Runyon, Menconi vote to build house in ‘park’ |

Runyon, Menconi vote to build house in ‘park’

Eagle County/Geographic Information Systems Department The county has allowed the property owner to build a home on these piece of land designated as a park for a Gypsum-area subdivision that was never built.

EAGLE COUNTY – Eagle County Commissioners Peter Runyon and Arn Menconi voted Tuesday to turn a “park” into a lot for a single-family home. But there’s more to the story.The lot in question is a six-acre piece of land south of Gypsum in the old Hardscrabble Creek subdivision. In the original county approval of the subdivision in 1981, one lot in the subdivision was reserved for a park or open space. But the developer of the subdivision abandoned the project soon after it was approved.After the subdivision failed, lots were bought and sold here and there. Now, almost 20 owners have built homes there. All of those homes sit on roughly five-acre lots. There is no homeowners association.Because there’s no homeowners association, there’s no group that can own and maintain the lot as a park or open space.

Vail resident Jack Lilienthal now owns the lot that was first set aside for a park. Lilienthal acquired the property through foreclosure because he couldn’t collect on a loan he’d made to the original developer. Lilienthal wants to build a home on the lot, but needed a vote from the county commissioners that removed the “park” designation from the property.Runyon and Menconi voted to allow Lilienthal to build a house on his lot. Commissioner Tom Stone voted no.”When you have something designated recreation or open space, you don’t allow a building to go on it,” he said.But there were no objections from neighbors to the change, said the land planner working for Lilienthal.

“The original subdivision is hardly recognizable,” said Tom Boni of Knight Planning Services in Eagle.Adding one more home to those already in the area will actually benefit the neighbors, Boni said. The homes in the area were recently annexed into the town, and each property owner has to pay a share of bringing in better water and roads into the subdivision. Lilienthal will pay a share of those improvements when he builds a house there.And, Lilienthal said, there seems to be plenty of open space in the area.”There’s five or six acres of open space catty-corner to me,” he said. “And most people who have 5-acre lots aren’t going to send their kids up the road to play… I just hope everybody’s satisfied how it turned out.”

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or Daily, Vail Colorado

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