Don’t develop Vail parking structure |

Don’t develop Vail parking structure

Tad Smith
Vail, CO, Colorado

I have been a property owner in Vail for more than 30 years and have cherished the beautiful mountain ambience provided by the landscaped south side of the Vail Village parking structure (plentiful trees, flowers in the summer and lush vegetation). This is one of our main entrances to the village, provides a buffer to the traffic on Interstate 70 and the parking structure and gives our village, at its entrance, the mountain-resort feeling that all of us treasure so much.

Now, Triumph Development, of Bethesda, Md., asks our Town Council to effectively destroy this precious green area by giving it to the developer for private development. This attempt should be soundly rejected, and our council should stand up now to preserve and protect this precious green space.

The Vail master plan mandates in Goal 4 of fundamental goals and commitments to “preserve existing open space areas and expand green space opportunities” and “improve existing open space areas and create new plazas with green space and pocket parks” and states that “existing natural open space areas … throughout Vail Village and existing green spaces shall be preserved as open space.”

The master plan was designed to preserve what is special about Vail, and we all have relied and depended on it. Does it mean something, or is it just a promise to be broken? Our Town Council must honor this long-term commitment to preserve and protect our precious green areas.

A January Vail Daily article said, “Vail to turn greener.” Is this true or not? Can a smooth-talking developer talk the council into rejecting its long-term commitment to preserve this green, landscaped area and, instead, turn East Meadow Drive into a narrow, urbanized, concrete canyon?

The proposed development would cause multiple negative impacts on our village by destroying one of our most precious green areas and by cheapening, commercializing and urbanizing this entryway to the village and making it look like any other ordinary urban area, to say nothing of usurping critical parts of the parking structure that may ultimately be needed for other public purposes.

Our council should reject this developer’s attempt to destroy this beautiful, green, mountain ambience. Of course, developers salivate over getting their hands on this public land. Don’t let them do it!

Tad Smith

El Paso, Texas

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