Close council vote stokes opposition
VAIL – The Vail Town Council voted 4-3 on March 21 to approve developer Peter Knobel’s latest design for the Crossroads building, 19 months after it was first submitted to the town. The proposal was previously approved twice by the town’s planning commission, but opponents say the process wasn’t sufficient.”In our opinion, there were no tough negotiations, few meaningful concessions and no significant reductions in size,” the group that is trying to force a townwide vote on the project wrote in a column for the Vail Daily.Knobel didn’t engage residents, nearby businesses or the homeowners association in a conversation about the proposal, said Elaine Kelton, a member of committee gathering petitions to put Crossroads on the ballot.
Kelton said she was also troubled by the 4-3 vote and the fact that Mayor Rod Slifer, a longtime Vail resident, politician and real estate businessman, voted against the proposal.Group member Andy Wiessner said he may not have gotten involved in the issue if it was a 7-0, 6-1 or 5-2 vote.”If you’re doing something on this scale you ought to get a little more consensus in the community than we have on this one,” Wiessner said.The developer’s representative, Dominic Mauriello, said the project has changed significantly since it was first submitted. The developer met with the town every four days for six months, Mauriello said.
During the 19 months, the number of condos was reduced from 75 to 69. The condo area was also reduced, from 210,054 square feet to 199,830 square feet. Building heights were also reduced on parts of the east and west wings.”Because it was a 4-3 vote means there was a lot of public scrutiny on the project,” Mauriello said.Mauriello said many concessions were made in the negotiation of the final agreement with the town.”There was no negotiation,” he said. “They came in told us what they wanted.”
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado