Crossroads project progresses to council
VAIL ” The controversial plan to build a bowling alley, movie theater and condominiums at Vail’s Crossroads complex is headed to the Vail Town Council ” again.
The Vail planning commission Monday recommended for the second time that the Town Council approve the redevelopment proposal for aging Vail Village building.
The Town Council will probably consider the proposal at its next meeting, Feb. 7.
Developer Peter Knobel wants to build between 65 and 75 condos, a 10-lane bowling alley, a three-screen movie theater, an arcade, shops, three or four restaurants and a public plaza.
The planning commission voted 5-2 to recommend adopting a special development district for Crossroads. The special district allows for increased height and bulk in exchange for so-called “benefits” to the public.
Planning commissioner Chas Bernhardt said the public benefits, which include the plaza, the movie theaters, the bowling alley, as well as streetscape improvements and public art, allow for the extra size.
“I don’t see giving additional height as setting a precedent because not everybody else is going to be able give us what I believe this project is going to give us,” he said.
Commissioner David Viele voted against forwarding a recommendation of approval, citing a “legislative precedent” set by Town Council when it did not vote in favor of a smaller Crossroads development in August. Then, the council objected to the design’s height and size.
“We are obligated to deny this application,” Viele said. “Any vote to the contrary would be to ignore the obligation placed upon us collectively and individually by our elected officials when we were appointed to his board.”
Ron Byrne of Vail asked for a moment a silence for all of the Crossroads developers who have come and gone after trying to redevelop the property. He said he hoped Knobel would be able to complete the redevelopment of the property.
“I just think it’s such an important piece of real estate in the core of Vail Village,” he said.
Jim Lamont of the Vail Village Homeowners Association said the Crossroads roof should be lowered to make the building shorter.
“That roof doesn’t have to be that high,” he said. “(Knobel) could lower it and still have the same quantity of occupiable square feet in the building, and still have plenty to sell and make a profit.”
The building would be 52 feet tall on the southwest where it faces Meadow Drive, 89 feet tall at the center of the development where it faces the Frontage Road, and 99 feet at its highest point as measured from Meadow Drive.
Former council members Diana Donovan and Dick Cleveland, who opposed the Crossroads redevelopment, were voted off the council in November.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or firstname.lastname@example.org.