Daily Editorial: Housing will take a war
Vail CO, Colorado
The Vail Town Council candidates have lots to say about keeping the middle class in town.
They are good at warning the rest of us of the dire need to keep professionals living east of Dowd Junction ” or else. They’re good at describing a Vail of the future that has only a handful of interested voters, barely any volunteers, and no one to sit on rec boards and planning commissions.
They go so far as to threaten economic ruin ” not because anyone believes tourists needs to visit ski resorts that have families playing in the parks and “townies” shopping in the supermarket. The problems will occur when there aren’t enough workers to provide world-class customer service to those visitors.
Or when the workers have too long a commute through the snow to happily provide world-class customer service.
The candidates’ sentiments toward working professionals are nice; and so is the plan to build a dozen or so affordable homes for the middle class in West Vail just north of the Interstate 70 interchange.
But the next council, if it really wants to provide a substantial number of homes, will have to be ready to fight the huge political battle of trying to put a bunch of townhouses on the so-called Middle Bench of Donovan Park.
(That the open space above the actual Donovan Park, and below the swath of open space that borders the forest).
Some in town consider that sacred open space, and are not likely to sit quietly when the plans for the Donovan Park Townhomes comes before the council. This battle was fought once before and it was ugly.
The second time around it might make the bitter fight over the Solaris renovation look like a kitten-petting festival.
But with most of the candidates also saying Timber Ridge should remain rentals for seasonal employees, it’s a fight the next council may have to have if it really wants to keep the middle class around.
” Matt Zalaznick for Editorial Board
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