The recording from the Arrowhead Town Hall Meeting held September 2, 2018 conference call is now available…
Town Hall Meeting – September 2, 2018
4:00 p.m. at Broken Arrow Restaurant
George Coleman, President of Arrowhead at Vail Association (“AVA”), made opening remarks describing the meeting as a forum for the community to speak and the AVA Board to listen. He explained, with the exception of the Design Guideline revisions which have been finalized, those issues being discussed have not yet been sufficiently vetted and this meeting will be part of that process. George made introductions of Board members, noting each member serves a three-year term. Most members have previously served on AVA committees. The AVA currently has active committees comprised of 100+ residents, and participation is encouraged. He introduced Arrowhead Metro District Board members and Design Review Committee members. George spoke about the heightened level of communication with the community including Town Hall meetings, email blasts, timely responses to inquiries, and surveys. Over 500 of the 730 units responded to the most recent survey. Board meeting minutes are approved within several days of the meeting for posting on the AVA website as quickly as possible.
At AVA’s request, the Eagle River Fire Protection District (“ERFPD”) has done an evaluation of the perimeter of the community. Those results will be shared and mitigation by neighboring properties will take place. George announced ERFPD is offering a free assessment of personal property and will provide a thorough report with pictures and actions to be taken. Those that have undertaken an evaluation and act upon the recommendations will receive a prioritized response in the event of a wildfire.
- Question: Is there a policy in regard to the closeness of trees to structures that is recommended and enforceable? Answer: There is no Design Review Guideline policy. If the property is part of an HOA, this matter should be taken up with that HOA. If a fire mitigation study is conducted and recommendations are followed, Design Review Admin (“DRA”) fees will be waived; however, it is important to note the DRA application and compliance deposit are required before any tree is removed.
- Comment: Called the ERFPD number several times in July and August. They were understandably overcome with the fires they were dealing with. If you are persistent, they will most likely have more time this fall. Contact: Jeff Zechman, ERFPD, at 970-736-3102 or 970-748-9665.
Arrowhead Security System Upgrade
George gave an overview of the security system enhancements to include access codes which can be permanent for family members, temporary, or separate codes for tracking purposes. The Board will follow the new system closely over the next year in regard to efficacy, to determine whether it needs revision or improvement.
- Question: Why are we screening announced guests, but the public is allowed through the main gate to park in the skier lot? Answer: The codes are intended to be used on the north side of Highway 6, the three internal gates, and southeast and southwest gates. It works nicely for a social event. George noted the public must check in with the front gate for identification. The gate cameras have enhanced license plate readers and capability for facial recognition.
- Question: There is a sign at the main entrance directing cyclists through the main gate. While on a bike recently, security motioned a property owner through the outside gate, and told them they have been instructed to direct cyclists to the outside gate. Answer: Jim Clancy said this was apparently a training miss and they will work with the team to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Question: What is the policy when emergency vehicles are called into our community? Answer: All local emergency service agencies have transponders to every gates within the community.
Arrowhead Metro District Sales Tax Proposal
Bob Shafer, President of the Arrowhead Metro District (“AMD”), explained they are a quasi municipal government district which is subject to State laws. AMD collects 18.5 mils against the assessed value of each property in Arrowhead generating a total of $2.2m in revenue annually. The tax revenue goes toward road maintenance in Arrowhead, five Dial-a-ride vehicles and winter transportation, and debt payment on the skier parking lot which was purchased by the residents of Arrowhead in 2008. That debt service is approximately $1.1m per year. All bonds will be paid off in 2032. He noted these bonds were refinanced last year to save $600K over the course of the loan. The AMD budget process will begin in October. AMD has looked at ways to increase revenue within Arrowhead without putting more burden on property owners. AMD is authorized to raise the mil rate to a maximum of 20 mils without a vote for additional increases. In 1982 the State of Colorado imposed a law, called The Gallagher Amendment, allocating where real estate tax dollars came from, allowing for 55% from commercial and 45% from residential. The assessed value rate is the percentage against your assessed value for which the mil rate is applied. With the escalation of real estate values, that assessed value rate has continued to decline over the last four years. From 2020 – 2024, this will reduce the Metro District revenues by approximately $500,000. Alternatively, AMD is proposing a local sales tax of 5.5% within Arrowhead similar to other comparable districts in the valley. Such a tax would apply to Country Club of the Rockies (“CCR”) pro shop merchandise sales, Vista, Broken Arrow, and Alpine Club food and beverage and merchandise sales, Beaver Creek ticket office merchandise, and short-term housing rentals. AMD estimates 75% of this revenue would come from those outside Arrowhead who utilize the property, 58% of that being from short-term rentals. If implemented July 1, 2019, this sales tax is forecasted to generate $2m in tax revenue as of 2024. If there is a surplus, AMD would consider decreasing the mil rate. Colorado residents who own property in Arrowhead would receive a ballot in mid-October with a deadline of November 6th. If approved by simple majority, it would go into effect July 1, 2019. Bob offered on behalf of the AMD Board to meet with anyone who may have further questions.
