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THE JULY 21st VAIL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING WILL BE CONDUCTED VIRTUALLY


MAKE SURE YOUR VOICE IS HEARD!


EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS TO THE COUNCIL AND TOWN MANAGER AT

towncouncil@vailgov.com, srobson@vailgov.com.


TO JOIN THE MEETING VIA ZOOM YOU MUST SIGN UP IN ADVANCE!

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CALL TO ACTION REGARDING BOOTH HEIGHTS

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Extremely Important Town Council Public Hearings, July 21 & August 4, 6 pm

If you are concerned about the protection of the Bighorn sheep or preservation of TOV open space, you should attend or join Zoom for these public hearings because both issues will be on the table at those hearings. Both will be in-person hearings and, while COVID-19 rules will be in place, you will be able to appear before the Council and make your views and opinions known. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT because the Council does respond to public input.

On the Agenda: Review and approval of a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Booth Heights/Middle Creek land swap, critical to the protection of the Bighorn sheep.

What's at Stake:

  • Instead of a simple land swap, the MOU incorporates the Vail Local Housing Authority’s (VLHA) "Alternative Housing Sites Initiative" (AHSI), a plan which seeks to rezone and develop certain other properties for employee housing including the Middle Bench of Donovon Park.
  • To force the development of those other properties, the MOU delays Booth Heights title transfer to the TOV for 3 years or more, even after the completion of the Middle Creek project, holding open the possibility of future development of Booth Heights if certain VLHA goals to create an additional 450- employee housing units are not met.
  • The AHSI has not had any public vetting or Council approval. If approved as part of the MOU, it turns what was believed to be a simple land swap into a housing project to add a net of 450 new deed-restricted units before the Booth Heights title will transfer to the TOV. Thus, the Town Council could only achieve its purpose of protecting the sheep if it accedes to the VLHA's plans.

Attached below is a memo prepared by the Vail Homeowners Association (VHA) and shared with us. It is worth the read as many alarming details are brought to light.

We encourage everyone to take the time to read the proposed Memorandum of Understanding, which can be found on the TOV website or go to this link: https://vail.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=13177&MeetingID=1129 before participating in the upcoming meetings. The issues at stake are hidden near the end of the MOU document and are pointed out in the attached newsletter from VHA.

For anyone who is not comfortable going to meetings, The Town of Vail continues to offer remote Zoom opportunities for public input for Town Council, DRB and PEC meetings at: https://www.vailgov.com/town-council

We urge you to write letters to the Town Council and plan on speaking up about a document that, in its current form, encumbers the goal of saving the bighorn sheep!


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VAIL HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION


July 13, 2020


CALL TO ACTION

Extremely Important Town Council Public Hearings,

July 21 & August 4, 2020


On these dates there will be important public hearings concerning the protection of the bighorn sheep and preservation of TOV open space. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m., and while COVID-19 rules will be in place, you will be able to appear before the Council and make your views and opinions known. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT because the Council does respond to public input.


What’s at Stake. These public hearings are for the purpose of reviewing a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is intended to set forth the parties’ objectives in replacing the Booth Heights development with one at Middle Creek. Unfortunately, it goes far afield and, once again, puts the sheep in jeopardy. It also proposes invading open space lands, namely the Donovan Park Middle Bench.


If these are matters that concern you, the VHA urges you to read on. Regrettably, this is a lengthy document but that is because the proposals are complicated and convoluted, and it, therefore, takes time to explain them.


The MOU. Much of the draft MOU outlines a straightforward land swap in which the Booth Heights property would be exchanged for an alternative housing site at Lot 3 of the Middle Creek property where Triumph can construct an equal number of housing units (144 or more units). The TOV will in turn receive title to the Booth Heights property, and it, along with a large swath of USFS adjacent property, will be restored and enhanced as sheep foraging land, all in all, a win-win proposition for all involved and importantly for the sheep. As an enticement for the deal, certain costs will be funded by the TOV, and Triumph will get a right of first refusal to redevelop the Timber Ridge Village Apartments.


