Our classic dilemma | VailDaily.com

Our classic dilemma

Don RogersDaily Managing Editor

True development moratoriums, green building codes, land regulations that put wildlife values higher than today – these are essential parts of Eagle County’s future if residents are serious about smarter growth.If so, expect plenty of cranky builders, as well as ranchers who want to keep their options open to sell out for the big bucks.The alternative is more of the same, chunk by chunk, parceling of the county into high-end “communities,” gated or otherwise.So what’s it going to be? An erosion into wall-to-wall suburbia? Or most noxious of answers for purist property rights accolytes, land use rules that indeed are more restrictive than today’s zoning?The balance is tipped decidedly toward free for all. That’s painfully obvious to everyone who doesn’t own vast tracks of land to sell for a fortune to developers who will build and sell for another fortune.But this also is complicated for the bulk of people who live and work here in the real estate, financing, building and maintainance occupations. Shut off the tap and assuredly much of today’s working population won’t be here tomorrow. Leave it on full and watch buildout hit flood stage in no time. So there is no good choice between the two. But which is the better for community, for the environment, for the wildlife, for the long-term tourism that still forms the root of what makes this place so, so desirable?The better answer should be clear. Vail, Colorado

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