Beaver Creek's Alpine Slide in Question
SAM Magazine--Beaver Creek, Colo., October 17, 2006--Plans by Vail Resorts to build an Alpine slide on Beaver Creek have local homeowners up in arms. The slide, proposed for Beaver Creek's Haymeadow area, has been aggressively opposed by local property owners, including the Beaver Creek Property Owners Association, with approximately 2,000 voicing their dismay in e-mails to Vail Resorts.
The issue came to a head during a Monday meeting where homeowners faced off with Vail Resorts attorney Diane Mauriello. At the core of the debate is whether Eagle County Community Development Department Director Keith Montag was correct in interpreting land use regulations. The regulations, adopted in 1989, contain language that states that Alpine slides are permitted. However, an amendment to the regulations adopted in 1994 does not contain language regarding Alpine slides. County Commissioners are expected to make the final determination on if Montag's interpretation of the amendment is correct.
"To put in an alpine slide is just an unconscionable act," John Forstmann told the Vail Daily newspaper. "Environmentally, it's a disaster," adds Bernie Scharf, who represents several homeowners associations at and around McCoy Peak.
However for Vail Resorts attorney Mauriello, the language in the amendment allows a slide. According to Mauriello the language in the amendment permitting "recreational activity" and which also states, "including, but not limited to," gives Vail Resorts the right to build a slide without further approval from the county.
Property owners contend that an Alpine slide is not permitted according to the language in the amendment adopted in 1994 and that furthermore, the amendment states that "recreational uses (should be) compatible with the valley's environment."
"That's the key limitation," County Commissioner William Stone said in a Vail Daily interview. "Compatibility is not really objective. Is an Alpine slide really compatible here?"
A final decision on the slide is expected by the Comissioners in November. \