Letter: With election season looming, let’s talk about density in Vail
Editor’s note: Find a cited version of this letter at http://www.vaildaily.com.
A new town of Vail election season is now here. I would like to bring up an issue that I hope will be discussed by the candidates for the Vail Council in detail: density!
Having talked with lots of guests, second-home owners, as well as many residents, I hear that lots of people are not happy with the direction in which Vail is heading. We are not the mountain town we came to. It is instead becoming a small city.
There is pressure on open space and demand for more housing. In fact, there has been discussion to add 2,000 more housing units and 500,000 square feet more commercial space.
These additions would be in a town that has virtually no space left. It is essentially built out. The only answer for these developers is to go higher and add substantially to density. Recent decisions of the Vail Town Council have created special development districts that are allowed to go beyond the height and setback regulations that have served Vail well over the years.
Vail has been awarded for its sustainability efforts. But the pressure of too much expansion flies in the face of a mountain resort town that needs wildlife, open space and beauty.
If people are feeling that Vail is already changing too much, what will be the result of future expansions? Guests cannot vote in elections. Second-home owners cannot vote in Vail elections. They can only choose to spend their money and time at other locations.
More of us need to take into account the needs and desires of all the stakeholders in town, whether they vote or not, when we enter the ballot box. This year’s election can be very important in determining what lies ahead.