- Question: Can AVA charge for parking in the skier lot? Answer by Bob Shafer: The deed restriction does not allow for paid parking. At this time, Vail Resorts is not willing to change the deed restriction.
- Question: Has there been an analysis for decreasing the millage rate or paying off the bonds early? Answer by Bob Rosen: There is the possibility of paying off $3.5m in bonds early, half in 2019 and half in 2021 for an interest savings of 4%.
- Question: Is anyone investigating eliminating the covenants that require public parking? Answer: It is in the deed restriction. The language is unbreakable.
- Question: What is the rule for short-term rentals, and how will you monitor people who do not have their condos managed by a property rental company? Answer: Less than 30 days is the threshold for short-term rentals. AMD will employ an agency to monitor short-term rentals for a nominal expense.
- Question: In regard to the 300 Colorado registered voters in Arrowhead, is that individuals or households? Answer: Individuals.
- Comment: Since Bachelor Gulch instituted their sales tax, they have seen a dramatic drop in their mil rate.
Response: They were at 21 in 2011 and are at 13 today. The current mil rate in Arrowhead is 18.5.
- Question: How is the AMD $2m reserve working for us? Answer by Bob Shafer: It is invested in 5-year CDs for just under a 3% return.
- Question: Are lift tickets or ski rentals subject to sales tax? Answer: No, according to Colorado law. Similar to golf carts, it is considered a service rather than a tangible piece of property.
- Question: Have heard AVA is considering imposing a fee on rentals as well? Answer by George Coleman: The only fee being considered is a yearly permit fee.
- Question: Would the tax apply to Village Core rentals? Answer by Bob Shafer: It would apply to all short term rentals.
- Questions: How much do you think the sales tax will offset the tax revenue deficit on a per annum basis? What data was gathered to arrive at the projections of sales revenue? Answer by Bob Shafer: For short-term rentals, Vail Resorts’ approximate number of days and average room rate per night was utilized. Estimates from Broken Arrow, Vista, and CCR sales, as well as conservative estimates on merchandise sales. It expected to generate $350K per year, netting $250K after the $100K shortfall in tax revenue. The mil rate revenue is approximately $100K per mil.
- Question: Please touch base on the safety initiative for bikers and hikers on Cresta Road? Answer by Bob Shafer: Markers have been put down to direct cyclist to stay on the side of the road in the direction of traffic. The next step planned will be to place pedestrian markers directing walkers to ascend and descent on one side of the road. 18” X 24” signage will be installed asking cyclists to stay on the right side. Comment: Simply follow the pavement safety markers. Cresta is a steep road with blind curves. Currently, ascending pedestrians are going up on the left, and descending cyclists are coming down in the same path. Now everyone will be directed by road markings on where to go, with the intent to increase safety.
Owners and Owners’ Guests Only Pool
Response to the most recent survey indicated among the amenities that were important to Arrowhead property owners would be an owner and owner guest-only swimming pool. The Board spent approximately a year looking at sites in Arrowhead and pools in other communities. Eight potential sites were identified. The site selected was in the western corner of the parking lot near the Boulders HOA, just offset slightly from the existing playground. A pool design company estimated the cost to be $6m, with the greatest cost related to excavation and retaining land mass in that location. It is not under active consideration at this time.
