Keystone homeowners want association put to rest
KEYSTONE – Despite repeated assertions by Vail Resorts that the Keystone Village Association (KVA) is already entirely dormant, a group of single-family homeowners remains dedicated to seeing the organization put to rest once and for all.
“We’d like to see the KVA dead, dead, dead,” homeowner Craig Suwinski said. “I mean, put the wooden stake in its heart.”
The KVA is described by Keystone Resort property management director Luke Slottow as a master association for the resort’s residential area. Discussions surrounding the KVA resurfaced last fall as Keystone, owned by Vail Resorts, began planning for a variety of substantial changes.
The larger issue concerns upgrading of the resort’s infrastructure and Vail Resorts’ desire to shed municipal-type expenses it has paid over time.
Included in those discussions were considerations of various funding mechanisms to finance changes, among them the KVA and its power to levy assessments.
Resort officials met with homeowner representatives in November to notify them that they were once again looking at the KVA, which had been formed many years previous. At that time, a working committee was formed to explore the issue further.
The two groups met again on July 1 in a meeting that saw a number of disagreements over how to proceed, Slottow said.
At that time, the working committee was dissolved and further discussion under the banner of the KVA tabled, though participants did agree to continue investigating ways to improve and maintain the area.
In the resort’s opinion, the discussion should end there.
“There is nothing being done,” Slottow said. “There is no nothing. It’s at a complete stop and there have been three groups formed having nothing to do with the Village Association.”
The three groups comprise Keystone Village condominium owners, outlying condominium owners and single-family homeowners.
However, that response leaves some homeowners less than comfortable.
“We’ve been told, as I heard it, “Don’t worry,'” homeowner Ken Wiggins said. “But that leaves me feeling as vulnerable as ever because it’s a great unknown.”
Keystone homeowner Linda Clem agreed.
“I would say that the majority of the single-family home owners would like to see it just go away,” she said.
Clem, Wiggins, Suwinski and others are worried that despite assurances to the contrary, if the KVA remains in existence, the resort will retain the ability to revive it in the future for use as a funding mechanism for resort improvements. That would be unacceptable, they say.
“Any of these organizations have this ability to tax and spend quite a bit of money,” homeowner Doug Turner said. “The basic philosophy I think all of us have, (is that) if I own a bit of property, it’s my responsibility to keep it up. And I should pay for that. And following through here, we believe that if Vail owns a piece of property, then it should pay to keep it up.”
Keystone officials maintain these fears are unfounded.
“As we now have all agreed, (the KVA) is nothing that is being used as a mechanism at this point,” Slottow said. “First we want to decide where we want to go (with Keystone).”
Mike Lee, Keystone’s communications director, said that any revival of the KVA would occur only with the consent and cooperation of homeowners.
“We committed, on that day, that we will not do anything with the KVA without coming to those groups,” he said in reference to the July 1 meeting. “We want to be partners with the homeowners here. We don’t want anything to be adversarial.”
The best way to achieve that, Suwinski and others say, is to formally disband the entire organization.
“The continued existence of the KVA is like the black cloud on the horizon,” Suwinski said. “You keep looking over you shoulder to see if it’s coming any closer or not.
“They can say they’re not going to use it, but if they’re not going to use it, make it go away,” he said.
Lee said that would be impractical at this point in time.
“It doesn’t make sense to make any changes until we know what needs to be done,” he said. “It may turn out that the KVA may be a good mechanism for what needs to be done and it may not.”
“It’s kind of putting the cart before the horse in terms of dissolving an entity that may prove a useful tool or may not prove a useful tool,” he said.
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