Alpine slide may slip into court
January 26, 2007
BEAVER CREEK ” Beaver Creek residents have long said they won’t stand for an alpine slide near their homes, and it looks like they could go to court to prove their point.
A coalition of home owners associations filed a lawsuit claiming that Vail Resorts has no right to build an alpine slide ” meant to be a summer attraction for kids ” in Beaver Creek and that county commissioners acted unfairly when they decided in December that an alpine slide would be allowed.
The associations are asking the court to overturn the county’s decision and declare that an alpine slide can’t be built under Vail Resort’s development agreement.
However, a settlement could be reached before the matter ever goes to court. Vail Resorts and the associations will likely hold off any further legal actions until November to allow time for negotiations, said Eagle County Attorney Bryan Treu.
He said that the lawsuit was filed mainly to meet a deadline and that both Vail Resorts and the Beaver Creek home owners hope to settle it out of court.
The lawsuit is not unexpected. Homeowners have strongly opposed the slide for some time, saying it would be a nuisance and incompatible with the residential neighborhoods. They also said the alpine slide, which would be built in the Haymeadow area near the Centennial Express Chairlift, would degrade the natural environment of the Beaver Creek.
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There are also technical objections. Vail Resorts deleted the words “alpine slide” in its 1994 revision to its approved land uses, and many Beaver Creek residents saw that as a binding declaration that an alpine slide wouldn’t be built.
County commissioners saw it differently, upholding an interpretation of the land use agreement that allows for the building of an alpine slide.
Vail Resorts has said that an alpine slide would be a great asset to the community and better accommodate children who come to visit.
Much of the lawsuit revolves around accusations of unfairness and arbitrary decision making on part of Eagle County. Commissioner Arn Menconi isn’t not bothered by the negative statements in the lawsuit.
“Not everyone’s going to agree with my decisions,” Menconi said. “We knew there was a great chance there would be another level to this. There are no surprises here.”
The attorneys for Vail Resorts and the Beaver Creek Property Owner’s Association didn’t return phone calls before deadline.