I would like to propose that the housing authority consider a location other than the Mountain Bell site for affordable housing in Vail. The town of Vail offices, the Police Department, and the contingent parking lot stand on a large amount of land that is very poorly utilized. The existing buildings are old, rickety, unsightly, and they need to be replaced.
Why not bulldoze these structures and erect a new building there along the lines of the new (relatively) Sonnenalp complex with its charming and varied townhouse style facade? This building could be at least four stories tall, have underground parking for residents and town employees, town offices and the police department on the first floor, and affordable housing on the three upper floors. (Of course, temporary offices for the town employees and the Police Department would have to be provided during construction, but perhaps some of the work could be staged so that there is as little disruption of official duties as possible.)
Advantages to locating employee housing on the town of Vail site:
1. A low-profile child care center could be built at the Mountain Bell site, and the hillside and Forest Service land would remain undisturbed for hikers and cyclists.
2. Visitors to Vail and residents on the south side of the interstate wouldn’t be forced to gaze on a cheaply constructed, and possibly physically unattractive housing project.
3. Motorists traveling east on the highway would see the attractive town house style structure on the right, and would be tempted to turn off at exit 176 to visit our town.
4. The new building would be a charming addition to the landscape, act as a noise- blocking berm for nearby residents, and visually offend no one.
5. Using the Town land is a sensible alternative to destroying the natural beauty that now welcomes visitors as they exit the Interstate on the north side.
6. The seasonal employees living on the floors above the Police Department would be much closer to their jobs than if they were on the other side of the Interstate, and would probably think twice before having loud parties or engaging in rowdy behavior.
There must be some very important reason this location on the south side has not been considered for affordable housing. I just would like to know what it is.