George Coleman stated no decision has been made in regard to short-term rentals. The short-term rental subcommittee has provided a report to the Strategic Planning Committee (“SPC”) this past week. The SPC will formulate their report to go before the AVA Board. Among the things that were initially considered are short-term rentals being 29 days or less, with regulations including the requirement of a license for a specific period of time, associated licensing fee, and communication of community rules and procedures. A good neighbor set of guidelines would be posted in each unit. There is no consideration for a minimum stay in the Village core. The recommendations of the Strategic Planning Committee to be presented to the AVA Board will not include a minimum stay for any properties in the community. This can be revisited at a later date if the need for such regulation is determined. George gave assurance any regulations would not be imposed without the community’s informed participation.
- Question: Have observed several young adults drinking alcohol in the pool. Upon discussing this matter, found out it is now allowed as long as the beverage is in a certain container. When people have alcohol, it gets loud and rowdy. Passing by the pool today, there were people playing loud music from a boom box. Who decides what is allowable? Answer: The Alpine Club has ownership and jurisdiction of the pool. The Alpine Club is supposed to have an advisory committee comprised of a member from the Village at Arrowhead Association, AVA Board, and the Alpine Club for the purpose budget preparation and regulations. George Coleman advised, if you see something, say something. If Public Safety or the AVA Board does not know about it, they cannot do anything about it.
- Question: To confirm, there will be no minimum stay requirements for any property in Arrowhead? Answer: There is no current recommendation coming before the AVA Board that would limit rentals. The Board is also going to consider comments today. Of the many email comments received, most have said their concern is not about the length of stay, but regulations being enforceable. Once regulations are in place, permits could be revoked if regulations are not followed.
- Question: Will rentals be regulated by AVA or each individual HOA? Answer: HOAs have the right to impose greater restrictions but, at a minimum, would have to abide by AVA’s regulations.
- Comment: Have been very negatively impacted by short-term rentals. Own a duplex at the end of a very private road. Short-term renters of less than a week are rude and abusive. Arrowhead is the only community in the area without regulations. Singletree requires a six month rental. Cordillera is looking into it. Certain places in Avon are not allowed to have short-term renter. Desert Mountain in Arizona has a 30-day minimum. Shouldn’t have to live in a multi-million dollar residence to have a short-term renter next door. Answer: Regulations would be helpful. If a permit/license to rent were revoked, that would have an impact.
- Comment: Do not have an HOA. Would like to speak out against short-term rentals outside the Core. Know of four locations within Arrowhead where there are too many people, parking, parties, and drunks. The majority of full-time Arrowhead residents live outside the core. Bought here for the environment. Do not have a problem sharing it for 30 days. Do have a problem with sharing our space for three days.
- Comment: Have owned and rented our home for 15 years. Personally vet all renters. Most stay a minimum of a week, some stay longer. Several renters have decided to buy in the community. Provide written regulations and rules renters must follow. In favor of a permit requirement and regulations. Feel it is an infringement of personal freedoms to not be able to rent for less than 30 days. Have never had a complaint.
- Comment: The crux of the problem are the people who are rented to and not the length of stay. It comes down to the permit and enforcement – the severity and quickness of consequences.
- Comment: Built our home in 1988. Over the years, having the opportunity to rent our home has been a blessing. Do short and long-term rentals. In the rental agreement, renters must agree to all Arrowhead rules and regulations. Require a deposit and always refund because they follow the rules. Unfair to take away property rights. Should have the opportunity to work on individual issues with the owners. Response: Suggest a clause in the rental agreement whereby any fines imposed upon the owner would be the responsibility of the renter.
- Question: Who will enforce the regulations? Answer: A committee within AVA.
- Comment: Suggestion to attach a monetary deposit with the permit allowing for financial consequences, if necessary.
- Comment: Think about the entire valley with any regulation that is passed. If 20% of property owners rent and those rentals are lost, think about the impact on sales tax and other things we are trying to accomplish by raising revenues. Response: Should the regulations go forward, you will have the opportunity to provide input on them.
- Comment: Have never rented our home or have any intention of doing so. There is property value in the ability to rent. Would be reluctant to require a 30 day minimum.
- Comment: Live in the Core. Had I known of the infringement of renters, would never have bought. They go two places – City Market and the dispensary. It is a revolving door every two to three days. Would like to see a minimum of a week. As a single woman, do not feel safe.
