Vail Daily column: Issues of concern in Vail
January 13, 2017
Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from a report by the Vail Homeowners Association board of directors. The association keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the Vail community. The electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at http://www.vail homeowners.com.
If the following issues, as well as those that will be published in upcoming commentaries, concern you, then get informed and become involved; join the Vail Homeowners Association and add your voice to our efforts. Government responds to the public; silence only enables those who would seek to profit in the absence of accountability.
Open Space and Environmental Preservation
• A foundational principle of Vail is generous open spaces, both within and surrounding Vail. Proposals that would alter that principle are unacceptable and will be opposed by VHA.
• Proposals by the town to buy open space US Forest Service land or reclassify parts of Donovan Park for affordable housing violate that foundational principle and will be opposed by VHA.
• Another proposal to sell open space land in the center of Vail to a private developer so that it can be incorporated into a luxury lodge development, also, violates that principle and will be opposed by VHA.
• The town has begun the Gore Creek clean-up. Officials are gathering more detail monitoring data to further refine the potential locations of pollutant sources. VHA will monitor progress and as results become available, then press for additional public/private investment in remediation and restoration improvements.
Over Selling the Vail Experience
• Inconsistent fluctuation in Vail's qualitative guest assessments, increases in ever-larger special events and perceived declines in skier safety raise concerns about whether the Vail experience is being oversold.
• Special events should be maintained within the carrying capacity of the town and conducted in a manner that adheres to standardized town review procedures and does not cause congestion, have noxious noise levels, jeopardize public safety or burden the town of Vail with budgetary or operational costs.
• VHA believes that economic development initiatives should be balanced with environmentally sound sustainability and should serve the interest of the residents, as well as the business community.
• Vail is in a transformative process; whereby, many residential homeowners, who were once second-home owners, are becoming full-time Vail residents as they reach retirement age. It appears that some are advocating mitigating that change by giving preference for affordable housing to younger middle class families.
• While VHA does not necessarily oppose social engineering, it does sound a cautious voice and urges careful consideration of potentially unintended consequences.
The Vail Homeowners Association board is Gail Ellis, president; Judith Berkowitz, secretary; Rob Ford, treasurer; and directors Jamie Duke, John Gorsuch, John Lohre, Andres Nevares, Trygve Myhren, Larry Stewart and Doug Tansill.