If Solaris loses, project won’t be back soon | VailDaily.com

If Solaris loses, project won’t be back soon

Special to the DailyDeveloper Peter Knobel says his Solaris project 'may never happen' if voters Tuesday reject his latest design.

VAIL ” It all comes down to a “yes” or a “no.”

A “yes” vote will uphold Town Council’s approval of the Solaris proposal, and the developer will proceed with plans for construction. A “no” repeals the law that allows the project to be built, leaving the future of the Crossroads property in question.

On March 21, the Town Council approved a law that created the “special development district” that allows for the construction of Solaris. The ballot question asks if that vote should be upheld.

Without the “special development district,” building rules dictate Solaris can be no more than 38 feet high (instead of the 99.9 feet height that’s being proposed) and can have less than a quarter of the condo space that’s being proposed.

If “yes” prevails, the project would then go before the town’s design board, which must approve the design and landscaping of the plan. Then the developer must finish building plans and apply for building permits.

Demolition would begin between April and June 2007 and construction would last 24 months and be completed in the spring or summer of 2009, said Craig Cohn, director of sales, leasing and marketing for Solaris.

If the town votes “no,” then the law allowing Solaris to be built would be repealed.

Opponents of the project, which object to its height and bulk, have implored developer Peter Knobel to take a story or two off of his building. Knobel has said he will not do that.

In a mailing to voters, Knobel said the redevelopment of Crossroads “may never happen” if voters reject the project. A redesign of the project would take two to three years to design and get approvals for, Knobel said.

“If voters repeal the ordinance approving the new Crossroads, the project is dead,” Knobel said.

On Monday, Knobel said there’s no “Plan B.”

“We have no plans to develop and submit anything else,” he said.

With the special development district rescinded, the developer would have to resubmit a plan from the starting point, with new analysis from town staff and new approvals from the planning board and the Town Council.

“It may take a little less time because people are so familiar with the piece of property,” said Dominic Mauriello, Knobel’s planner. “But it won’t be significantly less time.”

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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