Carnes: Ed has this one all wrong
Ed, in this instance, is the editor(s) of the Vail Daily.
The fact that they try to sell this particular opinion as “editorial board” consensus is irrelevant, as that just means the majority of the board is wrong as well, so I’ll just stick with simple ol’ Ed for now.
And what Ed has wrong this time is the Edwards Condominium project in “downtown Edwards” (an unbefitting euphemism, to say the least).
Much has already been said about the horrific traffic conditions that currently exist, and how much worse they will be with this proposal AND the already-approved West End Project across the street, so I’ll leave the woes of the traffic-challenged for future discussion.
The best angle I can see to play here is by addressing Ed’s own words.
Ed calls this proposed project distinctive, inobstrusive, and a (potential) landmark.
For starters, calling something distinctive simply because it is “designed by one of America’s top architects” is like saying a unique characteristic of Britney Spears is her ability to act like white trash.
It is exactly what’s expected of them both.
I’m not even sure “inobtrusive” is a word, but if Ed means “unobtrusive,” well then we have a distinct difference of opinion as to the meaning of the word: protrude.
If this building does anything at all to the local landscape, it certainly bulges and swells in an outwardly projection.
Landmark? Yes, I.M. Pei’s Paris pyramid (a reader not named Ed used it for comparison) is truly a landmark, but it is also an entrance to the friggin’ Louvre, whereas this proposed monstrosity is the entrance to a few dozen multi-million dollar condos, nothing more.
It reminds me of a dozen years ago when an unfortunate majority of the Town of Avon council insisted on spending hundreds of thousands of hard-earned tax dollars for subjective “art” because it would “bring people to Avon.”
I tried to burst their rose-colored bubble then (sadly to no avail), but no tourist -” not one ” has ever come to Happy Valley for the sole purpose of looking at art in Avon, train tracks in Minturn, having their oil changed in Eagle-Vail or to buy shoes in Edwards.
Tourists have, are, and always will come here for (surprise!) Vail and Beaver Creek, that’s it. Anyone who believes otherwise is either delusional or an elected official.
Ed also says the affordable housing that comes with this project is needed and the “view from Homestead would remain full.”
Listen, affordable housing is “needed” whether this project is built or not. Yet another two-year construction project of non-affordable housing will only bring more workers to the valley searching for more, yes, affordable housing, a.k.a. catch-22. And I don’t have a clue as to what a “full” view from Homestead even means. Did someone from Homestead imply their view was empty?
Ed continues by saying the project fits the county’s land-use plans, zoning, downtown Edwards, and has no real open space value.
Respectively: Yes ” no ” that’s completely subjective ” and you’re absolutely wrong.
The already-approved (in 1985) open space quiescently sitting there serves as a nice land buffer between a new bustling shopping area and a much older, well-established residential neighborhood.
County criteria needed to reverse this approval says the “new” use of the current open space must be of public benefit or demonstrate a community need.
Building this project does neither, unless of course they constructed nothing but affordable housing on the site, at which point I would still be against it, but admittedly with a few reservations.
Anyway, promoting future growth to pay for past growth mistakes completely contradicts the concept of development paying its own way, yet this is what Ed seems to be encouraging.
“We’ll approve anything as long as it has some affordable housing attached,” is what I call bribery, not “smart” growth.
Bobby Hernreich, a friend of for 20 years and someone who gets my vote for entrepreneur-philanthropist-outstanding citizen of the year from time to time, along with his partner Rick Mueller, might indeed have the right building, but it is definitely in the wrong spot.
Ed needs to think this one through a little better, as the county commissioners would be out of their collective minds to embrace it.
NOTE: The preceding opinions belong to Richard and are not necessarily shared by this newspaper … but they should be.
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a biweekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.