If that had been the extent of the MOU, it would have been the “win-win” deal that was proposed by the Town Council, one which the VHA would have enthusiastically supported. But instead of just dealing with the proposed land swap, the draft of the MOU seeks to sweep in the Vail Local Housing Authority’s (VLHA) “Alternative Housing Sites Initiative” which would turn a straightforward land swap on its head, making the MOU a VLHA housing plan that puts the sheep in jeopardy and threatens development of the Donovan Park Middle Bench.


Sheep and Donovan Park Middle Bench in Jeopardy. The sheep are put in jeopardy by delaying the transfer of title to Booth Heights until 450 units of additional housing have been built; failing which, Booth Heights would still be built even if Middle Creek is built and occupied. When the MOU was explained at last Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, there was no mention that either Vail Resorts or Triumph wanted to withhold transfer of title. That is no surprise because neither Vail Resorts or Triumph is looking for this deal to be a matter of negative publicity. So what is left is that the current draft is something that has been dreamed up by housing advocates as a means of forcing the approval of the housing projects set forth in the VLHA Alternative Housing Sites Initiative, including putting housing on the Middle Bench of Donovan Park. And to make sure that happens, the title to Booth Heights would be held hostage until the VLHA's Alternative Housing Sites plan was accomplished.


The Alternative Housing Sites Initiative (AHSI). The AHSI is a little-known five-year plan of the VLHA to rezone and/or develop certain properties for employee housing. It has not been the subject of any public hearing nor has it been officially approved by the Town Council. It does, nonetheless, include the Middle Bench of Donovan Park as a future housing site. Other sites targeted for rezoning and/or development in that plan are the Timber Ridge Village Apartments, a CDOT East Vail site, and West Middle Creek.


The AHSI was developed because the VLHA is significantly behind in its plan to create 1,000 housing units by 2027, and the VLHA saw the sheep situation as an opportunity to force agreement to the AHSI projects by incorporating them into the MOU and tying them to the transfer of the Booth Heights title. Thus, even though that AHSI has not been formally approved, if it slips by as part of the MOU, the VLHA will be able to claim that it has been adopted and that its provisions must then be followed, i.e., it could, for example, “stack the deck” for the rezoning of the Middle Bench of Donovan Park. At the very least, it would force approval of the AHSI projects since, if the community didn't go along with future housing projects proposed by the VLHA up to 450 units, the transfer of the title to Booth Heights would not happen, and the sheep would be put, once again, in jeopardy.


How the AHSI Is Tied Into the MOU. The AHSI is tied into the MOU both by its title, “MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ALTERNATIVE HOUSING SITES INITIATIVE,” and the second Whereas clause of the MOU which states that it is intended to “implement the Alternative Housing Sites Initiative.” As acknowledged at Tuesday’s Council meeting, the purpose of that is to create a long-range housing plan as part of the MOU. But the tie-ins are much more extensive and insidious.


One would think that when the Middle Creek development is completed (by November 2022) title to the Booth Heights property would have also been transferred to the TOV. But to ensure that there is no interference with the AHSI projects, the proposed MOU would delay title transfer until the acquisition of a net 400 additional new housing units (a number that was upped at last Tuesday's Council meeting to 450 units) which must include completion of the Timber Ridge redevelopment (with at least 100 additional units).


Since the Timber Ridge redevelopment is not scheduled to be finished until October 2024 and who knows when the TOV will reach an additional 450 housing units (the new Middle Creek project and Timber Ridge are only projected to yield an additional 244 units), title transfer would be delayed until probably 2026 or later. All during that time, title to the land and protection of the sheep could be held hostage to prevent opposition to VLHA’s plans because, if they are not completed, Booth Heights would then be developed. Indeed, that very scenario is expressly provided for in the MOU. This is the very thing that the land swap was supposed to prevent.