- Comment: Would recommend separate regulations for the Core and outside the Core. Need AVA to protect those that do not have an HOA.
Design Guideline Revisions
David Cooper, Chairman of the Design Review Committee, spoke about the process of revising the Design Guidelines. Four years ago the Urban Land Institute did a study for Arrowhead. One of their recommendations was to upgrade the Design Guidelines. The AVA Board and Design Review Committee (“DRC”) agreed. About a year ago, the DRC began the process of finding outside consultants to assist. A survey was sent to all property owners in Arrowhead, and open houses were held in December and January for input. A subcommittee of 10 worked alongside the DRC and consultants to revise the guidelines. There was an opportunity to access and revise, as appropriate, Beaver Creek’s guidelines which were recently revised as a basis for the Arrowhead guidelines thereby shortening the process from 18 to 12 months. The new Guidelines were adopted by the DRC in July. The point of changing the Design Guidelines was to allow for more subjectivity. The old guidelines were very prescriptive requiring a certain percentage of stone and wood, and a limited number of windows. There are now options of more materials. The DRC still has the authority to disapprove. The goal is to develop better architecture and landscape architecture in Arrowhead. The second element of the guidelines relaxed the number of square feet which can be built on a property. The Planned Unit Development concept must still be followed including setbacks and height limitations with no more than 30% of a lot and 50% of a building having impervious coverage.
- Comment: It seems there is intrusive conflict between the fire mitigation plan and existing lush landscaping. Response by David Cooper: Landscape changes over the course of time. In the 25 – 30 years Arrowhead has been developing, many of the trees are overgrown and were planted too close to buildings. People are encouraged to think about their landscape and buildings as one element. AVA will waive fees for trees removed as part of a fire mitigation evaluation once DRC has approved the removal.
George Coleman thanked David and the DRC for their hard work and contribution to the community.
- Comment: A request was made to relocate the kids’ summer camp away from the tennis courts unless they are playing tennis. Response: The Board will discuss this matter.
- Comment: Agree the summer camp should be relocated – to perhaps the area of Broken Arrow. Response: Express to fellow players, there will be a better place. It will be addressed.
- Question: Have the ball machine and remote control been fixed? Answer: Yes, and budgeting for a new one next year as a capital improvement.
- Question: Flowers near the walking path between Aspen Meadow and Aspen Ridge have not been maintained as in the past. Answer by Jerry Hensel: The landscaper was changed this year. Had walked that area with them originally and assumed it was being done. It is back on the radar and will be taken care of.
- Question: Were the shuttles to Vail well received – to Bravo this summer and skiing last winter? Are there any plans to expand? Answer by George Coleman: The average number of people who took the shuttle to Bravo was nine or less. AVA will revisit to determine if it is worth extending one more year as a trial. Answer by Bob Shafer: In regard to the ski shuttle, the first two years were good. Running two buses the first year was too much, so one bus was offered the second year. The past year wasn’t as good because of ski conditions. The shuttle will be continued this winter.
- Question: What is the status of a pedestrian crossing at Highway 6? Answer by George Coleman: Suggest Metro District initiate a conversation with the State. Answer by Jerry Hensel: That was addressed with the State five years ago, and they decreased the speed limit by 5 mph. The question was proposed again last fall and a response has not been received.
- Question: For those without an HOA, who should they reach out to in regard to landscaping? Answer: Contact Jerry Hensel directly.
- Comment: There is a very nice entrance sign going west, but nothing going east. Response: The Landscaping Committee has brought a proposal to the AVA Board. It is presently not financially feasible.
- Comment: Live next to new construction. The hole is three stories deep and comes underneath the fence. Driveway is often blocked. Trucks are parked on both sides of the road. Request that Design Review staff follow through and ensure construction crews are complying.
- Question: What is the leash law policy? Answer: The leash law applies to everyone. The only place a dog can be off leash is on your own private property.
- Question: Recently, a flock of crows have shown up. How to get rid of them? Answer: Call the Department of Wildlife. Comment: They show up every August and leave during September.
- Question: A guest of ours was bitten by a dog. Can it be banned from coming back to the community? Answer: Eagle County Animal Control must evaluate and enforce this regulation.