Master plan guided Crossroads re-do |

Master plan guided Crossroads re-do

Dominic Mauriello

Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight on the approval granted for the Crossroads (now Solaris) project. To clarify some misinformation out there, the facts are:n The building is six stories along the South Frontage Road and four stories along East Meadow Drive except where there is no building at all for 200 plus feet which is the public plaza. The public plaza is framed by a two-story retail portion of the building. n If you consult the Vail Village Master Plan document you will see it designates the Bridge Street area as three to four stories. That we will ever see eight-story buildings on Bridge Street is pure hysteria.n The town-approved Developer Improvement Agreement guarantees operation of all of the public amenities including the plaza, ice rink, movie theaters and bowling alley FOREVER, or the Town can collect penalties of more than $4 million per year from the developer.When I was hired as the planner nearly three years ago to help the owner of the Crossroads property, the work that had been completed for the project included only a land survey of the property and some soils testing. My first task was to review the Town of Vail’s land use plans, the Vail Village Master Plan, the zoning code, the Streetscape Master Plan, and all other relevant comprehensive planning documents.That process lead to the plans that were approved by the Vail Town Council on March 21. The Vail Village Master Plan, the Vail Streetscape Master Plan, and the Vail Land Use Plan provided the best guidance for understanding the town’s goals and objectives for the Crossroads property, as these documents were adopted in the late 1980s and 1990s and provided a more current vision for the town. The zoning on the Crossroads property was established in the 1960s and had changed little since that time. In fact, the existing Crossroads buildings and uses on the property today bear little resemblance to the outdated zoning.More specifically, the town’s current guiding documents recommended for Crossroads:n High density residential on the majority of the property (no mention of hotels). n Mixed use commercial and residential on the remainder of the property. n A public plaza where the surface parking is located today. n Relocate loading and delivery to the South Frontage Road .n Concentrate taller buildings of six stores along the S. Frontage Road .n Buildings of four stories along East Meadow Drive. n Provide a pedestrian connection through the project to Village Inn Plaza. n Provide retail commercial spaces to improve the commerce of the town. n Provide entertainment-oriented uses to improve the vitality of the town, especially in the evening. n Provide public restrooms. n Provide a plaza area to accommodate special event venues. n Conceal all parking underground. n Redevelop East Meadow Drive and Village Center Road with pavers and snowmelt. n Provide medians within the South Frontage Road. If that list sounds pretty familiar, it should. It is the same list used to describe the Crossroads project. The Crossroads team working diligently over nearly 20 months to craft a plan and receive approval for a redevelopment project that meets nearly all of the town’s goals for this parcel and this area of Vail Village. (Approval, by the way, was recommended by town planning staff and the Planning and Environmental Commission – twice – and approved by the Vail Town Council.)If you’d like to learn more about the redevelopment of Crossroads, I encourage everyone to join the developer and the design team every Monday for the next month from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Crossroads space E235. Dominic Mauriello is the principal of Avon-based Mauriello Planning Group, LLC. He was a former town planner in Florida and with the town of Vail. His firm currently assists landowners with understanding the rules and governmental process required for development of property so that landowners develop plans that are in tune with the goals outlined for specific parcels within a community.Vail, Colorado

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