Vail Valley Voices: Dobson’s glaring problem
Vail, CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the election edition of the Vail Homeowners Association newspaper, which was published in October. 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.
The shake shingle roof on the town of Vail-owned Dobson Arena has been replaced with one of gleaming white metal, much to the consternation of condominium owners in the adjacent Vail International condominium complex.
There was no consultation about the change in roofing material. Complaints about reflective glare have been reported from hillside residents far removed from the immediate neighborhood surrounding the arena, as well.
Neither was the Town Council informed of the change in the type of roofing material.
Yet the change in material was reviewed and approved by the Design Review Board following detailed consideration by members of the town of Vail’s senior administrative staff and the Vail Recreation District, including its board.
The recreation district leases the arena from the town. The Town Council, had they been informed, could have called up the Design Review Board decision for further consideration, including hearing testimony from affected property owners.
As one owner said, all of this could have been avoided with one neighborly phone call. The cost incurred by the town, who paid for the new roof, is not insignificant, nor would a qualitative fix be if one is pursued.
The town gives minimal notice of Design Review Board public hearings. Out-of-town property owners are at a great disadvantage to participate in the board’s public hearings.
The town staff and other development interests have resisted Vail Homeowners Association calls for written public notice to be sent to adjacent property owners, like that provided for Planning Commission public hearings. The Homeowners Association has raised this issue before, and more so recently because of complaints from property owners who believe the design review process has been abused.
This glaring example reinforces the need for the Town Council, as a minimal first step in reforming the process, to direct that public notice be forwarded to all property owners adjacent to any government project that requires design review and approval.
Also, accountability needs to be assigned to those engaged in the failure to yield an adequate and appropriate review.
The Town Council, for its part, has promised to look into the matter.