Live updates: Vail Town Council upholds PEC approval of Booth Heights
VAIL — The Vail Town Council has scheduled four hours at its regular meeting on Tuesday night to hear appeals concerning the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission’s Aug. 26 approval of the Booth Heights housing proposal.
Follow along with live updates from Tuesday night’s appeals hearing.
9:49 p.m.: Brooke Chestnut: “When I was on Everest last year, if you go to that destination too fast, bad things happen.”
9:18 p.m.: Joseph Staufer: “I don’t know where the pressure comes in to push it through. … When I was on the council, we deferred to the new council to make the decision. This may be something to consider since there are so many questions that haven’t been answered.”
9:03 p.m: Brian Stockmar: “By your vote here tonight, you have the opportunity to unite the town or tear it apart. Please do the right thing tonight. This information is getting out. Look at the Guardian, The New York Times. Our reputation is getting severely damaged, and if we process and develop this property, I fear that there’s a likelihood that Vail’s reputation will be severely damaged.”
8:56 p.m.: Michael Cacioppo: “The public should have a right to vote on just about anything. To not allow a public vote is just wrong. And what we fought on in 1983. Why not have a public vote? … John-Ryan Lockman, who voted, didn’t pass the smell test. I think that he had more than an appearance of a conflict of interest, and all judges need in Colorado is the appearance. But it’s still a questionable issue of whether he should have voted, period. I just do not understand how Vail Resorts got away with not paying taxes all those years. They’ve got a moral obligation to pay the same property taxes that the rest of us have paid.”
8:50 p.m.: Charlie Langmaid on rockfall berm: “Who will be liable if it doesn’t work? Will all residents be required to sign a document that they’re living in a geological risk area?”
8:44 p.m.: Pete Feistmann: “Three things, that are going to take more than two weeks to review. There’s still no rendering with the berm on it. I think we know why. The mitigation plan isn’t really a mitigation plan. It’s a pittance. Anybody who believes is going to be 17 vehicles per hour in the morning, 24 cars per hour in the afternoon, that just defies common sense when there are between 200 and 400 people in that development. … Why are you pushing to a conclusion so quickly?”
8:24 p.m.: Bob Essin to the council: “There’s plenty of evidence contrary to what you’ve heard from the developer that you can make your decision. I think the hypocrisy issue is important. I think the bighorn situation is important. If there’s any doubt about it, it should be decided in favor of (the sheep). I think that the bottom line issue for Vail Resorts on this particular property is just money and stock value and that’s what we’re dealing with, in my opinion. I think you should turn down and reverse the decision of the commission and negotiate to purchase the property, if not condemn it.”
8:11 p.m.: O’Connor on employee housing: “This is not easy anywhere. No other communities are interested in the town of vail solving their problem. with. There’s always a public debate about these types of problems. When you have a site specifically zoned for this, you have to take advantage of it.”
8 p.m.: O’Connor on claims that the development will be an eyesore at the East entrance into Vail: “Nobody comes from the Eagle airport and sees West Vail and Chamonix and says, ‘We need to stop coming here.'”
7:46 p.m.: O’Connor: “The development does not impact the view of immediate neighbors because there are no immediate neighbors.”
7:40 p.m. Michael O’Connor: “There’s nothing new tonight that hasn’t been addressed in the PEC process. There’s no reason that the town council can’t make a final decision.”
7:39 p.m.: Michael O’Connor at the outset of his presentation: “I’m here to outline a plan that meets all the requirements of the town code. I’m afraid this hearing is one final attempt to draw out the review process because they don’t want it in their backyard.”
7:07 p.m.: Anthony Ryerson: “Please don’t allow this epic mistake.”
6:51 p.m.: Betsy Kiehl to the council: “This is a view that cannot be replicated down the road. it is unique and we must preserve it. … This is my view that you’ll be taking away, and I’m passionate about that view.”
6:36 p.m.: Julie Conn: “All of us have a responsibility to preserve the beauty of this valley for future generations. I sincerely hope you will listen to my appeal and decide in the favor to the appellants, and overturn the PEC decision to go forward with Booth Heights.”
6:30 p.m.: Bob Essin to the Vail Town Council: “I think this is the most important decision you will have made when you’re on the town council and one of the most important any town council will make. This will be your Vail legacy if the bighorns are gone.”
Those units are all deed-restricted, meaning that only people who work an annual average of 30 hours per week can live there. That keeps the apartments out of the short-term rental pool and available to local residents.