Vail clubhouse opponents win appeal in state court
By the numbers
$10.8 million: Current cost estimate to replace the clubhouse at the Vail Golf Club.
120: Current event capacity at the clubhouse.
160: Projected guest capacity at the new clubhouse
1,700: Size increase, in square feet, of the new building.
VAIL — A lawsuit attempting to stop construction of a new clubhouse at the Vail Golf Club has gained new life, thanks to the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Opponents of the clubhouse plan were last year rebuffed in District Court in Eagle, when District Court Judge Paul Dunkleman ruled that clubhouse opponents were late in filing a 2013 appeal of a decision that essentially dismissed the lawsuit against the town and the Vail Recreation District.
Opponents of the clubhouse plan — a group of homeowners in the neighborhood near the golf course — have argued that a plan for a new clubhouse will bring additional traffic, noise and lights to the area. Opponents have deemed the plan for the new clubhouse is for it to be an “events center.”
After what town officials called a clear ruling in their favor, the Vail Town Council agreed to proceed with construction — expected to be finished by September of 2016 — and approved an additional $3.8 million for the project when construction costs jumped in recent months.
Town voters in 2011 approved using tax money once intended to build a convention center for several other projects around town, including upgrades to Gerald R. Ford Park and a new clubhouse.
The Court of Appeals decision relates to the opponents’ appeal of that decision.
The 20-page decision is complex, but can be reduced to a fairly simple issue: Clubhouse opponents appealed Dunkleman’s decision electronically, but because of a mistake, that appeal was filed in District Court in Denver, not Eagle.
The appeal was rejected in Eagle because the ultimate filing wasn’t made before a legal deadline.
In overturning that decision, the appeals court ruled that an appeal had been filed in time — albeit in a different court.
The inadvertent filing in Denver “did not deprive the Eagle County District Court of its subject matter jurisdiction over the action,” the decision states.
With that, the court sent the decision over the appeal back to district court in Eagle.
While the appeal isn’t yet complete, plans for the clubhouse project continue. An email from Vail Community Information Officer Suzanne Silverthorn stated that the Vail Town Council will receive an update on the decision at its Jan. 20 meeting.
Paul Cuthbertson set out by himself around 3 p.m. Friday from the trailhead that leads up to the Polar Star Inn, according to his father, Mike, but never made it to the popular backcountry hut as a late-spring snowstorm moved in.