The specific provisions of the draft MOU that implement this plan are: ¶¶ 4(k)(ii) & (iii) and ¶ 5(g) Step Seven which delays transfer of title until the completion of both the Timber Ridge redevelopment (with 100 additional units) and the TOV’s acquisition of a net 400 additional new housing units, ¶ 4(d) which provides for a transfer of title never taking place, even if the Middle Creek development is completed, and for Vail Resorts to ultimately also develop Booth Heights, ¶ 3(c)(v) which provides that one of the desired outcomes for Vail Resorts is the use of Booth Heights to advance the VLHA goal of achieving 1000 housing units by 2027 and ¶ 5(c) Step Three which provides that, as part of the land swap, the TOV will seek rezoning to increase the amount of Housing (H) District property. As already noted, the Middle Bench of Donovan Park is on the AHSI list for rezoning.


Cart Before the Horse. This scheme reveals a lack of trust in the normal processes of government. There is no reason that the VLHA could not have already proceeded with the AHSI plans on its own, separate and apart from the Booth Heights/Middle Creek swap, except that housing advocates do not trust the process. As a result, the community is now confronted with an MOU that seeks to force rezoning and development approval by holding up title transfer and threatening the development of Booth Heights and the Donovan Park Middle Bench even if Middle Creek is built and occupied.


Inclusion of Middle Bench Particularly Egregious. The inclusion of the Donovan Park Middle Bench in the AHSI plan is particularly egregious given its history. That land was purchased by the TOV in 1978 to be held as open space. The funds came from RETT funds that were dedicated to the acquisition of open space land. In keeping with that purpose, the land was zoned “Agriculture and Open Space.” Further reinforcing the intent that this property was to be open space in perpetuity is the Town 1985 Master Plan for Ford and Donovan Parks. As stated in that Plan, its purpose was to see to it that those places “will be protected from development and will serve to maintain the quality of life for residents and visitors to the Vail area.”


This is not the first time that an attempt has been made to convert this property to housing. In the late 1990s, there was a proposal to put employee housing on the Middle Bench. Town residents rose up and litigation ensued. That litigation was finally resolved when the Town relented and agreed to abandon its plan. There was also even a plan to put a cemetery on the Middle Bench, but again, Town residents rose up to stop it.


The VLHA, however, decided to ignore this history and, once again, proceed with trying to put employee housing on the Middle Bench. It is for that very reason that the VHA has requested that the Open Space Trustees and Town Council designate the Upper and Middle Benches of Donovan Park as “Designated Open Space.”


There is No Need to have Another Controversial Dispute. Rather than another controversial dispute, the VHA urges that the Town work with the community to achieve its goals. The VHA believes there is broad agreement on the need for more affordable housing and that there would be support for a comprehensive plan to achieve that goal, including the redevelopment of Timber Ridge. The VHA also believes that such a plan could be achieved without placing the sheep or the Middle Bench of Donovan Park in jeopardy.


There is no reason why the Town could not adopt an Affordable Housing Master Plan that would provide for the rezoning and/or development of affordable employee housing at the specific properties that have already been identified: Timber Ridge, West Middle Creek, the CDOT East Vail site, and the Public Works Maintenance Facility. Specific goals for each site have already been identified which could be incorporated in the Master Plan. Such a Master Plan would be an official commitment to those projects which could then be executed at times most advantageous to the Town’s needs and capabilities. For example, if demand for housing plummets in the wake of the pandemic, Timber Ridge could be postponed until housing demand returns which would allow more time to pay down existing debt. Such a Master Plan could have already been proposed, and there is no reason it could not now be adopted. And such a plan would eliminate the need to postpone title transfer of the Booth Heights property or continue to seek to use the Middle Bench of Donovan Park as a possible housing site.


If housing advocates still didn’t trust the process, even with the adoption of an Affordable Housing Master Plan, they could urge the Town to immediately proceed with re-zoning of the West Middle Creek site. The VHA believes that there would be community support for that rezoning which would demonstrate assurance that the plan would be executed as presented, another step that would alleviate the need for delaying the Booth Heights title transfer.


Changes Needed. To make the MOU the “win-win” proposition that was originally proposed and to eliminate another potentially huge controversy, the VHA urges that the following changes be made:


1. There should be no delay in the transfer of title. The Booth Heights title should transfer no later than when a C/O issues for the Middle Creek development. Anything less is a recipe for disaster. Paragraphs 4(k)(ii) & (iii) [should be “iii” and “iv” as there are two “ii”] and ¶ 5(g) Step Seven, concerning the delay in the transfer of title should be deleted and replaced with a provision that title shall transfer no later than on the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for the Middle Creek development.


