Keystone parkway upgrade questions defeated at polls |

Keystone parkway upgrade questions defeated at polls

summit daily news

Keystone voters overwhelmingly defeated three ballot measures aimed at upgrading and beautifying the median and parkway corridor around the resort.

Measures 1A, 1B and 1C failed Tuesday as approximately 72.5 percent of voters opted against the measures with 18 of 19 precincts reporting at press time.

The measures would have created and funded a Keystone Public Improvement District to create and maintain improvements along the Keystone Parkway.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Matt Walsh, chair of the group Citizens for Keystone Parkway Public Improvement. “It was a concerted effort by a lot of Keystone residents to make some sweeping improvements on the parkway.”

Walsh said he did not know what steps his organization would take next, but he said the issue was not over.

Only residents of Keystone eligible to vote in Colorado were able to weigh in, and opponents pointed to this exclusivity as being a major flaw in the fairness of the proposed PID.

“This should have been an issue that all the homeowners should have worked on through their (homeowners’ associations) and agreed or disagreed with,” Keystone resident Michael Orth said. “It should have been handled through that process rather than an underhanded attempt to get it done with very few people deciding for the majority.”

The PID would have been financed through a maximum 2 mill levy tax on the assessed valuations of property in Keystone over a 10-year period totaling approximately $3.4 million. The levy would have amounted to $16 per $100,000 of actual value as indicated on a property owner’s county tax notification.

The last public improvements to the corridor were made in 1985 through a Local Improvement District, but by definition, the LID did not include a fund to maintain the medians and other improvements. The Colorado Department of Transportation is responsible for snow removal and road repair along the highway.

The land is currently maintained by Vail Resorts, which took a neutral stance on the ballot questions. Vail Resorts’ property in the area constitutes approximately 12 percent of the total assessed property value in Keystone, and the company would therefore have been responsible for 12 percent of the PID financing through the mill levy.

Proponents of the measure said an improvement district was overdue. The medians consist mostly of turf and consumed the majority of the 2.3 million gallons of water used last year on the corridor. The new medians would have used a combination of rocks and natural flora, hydrated via a drip line to reduce water usage.

SDN reporter Drew Andersen can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or

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