County to drop Vrany’s eviction
October 6, 2006
Pitkin County officials believe they have reached an agreement that will allow 87-year-old Lada Vrany to stay on the ranch that has been his home for 48 years.The county commissioners are scheduled to review an emergency ordinance Wednesday that would end an eviction lawsuit they filed against Vrany this summer. The county government is Vrany’s landlord at the Airport Ranch.The proposed settlement allows Vrany to remain in the old ranch house on the property and use the adjacent workshop. It gives him a one-time payment of $10,000 as reimbursement for improvements he has made to the property, according to a memo from assistant county attorney Chris Seldin to the commissioners.
Vrany also would receive a monthly stipend for looking after the ranch, keeping it clean and reporting any suspicious activities to the county. The stipend will match his monthly Social Security payment. That amount wasn’t specified.Vrany cannot sublease any residences on the property, according to the deal. The county evicted about a dozen people in May who were renting small trailers and sheds on the property. County officials said the residences were illegal and had inadequate septic systems and, in some cases, no bathrooms.The eviction settlement would allow Vrany to rent space in his house to a caregiver.
Vrany’s friends are urging him to accept the deal, according to his ex-wife, Lynn. The deal provides a home and an income to live on, she said.Vrany started renting the ranch in 1958 from Elizabeth and Walter Paepcke. He remained on the property after Pitkin County condemned the land in the late 1980s. He used to make a living from renting out pastures for cattle grazing and irrigating fields for hay crops.The county’s proposed settlement doesn’t allow Vrany to do any irrigating or otherwise work the land. That had been a sticking point earlier in negotiations.
Vrany said Friday he is uncertain if he will accept the settlement offer.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.