2. The MOU should NOT be used to create a separate housing plan. The MOU should address only the swap of Middle Creek for Booth Heights. The AHSI should not be incorporated into the MOU. The title to the MOU should be changed to just “Memorandum of Understanding,” and the reference to the AHSI in the second Whereas clause should be eliminated. In addition, ¶ 3(c)(v) which provides that one of the desired outcomes of the MOU is the use of Booth Heights to advance the VLHA goal of achieving 1000 housing units by 2027 should be deleted. To be clear, the VHA does not object to the provision giving Triumph Development a right of first refusal on the redevelopment of Timber Ridge; it just believes that the provisions for that redevelopment should be in a separate plan.


3. There should be no provision to allow Booth Heights to be developed if Middle Creek is built. Paragraph 4(d), which provides that even if the Middle Creek development is completed Vail Resorts could ultimately also develop Booth Heights, should be deleted.


4. The MOU should not be used to lay the groundwork for the re-zoning of other properties. Paragraph 5(c) Step Three, which provides that, as part of the land swap process, the TOV will seek rezoning to increase the amount of Housing (H) District property, should be deleted. The TOV is free to seek rezoning of any property it owns but that should not be tied into the MOU or be the subject of any contention that the rezoning was pre-approved by the approval of the MOU.


5. Extension of development rights should only be until the completion of the Middle Creek development. Paragraph 3(c)(ii) should be amended to provide that the extension of development and vested rights is solely for the purpose of facilitating the land swap and shall not extend beyond the completion of the Middle Creek development.


6. Booth Heights should be declared to be “Designated Open Space.” The MOU should also provide in ¶ 3(a)(ii) that once the TOV acquires title to the Booth Heights property it will immediately take the necessary steps to have it designated as “Designated Open Space” land pursuant to § 13-11 of the Town Charter. By so designating the property that will, absent a vote of the Town citizens, take it off the table for future development schemes.


7. The Middle Bench of Donovan Park should not be developed. In addition to clearing up the provisions of the MOU, the Town Council should also make clear that the Upper and Middle Benches of Donovan Park should not be rezoned or otherwise developed in any way. Those properties should also be designated as “Designated Open Space.”


8. The Town should pursue other means for a Housing Plan. The Town should proceed with the development of an Affordable Housing Master Plan to designate the steps going forward to achieving the 2027 Housing Plan.


Not Deal Breakers. None of the above changes to the MOU or the protection of Donovan Park would be deal-breakers since none affect the rights of Vail Resorts or Triumph Development. It will only affect the plans of the VLHA which would remain free to pursue its goals as it sees fit and proper.


These Will Be Difficult Meetings. These issues are extensive and complicated and cannot be covered in any meaningful way in only a few minutes. It is hoped that the Mayor will exercise discretion in applying the three-minute rule to allow the community to fully discussed the issues. Every citizen has the right to be heard, so the VHA urges that you get prepared to make your points. You will be able to appear and personally address the Council (there will probably be a sign-in procedure for that purpose).


What You Need to Do. All need to be involved. Everyone should review the draft MOU. It is an attachment to item 6.2 on the TOV July 7th agenda, found at: https://vail.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=1129&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda.


If you don’t want to speak or cannot make the meeting, you can send written comments in advance of the meetings to the Town Council and the Town Manager at: towncouncil@vailgov.com and srobson@vailgov.com. Or you may join the meeting via Zoom. Even if you plan to attend, you may still want to submit written comments. For all who can do so, please mark your calendars for 6 p.m. on July 21 and August 4 and plan to be present to make sure that the MOU that is approved by the Council truly reflects the purpose of this proposal and does not contain any unnecessary provisions or other agendas that could have disastrous consequences down the road.

