Middle Creek jumps a hoop | VailDaily.com

Middle Creek jumps a hoop

Don Rogers

Hey, it only took a year or so to reach this point, in what opponents like to paint as a “short cut.”

We note the objections to this much-needed affordable housing plan have picked up little in the logic department. Among the arguments against the project launched Monday: which part of Italy the design borrows from on the north side of the freeway, where there is no distinctive style for six long miles; and the lack of “relationship” to that horrid microwave tower’s design (thank the heavens for that much). Never mind that’s a concern for the Design Review Board and not the Planning and Environmental Commission. What’s next, a return of the rock-fall threat for the design board’s consideration?

Shortcut, indeed. Try obfuscation. Seen through the “build low and out; no, high and tight” looking glass, along with the Queen of Hearts nature of the Vail gristmill over the past year with this proposal, “shortcut” fully des-erves those quote marks. Our view is that the PEC and DRB have actually been remarkably patient with the myriad exaggerated sins of this project, and diligent about putting the developer through his paces to reach the right construction and environmental standards.

We’re looking forward to more similarly sensible decisions. And the day when the naysayers move on to some other dire worries about progress, quite forgetting about the evils that were sure to come with the Commons, the logging trucks, Ford Amphitheater, Dobson Arena, roundabouts and even the ice bubble – none of which proved true.

Still, the Middle Creek developer has a couple of big hoops left to try to jump through. The DRB will pass judgment, and there’s the main show: the Town Council itself.

The project is objectively needed, considering the tightness of the rental market in the long term, using statistics somewhat more empirical than counting classifieds for the entire valley in August or September.

Town leaders could have tucked it more out of sight, and that might be a weakness, though not a crippling one. This is a great time to take advantage of lower interest and building costs. And flawed as critics view the project, we believe it would be a big, big step in the right direction for Vail as a community at the cusp of regenerating itself.

We can only hope the Town Council members are as sensible as the PEC and move this proposal to fruition. It’s time to be stepping forward and doing, rather than following that typical downcycle of communities in decline, finding more reasons to stagnate in fear than to act proactively to address a problem as our pioneers were just brave enough to do.


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