Letter: Eagle-Vail ‘shell game’
Santa Barbara, Calif.
I am responding to Brian O’Reilly’s letter to the editor of March 22, where he cites letters dated late 1989 from the attorneys who drafted the current Eagle-Vail declarations. What is interesting is that these letters are dated more than two years prior to the actual adoption of the current declarations. Why is this? How can we be sure that this was what was intended when the declarations finally did pass? And that this is what the voters understood they were voting on in 1992? If, as you say, the latest covenants were designed to prohibit short-term rentals, why do they not say so explicitly? Was this because they might not have passed if voters knew the true agenda?
Really, Mr. O’Reilly, tell me what section clearly says “thou shalt not short-term rent?” Or anything else to that effect? Why, when you go to the section in the Owner’s Manual that is supposed to show where these types of rentals are prohibited (Article VI, Section 10), you get instead a paragraph dealing with restrictions on parking and storage? Some of us, while we may not be attorneys, really do read the covenants. And if we read it and can’t find clear language, was the restriction ever really there?
At the March 3 board meeting, I heard from a member of the 1992 board who stated for the record that there was no intention at the time to ban short-term rentals, yet you seem to imply that this goal was there all along. At this same meeting, I also heard from Judson Watt who, when attempting to buy a property in Eagle-Vail five years ago, obtained an e-mail from the then-enforcement manager telling Judd that he checked with you and you didn’t see a problem with short-term rentals. If you were so aware of this prohibition, why would you not tell him this when Judd did his due diligence and asked? And why was this not part of the owner information packet until October of last year? And just how do you get a copy of the PUD agreement that you reference? If it is readily available on the Web, it is not obvious ” I looked. Just how many documents does an owner have to view to understand just what he or she can or cannot do?
And, finally, why were there no enforcements on the books until a couple of years ago? It seems to me that if this ban was so obvious, everyone in the valley should have known about it and there would have been some record of enforcement over the years. I own at SunRiver and we have made no secret of our rental program. When you pull into the complex, there is a sign pointing to “Registration” and an office with a front desk. If there was a ban, it was surely one of the best-kept secrets in the valley.
I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person and if I can read the covenants and not find the prohibition of which you speak, then just how obvious is it to anyone else? I feel like I am caught in the middle of a giant shell game.
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VAIL — The lift operator in the maze at Vail Village’s Gondola One tilts his head back and hollers: “Masks up please!”