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Vail Town Council Initiates Discussions with Booth Heights Developers to Pursue Alternative Path

https://www.vailgov.com/announcements/vail-town-council-initiates-discussions-with-booth-heights-developers-to-pursue-alternative-path-in-meeting-communitys-housing-and-environmental-stewardship-goals

Citizens Call for Judicial Review of Vail’s Booth Heights Development


For Immediate Release

For further information, please contact Jonathan Staufer gorevalleycitizens(AT)gmail.com

Art Available


Vail, Colorado November 12 Saying they’d been left no other avenue, a group of citizens today filed documents with the Eagle County District Court calling for a judicial review of the Town of Vail’s record of decision for the Booth Heights development.


“The bighorn sheep have been in the area for two weeks,” said Jonathan Staufer of the Gore Valley Citizens Alliance. “Despite that, Vail Resorts and Triumph rolled heavy equipment into the area on Monday. They have no interest in protecting the wildlife. Meanwhile, the Town is allowing them to run roughshod over regulations designed to protect wildlife and the environment.”


The proposed Booth Heights development has generated a massive outpouring of public opposition. A record number of 22 appeals to the Town Council were filed after Vail's Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) approved the project. The opposition culminated with the election to the Town Council of four candidates who opposed the project on November 5. Despite that election, the new Council may not have an opportunity to further review the project.


“We’re not interested in an adversarial relationship with the Town,” Staufer said. “We're hoping the Town will take this opportunity to find another site for housing that will preserve this property for the bighorn sheep.”


The property in question comprises critical winter range for a native herd of bighorn sheep. Four respected wildlife biologists testified against the project over the summer, urging the Town to deny approval and encourage the applicants to build elsewhere.


“An overarching goal in the Vail Town Code is to protect wildlife and the environment,” said Maya Kane, a bighorn sheep expert and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. “This project will result in irreversible direct and indirect impacts to the Gore-Eagles Nest bighorn sheep herd. Our goal is to ensure that the herd is adequately protected.”


The property was widely believed to be open space or in the Public realm for several decades. Indeed, the property disappeared from the tax rolls somewhere around 1974 during the acquisition of right of way for Interstate 70 and the Town of Vail’s acquisition of Katsos Ranch. In 2017, it was suddenly announced that the property belonged to Vail Resorts and that the company intended to develop it.


“The Town Code charges the Town Council and the Planning and Environmental Commission with ensuring that the environmental harms associated with large scale development are mitigated appropriately,” said land use attorney Kim Perdue, who is working with the citizens group. “The Town Council, acting through the PEC, is allowing high density development in bighorn sheep winter range without securing meaningful, enforceable, and scientifically sound protections for that sensitive population. The Town Council has also declined to take meaningful action to provide safe pedestrian access to services for the development’s residents, to protect wetlands on the site, and to protect against rockfalls and debris flows.”


“Booth Heights is about money. Period,” Staufer said. “30% of the property will be ‘free market.’ Next year, Vail Resorts will be back at the Town for approvals for EverVail and argue that they’ve satisfied their housing requirement, freeing up that development to reap maximum profits."

November 10, 2019

A Mandate for Change

On November 5, Vail voters went to the polls and elected Kevin Foley, Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason and Brian Stockmar to the Vail Town Council. All four candidates have previously voted against the Booth Heights development and in favor of open space and bighorn sheep. In addition, all four candidates have argued for more transparency in government.

We’re hoping this will mean that the East Vail parcel will finally be protected permanently as open space and bighorn sheep habitat.

That outcome is by no means certain. Vail Resorts and Triumph Development now have approval to build on the property, and the new Town Council may not have a legal path to revisit the project. We are watching the situation closely and have been in discussions with legal experts to see what can be done to encourage an outcome that preserves the parcel for the bighorn sheep.

We continue our efforts to make sure Vail Resorts lives up to their Epic Promise of “Environmental and community sustainability” that they say “are at the core of our foundational values.” A couple of terrific photographs of the Gore Valley herd have appeared in the Vail Daily’s hashtag #vaillive, and the letters continue.

PLEASE HELP KEEP UP THE PUBLIC PRESSURE!

Finally, we hope Vail residents will seize the opportunity presented by the November 5 election and help the new Town Council drive forward their agenda for change. There will be an immediate opening on the Planning and Environmental Commission when Brian Stockmar assumes his new position on Town Council and there will be other opportunities to support the Council with letters to the editor, by speaking in person and by serving on boards.

