Crossroads foes submit hundreds of signatures
VAIL ” Crossroads opponents turned in a big bundle of signatures Thursday that could eventually force a townwide vote on the controversial proposal.
The petitioners say they turned in 552 signatures ” 172 more than the 10 percent of registered voters that they needed.
Now, the town of Vail has to decide whether there are enough valid signatures to force reconsideration of the approval for the building, which includes condos, a bowling alley, movie theaters and a skating rink. Town Clerk Lorelei Donaldson will have 10 days to verify the signatures.
“All people want Crossroads redeveloped,” said Elaine Kelton, an organizer of the petition drive who has objected to the size of the proposal and the precedent she says it will set. “But not at this cost.”
The opponents turned in 47 petitions gathered by 42 different people.
Developer Peter Knobel’s employees took digital photos of each petition after they were handed in to the town Thursday afternoon as Knobel, petitioners Andy Wiessner and Tom Steinberg and town staff looked on.
“We congratulate the petitioners on their hard work and look forward to the voters deciding the fate of Crossroads,” Knobel said.
Knobel’s proposal includes 69 condos, a three-screen movie theater, a 10-lane bowling alley, a public plaza, stores and restaurants. The building ranges in height from 35 feet to 99.9 feet.
Supporters of the project say it will bring vibrancy back to the town with amenities that would not otherwise be viable in Vail. Opponents object to the height and bulk of the proposed building and say there isn’t enough consensus on the project in the community.
The Vail Town Council approved the Crossroads project, 4-3, on March 21, a year and a half after it was first submitted to the town.
Wiessner said petitioners gathered signatures from their friends and acquaintances, and also went door-to-door in Vail neighborhoods collecting signatures.
He said he talked to about 500 people in his own signature-gathering. About a quarter were opposed to Crossroads, a quarter were in favor of it, a quarter weren’t registered voters and a quarter didn’t care.
“I think it’s going to be a really close election,” he said.
Wiessner said he doesn’t think enough signatures will be ruled invalid to push the number below the required 380. Petitioners made sure signers were registered Vail voters, he said.
Wiessner said he foresees a spirited campaign.
“A couple of weeks before the election, I imagine things will heat up,” he said.
Steinberg said Knobel can reduce the proposal in size, still include the amenities, and still make a profit.
“It needs to be done, and he can afford to put in all those things and still take off two to three stories,” he said.
Knobel’s planner has said Knobel will not reduce the size of the proposal.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or email@example.com.