Lawsuit now targets anti-Solaris group
VAIL ” The developer of the Roost Lodge has amended a lawsuit so an anti-Solaris “issue committee” and three Vail residents are named as defendants.
Timberline Roost Lodge LLC names Friends of Vail Village as the defendant in addition to Solaris opponents Andy Wiessner, Tom Steinberg and Joe Staufer.
When it first filed its suit last week, Timberline Roost Lodge mistakenly named as the defendant a limited liability company, also called Friends of Vail Village, created by a staff member of developer Peter Knobel, whose plan to renovate the Crossroads building is called “Solaris.”
The amended lawsuit says Friends of Vail Village made false statements in its newspaper ads, mailings and on its Web site about the Roost Lodge proposal.
The June newspaper ads said the Roost was proposed for seven stories, but the proposal has between one and four stories. The Web site said the proposal was eight stories tall, the lawsuit says.
The Roost developer said it asked the defendants to stop publishing the statements that are false, but that Friends of Vail Village continued to publish the statements. The suit says Wiessner, Steinberg and Staufer are leaders of the group.
Friends of Vail Village opposes overdevelopment in Vail as well as the Solaris proposal.
Friends of Vail Village published an apology in an advertisement in Friday’s edition of the Vail Daily.
“We regret our oversight, and apologize to the Roost and its owner,” the ad said. “We are re-publishing future ads and other campaign materials on the Crossroads project to delete any reference to the Roost Lodge.”
Timberline Roost Lodge acknowledges the apology in its amended lawsuit.
It says the “purported retraction was nothing more than another advertisement published by Friends of Vail Village to further its anti-development campaign which is based on disinformation and misrepresentations.”
The claims against the defendant exceed $100,000, the lawsuit says. Timberline Roost Lodge attorney Matt Ferguson said he believes the people who were disseminating false information would be liable.
Delays in the Roost development that may be caused by the claims hurt his client, Ferguson said.
“Their obvious intent by including the Roost Lodge was trying to foment opposition at the citizen and (planning and zoning) levels,” Ferguson said. “Time is money.”
Wiessner had no comment. Staufer said he didn’t know about the lawsuit. Steinberg, who was named in the lawsuit filed Friday, said last week that he had no comment. John Dunn, an Avon lawyer, said Tuesday that he has done work for Friends of Vail Village, but he hasn’t seen the lawsuit.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.