Thank you for your continued support!


Please signup for our mailing list via: gorevalleycitizens(AT)gmail.com

Our all-volunteer efforts rely entirely on your generous support. Contributions to Gore Valley Citizens Alliance may be made through our GoFundMe or via check to:

Gore Valley Citizens Alliance

100 E Meadow Dr., Suite 31

Vail, Colorado 81657

Visit us at gorevalley.com

Follow us on Twitter @gorevalley

October 20, 2019

WE HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT!

Last Tuesday, the Vail Town Council heard a record seven appeals out of a record 22 appeals regarding the Vail Resorts/Triumph Development Booth Heights development.

The seven appellants who had been given standing by the Director of Community Development Matt Gannet made good, legal arguments for turning down the project or for at least remanding it back to the Planning and Environmental Commission for further evaluation. They discussed geological hazards on the proposed sight, the lack of an adequate traffic study, the lack of adequate pedestrian linkages, the lack of existing and potential transportation and the lack of a wildlife study, among many things.

For over an hour, the vast majority of the Council’s constituents - some of whom helped elect Dave Chapin, Jenn Bruno, Travis Coggin and Greg Moffet - spoke and sang against the Vail Resorts/Triumph development and against the extirpation of bighorn sheep from the Gore Valley. We informed the Council that over 5,600 people had signed our petition (over 100 have joined since)! Of the Public who addressed them, only four people spoke in favor of the project. Two of them work for Vail Resorts and the last is on the board of the Vail Valley Chamber.

In the end, saying he’d heard “No new evidence,” Mayor Chapin sided with Booth Heights boosters Moffet, Bruno and Coggin, and voted to in favor of Vail Resorts and Triumph Development and against the bighorn sheep.

We’ve spent the last few days, like many of you, licking our wounds and incredulous at a decision that flies in the face of every ideal Vail has tried to stand for in its brief but storied history.

There is nowhere to go but forward. We are examining what measures might be taken next to save the bighorn sheep. In the meantime, Citizens for Responsible Government has formed to support Jen Mason, Brian Stockmar, Kevin Foley, and Kim Langmaid in their Town Council bids. These Public servants have already voted against the Booth Heights development and actually listen to the Public.

As a recent article in the Vail Daily pointed out, the project must still go through Design Review Board approval. There will be other hurdles and we’ll be there at every step doing what we can to make them higher!

WE WILL SHORTLY BE SUSPENDING THE PETITION. Please signup for our mailing list via: gorevalleycitizens(AT)gmail.com

Contributions to Gore Valley Citizens Alliance may be made through our GoFundMe or via check to:


Gore Valley Citizens Alliance

100 E Meadow Dr., Suite 31

Vail, Colorado 81657

Visit us at gorevalley.com

Follow us on Twitter @gorevalley

Thank you as ever for your support!


URGENT ACTION ALERT!

October 14, 2019

On Tuesday, October 15 at 5:30p.m., the Vail Town Council will hear a record seven appeals on the Booth Heights development proposal. Members of the Public will be given 3 minutes to address their elected officials.

We are calling on all of our 5,000 supporters to come and speak on behalf of bighorn sheep, open space and the wild!

This hearing in itself is a victory of sorts: Despite having promised a full Public hearing on the subject in 2017 when they approved a “minor” subdivision and zoned the parcel, the Vail Town Council thus far has avoided facing a constituency that is massively opposed to this development.

This hearing is largely due to your efforts. Let’s show up Tuesday and make sure they hear us loud and clear!

For those of you who can not attend in person, emails can be sent to towncouncil@vailgov.com and you can follow and comment on Twitter @vailtowncouncil.

As reported previously, we are supported in our efforts by the Colorado Chapter of the Sierra Club. In addition, the local chapter of the Climate Reality Project has joined this effort to save the Gore Valley herd of bighorn sheep!

Susan Knopf penned a superb editorial in the Summit Daily News. We’ve posted a link to it here.

