Developer sues anti-Crossroads group
VAIL ” The developer of the Roost Lodge has tried to sue a political group that opposes the Crossroads redevelopment and overdevelopment in Vail.
But in a strange name mixup, developer Timberline Roost Lodge LLC named as the defendant in its suit a limited liability company formed by one of Crossroads developer Peter Knobel’s staff members. Timberline said it will amend the filing to correct the mistake.
Timberline Roost Lodge, which is redeveloping the Roost Lodge in West Vail, says in its lawsuit filed Friday that the anti-Crossroads group “repeatedly and maliciously” made false statements about the Roost proposal in Vail Daily newspapers ads, in mailings and on a Web site.
Friends of Vail, “an issue committee,” opposes the Crossroads proposal, which is subject to a townwide vote Tuesday. The group also says Vail is in danger of being overdeveloped. West Vail, the location of the Roost Lodge, is one of the places at risk of being overdeveloped, the group said.
Timberline cites “false and disparaging” statements in Vail Daily advertisements, mailings to voters and a Web site, stopoverdevelopment.net that were made “with the intent to cause Timberline harm to its business, property and pecuniary interest.”
Friends of Vail said the new building on the Roost site was proposed for seven stories. The group also said on its Web site that the building was proposed for eight stories, the lawsuit said.
The proposed building, which would be a hotel and condo development, ranges in size from one story to four stories.
“Defendant continues to intentionally publish and disseminate false and derogatory advertisements and statements about Timberline’s redevelopment, public process and application for the proposed development of the Roost Lodge property,” the complaint says.
Timberline said it asked the anti-Crossroads group to stop using the seven-story and eight-story claims in its ads and on its Web sites in early June.
But the group published another ad with the seven-story claim on June 30.
The group also depicted the Crossroads proposal behind Safeway in West Vail.
Timberline says that rendering was meant to depict the Roost Lodge.
“It purposefully superimposed an out-of-scale, false rendering of the Roost Lodge redevelopment,” the lawsuit says.
However, it appears Timberline Roost Lodge mistakenly named as the defendant Friends of Vail Village LLC, with an address on Chamonix Lane in Vail, which was registered by Jon Boord, a lawyer for Knobel, rather than the group that has been running political ads against the Crossroads proposal.
Boord had no comment on why he registered Friends of Vail Village LLC.
Timberline partner Kevin Deighan, reached Friday afternoon, said the lawsuit will be amended to correct the error.
The anti-Crossroads group that has been running ads in the Vail Daily and sending mailings to Vail voters has identified itself as “Friends of Vail Village” in the campaign materials.
Tom Steinberg, a longtime Vail resident and former council member, is identified as treasurer of the group in the ads. But the “issue committee,” in financial filings with the town of Vail filed Friday, identified its full name as “Friends of Vail.” Steinberg signed that filing.
Deighan and Knobel were partners in the conversion of the Tyrolean Restaurant to a home.
Reached Friday, Steinberg had no comment on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also names Andy Wiessner as a member of the anti-Crossroads group. Wiessner said he has no comment on the lawsuit. He said he doesn’t know if he’s a member of “Friends of Vail Village,” and that the group has no leader.
“I don’t know if we have members, so to speak,” he said. “It’s a very loose-knit organization of volunteers.”
Former Councilwoman Diana Donovan and former Mayor Rob Ford were also named as members of the group in the lawsuit. Ford could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon. Donovan had no comment.
In its filing, Timberline Roost Lodge asked for a jury trial and seeks damages, including attorneys’ fees and costs.
Deighan released a written statement regarding the lawsuit Friday.
“It is unfortunate that despite repeated requests to the Friends of Vail Village to cease and desist providing false and inaccurate information regarding the redevelopment plans for the Roost Lodge in their advertisements, we have been forced to file legal action to prevent this continued inappropriate behavior,” he wrote.
“The failure by the members of the Friends of Vail Village to honor their promise to stop their misrepresentations regarding the Roost, has left us with no other recourse than to file this lawsuit.”
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.