as calculating expected revenue, the outside area is in.
When the town talks about the impact on the neighborhood and homeowners, as well as parking, the outside area suddenly disappears. And yet the permit gets approved.
It is now time to gather signatures and force a special election on the entire project, now that we all know what the project truly consists of, even if Mayor Daly doesn’t.