Further inspiration can be found in “Ode to the Bighorn” by Jim Carstensen. Jim drove the Town of Vail bus for many years and is a long time resident of East Vail. His composition and his beautiful performance expresses well how so many of us feel. Thank you John Ervin for bringing Jim’s song to our attention.

See all of you:

Tuesday, October 15, 5:30 p.m. Vail Town Council Chambers 75 S. Frontage Rd. Vail, CO 81657

Thank you!

Contributions to Gore Valley Citizens Alliance may be made through our GoFundMe or via check to:

Gore Valley Citizens Alliance

100 E Meadow Dr., Suite 31

Vail, Colorado 81657


October 1, 2019

Good morning!

Yesterday evening we received excellent news that the Sierra Club’s Rocky Mountain Chapter - Colorado’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental group over 100,000 strong! - has mounted an effort to protect bighorn sheep and their habitat in the Gore Valley! Their petition to the Vail Town Council can be read and signed here !

Seven appellants have been given standing by the Director of Community Development. The “rules” for that hearing will be discussed tonight, October 1 at 6:00 p.m. in the Vail Town Council’s chambers. A number of people, including Gore Valley Citizens Alliance’s attorney, will be on hand to ensure a fair and open process. Meanwhile, Gore Valley Citizens Alliance and several appellants who have not been given standing will appeal that decision to the Town Council.

A new political committee, Citizens for Responsible Government - has been formed to support Brian Stockmar, Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason and Kevin Foley (their names will appear on the ballot in this order) for Vail Town Council. All four have already indicated strong opposition to the Booth Heights development project. If you would like further information on this effort, please contact them on vailresponsiblegovernment (AT) gmail.com

Anne Esson had a gorgeous letter in the Vail Daily yesterday. It encapsulates much of how we all feel about the potential extirpation of bighorn sheep and loss of their habitat, not to mention the crooked approval process thus far. We have links to her letter and many more here.

Keep up those letters to the Vail Town Council and your favorite news sources: THIS IS A STATE-WIDE ISSUE and we are as ever grateful for all you do!

Email: gorevalleycitizens (AT) gmail.com Twitter: @gorevalley

Contributions to Gore Valley Citizens Alliance may be made through our GoFundMe or via check to:

Gore Valley Citizens Alliance

%Jonathan Staufer

100 E Meadow Dr., Suite 31

Vail, Colorado 81657

Vail Homeowners Association 9/9/19 - Plight of the Bighorn Sheep

Good morning! As of Monday September 16 at 5:00 p.m., a total of 22 appeals of the Vail Planning and Environmental Association's approval of the Booth Heights development! That is a record number of appeals of a Vail PEC approval! At the Town Council meeting yesterday evening, the Director of Community Development, Matt Gennett, reported that he had given standing to one of those appeals and a hearing date in front of the Town Council has been set for October 15. We will know the status of the rest of the appeals, including that of Gore Valley Citizens Coalition, later today and will update you as soon as possible.

As of this morning, we have raised over $3,000 to provide legal support to the appeal effort. Thank you to all you who have contributed. This is a true grassroots effort so every dollar, every letter to the editor and every post on social media helps! KEEP UP THE PRESSURE!

If you have not already done so and are able, you may contribute to Gore Valley Citizens Alliance via check to 100 E Meadow Dr., #31, Vail, CO 81657 or via our GoFundMe

Donations made through change.org provide excellent tools for community activists, not to Gore Valley Citizens Alliance.

Keep in touch - www.gorevalley.com on Twitter @gorevalley or gorevalley (at) gmail.com

We are urging the Vail Town Council to review the PEC approval of the Booth Heights Development. Stay tuned. Stay informed. Stay engaged!

Receive more timely updates by emailing us at gorevalleycitizens (AT) gmail.com

John Laconte of the Vail Daily reports that the Town of Vail's hired biologists' top recommendation for wildlife mitigation on the Booth Heights site is to "find another location." Laconte writes that the biologists' recommendation, at the head of the third paragraph of their letter (see below) was not included in the memorandum written to the PEC by the Town Staff.

Booth Heights - Biologist Roundtable Final Recommendation Summary.pdf
VHA EVBH PEC report 073019 (2).pdf