Letter: Setting it straight in Eagle-Vail
Santa Barbara CA
I am writing to you regarding your article on the Eagle-Vail annual meeting of March 5. I was in attendance at both that meeting and the board meeting the previous Monday and wish to correct the record about what happened at the meeting.
First, there was no mention of the fact that there was indeed a vote to rescind the ban on short-term rentals and it passed overwhelmingly. My estimate was that at least 3 to 1 of those in attendance favored removing the ban. I don’t know if Patrick Carter voted his proxies, but he surely didn’t need to. There was clear sentiment both among the speakers and the voters to do away with such a ban.
Second, Mr. Carter did not ask Layman to step down. Although he did speak at the meeting, he did not introduce the motion that removed Layman. The speaker that followed him did. Mr. Layman tried to block the motion to rescind short-term rentals (not his position to do) and I got the impression that had he not fought this legal motion, he might still be president. Again, there was a clear majority for removing him from office, irrespective of Mr. Carter’s proxies.
Third, at the board meeting on the 3rd, the board was presented with evidence that short-term rentals have not always been banned, contrary to their claims. One speaker, I think his name was Kurt Jensen, was on the board in 1992 when the current covenants were passed and he told the board that there was never any intention of limiting short-term rentals, that any limitations were designed to restrict bed-and-breakfasts instead. Another speaker from Denver told of his experience purchasing a home about five years ago. He asked the then-enforcement officer whether short-term rentals were allowed and at first was told that that issue had never come up before. The potential owner asked for clarification from the attorney for EVPOA, then as now Brian O’Reilly, and still has the e-mail telling him that both the enforcement officer and O’Reilly didn’t see any problem with them. Same covenants. Something changed about two years ago, but it is clear that this ban has not always been the case. And even more so, it was clear that certain board members were unwilling to acknowledge this information.
I fully acknowledge and appreciate all the fine work the old board did for Eagle-Vail, especially on behalf of those of us who can’t be there as often as we wish. It’s a thankless job sometimes. However, if there was any division here, it was created by certain members of the old board, who wanted to drive a wedge between the locals and the “absentee owners.” These out-of-town owners, of which I am one, represent almost half the owners in Eagle-Vail and pay fees and property taxes just like any local owner. Couple that with the fact that we don’t use facilities with the frequency of local owners and it strikes me that this is a boon for the locals. I never feel good about having to remove any board member, but the board has to represent ALL owners and representation from second-home owners has been conspicuously lacking for a long time.
One good thing that has come out of this is that more people are getting involved and paying attention. We all have to meet halfway, and I for one would be willing to donate a portion of my first rental to EVPOA just to show that we second-home owners want to be supportive, too. I have also encouraged others to do so. It’s time to end the divisiveness that has been created in the past and deal with the people-to-people issues that are really at the heart of this controversy.
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