An ‘affordable’ albatross |

An ‘affordable’ albatross

M. Joseph McHugh

There is no question that Vail is in serious need of decent affordable housing for both year-round and seasonal employees.

The zeal of the supporters of the project is driven, to a large and understandable degree, by emotion and frustration with dealing with this serious problem.

In its desperation to find a solution, any promised solution, to the affordable housing problem, the Vail Housing Authority has endorsed this project without reservation and, allegedly, without regard to its real and perceived aesthetic and environmental impacts.

It is safe to say that no other residential or commercial real estate development in Vail would be accorded such blind “carte blanche” approval to violate virtually all of Vail’s established and widely accepted developmental guidelines and criteria.

At the end of the day, all of the arguments heard by the PEC on Monday are irrelevant. It has been demonstrated that the rental rates necessary to provide a reasonable return to the developer and investors on the huge cost of this project will not be “affordable” to the overwhelming majority of the people for whom its supporters believe it is intended.

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If the Middle Creek project is approved substantially as proposed, the town of Vail will have approved a costly, highly controversial residential development, provided little or no truly “affordable” housing to address the real problem, and will have subsidized (with valuable free land) a private condominium project.

M. Joseph McHugh

Build it now

As a second-home owner in Vail for the past 26 years, I am writing in support of the Middle Creek project.

It is beautiful, perfectly placed and extremely overdue project. I cannot think what more you could want. I am embarrassed by, some of the comments I have heard from residents, especially Tom Farnsworth “asking why wouldn’t you want the very best at your front door?”

I think we could not do better than to put this project at the entrance of Vail. Not only is it wonderfully convenient for the people who will live there to get to work in Vail – but it continues the wonderful Vail tradition of being more than a resort – of being a community in the true sense of the word – one which mixes everyone up and respects everyone’s contributions – irrespective of wealth or social position.

We should not be creating a “ghetto” of hidden employee housing. We should proudly place it at our front door showing that we are a community. Some of those who have been here many years may have forgotten that this is one of the charms of Vail.

We are not Aspen, worshiping celebrity and wealth. We know we all have a place here and make a valued contribution. Let’s please continue to celebrate the differences that make Vail special.

No “Us” vs. “Them.” Just Us. We are luckily to have a talented developer who has been diligent and persistent in presenting us with a terrific opportunity to solve a desperate problem of employee housing in a beautiful way.

Please do not withhold your approval. Proceed with this project without further delay. Let’s all be proud and pleased to do the right thing!

Anthea E. Ver Ploeg


Affront to voters

Although this year’s senatorial election is over two months away, the citizens of Colorado are being assaulted daily with attack ads on TV by the campaign committees of both incumbent Sen. Wayne Allard and challenger Tom Strickland.

These ads are nasty, mean spirited and misleading and are an affront to all of us. When are we going to see a positive direction in this campaign, which would be a refreshing turn from the direction both campaigns are taking?

I think the voters of Colorado need to send a message and let these politicians know that we don’t like this kind of dirty, below the belt campaigning.

I would encourage everyone to do as I am now doing in an effort to choose whom I will vote for. I have a pad of paper with a line down the middle with the name Strickland on one side and Allard on the other.

Whenever I see an attack ad on TV, I put down a mark FOR the candidate who is being attacked. If I ever see a positive/non-attacking ad, I will also give that candidate a mark.

Then, come November when it’s time to vote, I will see who has the most marks on the paper. So in essence I will vote against the candidate who has run the most attack ads.

Maybe if a lot of people followed my lead, these candidates would clean up their acts and drop the negative ads and start addressing the issues in a positive manner.

Gerry Zimmerman


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