Vail Valley Voices: Big projects progress in Vail
Vail, CO Colorado
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report in January. We plan to publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town.
Town Council election: The association was effective in working in conjunction with other community interests to shape the agenda for the Town Council election. Critical election issues were raised in an association-published white paper followed by the preparation of a council candidate “in their own words”-question and answer document distributed on the Internet and by e-mail. The top five finishers took the time to give in-depth responses to the association’s question and answer initiative. Efforts are under way to encourage the incoming council to take up those issues raised by the association in its white paper.
Public participation and government transparency: The association is engaged with the incoming council in its promised initiatives to bring greater transparency and public participation to the conduct of its affairs. Among other suggestions, the association has recommended that improvements be made to the town’s public notice procedure for the Design Review Board. It has urged that the Design Review Board increase its sensitivity to better enforcement of neighborhood compatibility criteria.
Development issues: Monitoring by the association of the review process for the Ever Vail and Timber Ridge projects is occurring. Each of these major developments has significant impact upon community master planning, image and supporting public improvements. Previously approved developments are asking for renewal of their expiring town approvals. These requests have public policy fairness and consistency concerns for the association. Some members of the incoming Town Council have expressed interest in restricting zoning regulations adopted in the 1990s as incentive for new development. Similar consideration is being given to adopting historic preservation guidelines for Vail Village. The association advised that new impact fees and energy/green sustainability requirements be adopted in accord with indicators tied to economic recovery goals.
Master planning, transportation and open space issues: The association evaluated and advocated a position urging that the expansion of parking in Ford Park be restricted to park uses. Successful efforts, including revision to the Vail Village Master Plan, were made to protect landscaped open space berms on the Vail Village parking structure site from being developed into commercial and residential uses.
The creation of a public/private comprehensive parking and mass transportation terminal improvement strategy were advocated. Increased enforcement, accountability and implementation of restrictive on-street truck loading and delivery regulations are being recommended by the Association as new loading and delivery terminals throughout Vail Village are being completed.
Environmental Preservation: The Association continues working on environmental preservation efforts to reduce I-70 road noise, the removal of road sand from the Gore Creek drainage, the reduction of threat from wildfire, and the restoration of forested lands. The Association has been consulted on an extensive reforestation effort being considered for Vail Mountain. The Vail Mountain program may open the way for expanded forest health and restoration efforts in the Vail Area.
Membership, Communications and Financial: Special advisories and monthly newsletters were distributed to Association members and constituents. The Association maintained its membership level during 2009 and will complete the year with a balanced budget.
A detailed review of the Association activities can be read in the Executive Director’s 2009 Mission and Goals Compliance Report.
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