Vail Daily letter: Lodge at Cordillera plan affects us all | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Lodge at Cordillera plan affects us all

My wife and I are homeowners in Cordillera since 2014. Our decision to purchase in Cordillera was deliberate and well researched. We inquired regarding the Lodge at Cordillera and were assured the lodge was a centerpiece of Cordillera, for the benefit of guests and residents of the Cordillera community.

We also reviewed the Cordillera Planned Unit Development Control Document, which governs land use in Cordillera, specifically the provisions related to the lodge. At the request of the lodge owner, the PUD was amended in 2009, with the representation that the amendment was to clarify and not to expand uses. The PUD was clear that all allowed uses were within the use as a "clubhouse and lodge building or buildings with related facilities."

The lodge owner now proposes to sell the Lodge and Village Center Parcel to Concerted Care Management Group to establish a "clinic including inpatient, non-critical care, for treatment of a variety of conditions including … eating disorders, alcoholism, chemical dependency and behavioral health conditions." According to the CCG CEO, the lodge will no longer be open to the public, but will "provide around the clock security guards, as we do at all of our facilities to protect our patients."

CCG requested an interpretation of the PUD by the Eagle County Planning Department. County staff concurred "that clinics are clearly an allowable use for non-critical care; which may provide inpatient clinical facilities."

Under its clear intent, the PUD does not permit the lodge to exclude Cordillera residents. The PUD states the intent of the combined Lodge and Village Center parcels "is to provide a focal point to the community… as a social gathering place. The scope of the uses is intended to serve the needs of the residents, fractional interest owners, and resort guests of Cordillera." The clear intention is to limit all uses to lodge guests and Cordillera residents.

The boards of the Cordillera Property Owners Association and Cordillera Metropolitan District have unanimously interpreted the PUD to not allow the proposed use and appealed to the Eagle County Commissioners to reverse staff's interpretation. A hearing before the commissioners is on Tuesday.

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We urge the commissioners to carefully examine the clear intent of the Cordillera PUD. When viewing the PUD in its entirety, it is clear that medical office/facilities are only allowed ancillary to the lodge's business, limited to serving lodge guests and Cordillera residents.

Why is this of concern to the larger Vail Valley community? Because virtually all residences are subject to land use regulations, whether zoning, covenants or PUDs. It is critically important that homeowners be able to rely upon these documents and the intention behind them. When documents are drafted in a manner requiring interpretation, those responsible must make the interpretation in the broader context, based upon the intention of the governing documents.

Please contact the county commissioners before Tuesday urging them to stand behind the intention of land use documents and to reverse the staff interpretation in this case.

Russ Schmeiser