Avon council told hotel development rezoning request is confidential; it isn’t

Vail Daily: A rezoning application for a large hotel development was presented to the council as being “confidential” in a memo from the town manager in January.

The development is not confidential, Town Attorney Eric Heil confirmed in a memo to council released to the public on Friday, Feb. 9.

“The Town Manager characterized to the Avon Town Council that the Colorado World Resorts Development was ‘confidential’ when first received and during the initial review period to determine if the application was complete,” Heil’s memo states. “Council member (Matt) Gennett questioned the correctness of this characterization and stated that development applications are public record when received. I have reviewed this question. The Colorado Open Records Act establishes a general rule that every document in the town’s possession is a public record.”

Council member Amy Phillips says she may have inadvertently kicked off the confidentiality mix-up when she asked for two separate council updates to be sent to elected officials from Town Manager Virginia Egger — one containing all confidential issues, and one containing all matters they were free to discuss with the public.

“My point was, if somebody asked me about something and I had gotten an email, I wanted to be able to go back to that email and say it’s on the confidential one, I can’t talk about it, or it’s on the public one, I can send them this document,” Phillips said.

In describing the Colorado World Resorts Development as confidential, Phillips said she was able to quickly identify that this project isn’t something she should be discussing with the public.

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