The Vail Town Council voted 7-0 on April 15 to approve a request made by members of the Memorial Park Citizen Task Force to proceed through the development review process to create a Memorial Park. The proposed park is to be located on a 13.5 acre portion of the town-owned Katsos property near the East Vail Interchange. The design complements Vail's natural surroundings with the placement of memorial inscriptions on boulders and stone benches, leaving much of the property undisturbed. Casket burials would be prohibited; however, the burial and scattering of ashes would be permitted.
For approval, the land would need to be rezoned from Open Space/Natural Area Preservation to Open Space/Outdoor Recreation. It also would require a conditional use permit and approval by the Design Review Board. Task Force members hope to receive development approval for the park within the May to June timeframe with pre-sales and fund-raising efforts beginning in August, followed by a dedication in 2004
As proposed, a non-profit, non-sectarian Vail Memorial Park Foundation would operate the site, which would be leased from the town for 99 years. The foundation would be governed by a 5-member board of directors to be appointed by the Vail Town Council. While the proposal requests a no-interest loan of up to $50,000 from the town as seed money, it is anticipated the park will be financially self-supporting and will be able to reimburse the town for all initial and ongoing costs, according to Task Force members.
Sources of funding would include:
- sales of inscriptions and memorial sites;
- sales of cremation burial sites;
- fund-raising by the foundation;
- and donor gifts.
A three-tiered pricing system is proposed with purchase opportunities for Town of Vail residents (5 year minimum residency), Eagle County residents and non-resident property owners (5 year minimum residency) and anyone else.
A Town Council committee, headed by Diana Donovan, is currently working on the project. For more information, e-mail or call Donovan at 970-476-1860 ext. 7.
Committee Members Include: