Urbanizing Eagle-Vail | VailDaily.com

Urbanizing Eagle-Vail

Emily Towell, Eagle-Vail

As I’ve been reading about the recent development ideas for Eagle-Vail, so many questions pop into my head. Why are we thinking about building more when there already is so much construction that is being done poorly in this valley?

Should we really be considering all this development in this economy? Why aren’t we working harder to fix up what we have as opposed to build new? What is it that draws the people here, the ones who pay our wages? Why did you come here?

I’ve recently been shopping for a home, so I’ve been in numerous Eagle-Vail dwellings. There exists a “workforce housing” if by that they mean unkempt, unloved, and undesirable: a two-hundred-square-foot apartment under the highway, nevermind the stains on the carpet and that smell, $1,200 a month please. Who wants to make a life there?

I’ve spent my entire adult life renting in ski towns, five years in Eagle-Vail. I know I have cared about where I lived, even if it was only for a year, (not all renters are dirt-bags). and I’ve had landlords that in general have cared. Many people seem to look at real estate solely as an investment, big profit, as little as work as possible. They don’t care if the townhouse they rent out is trashed, because the guy he sells it to in two years (for a huge profit) won’t. That new owner is going to turn around and sure enough, find someone desperate enough in November to rent it. If the owners of a property don’t really care, why should a transient kid care who’s here for the winter?

Again, why did you come here?

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I came for the outdoors, the beauty, the quiet. The tourists come here to “get away” Get away from what? I don’t think anyone wants the Vail Valley to become a place that we feel the need to get away from, too. I love it here. I worry the reasons I came here are disappearing.

I tend to support improvements, not always development. Let’s take better care of what we have, spruce up the apartment buildings and make them into places you’d be willing to take mom. Property owners need to take accountability and make these homes theirs, even if they rent them. I think owner pride can encourage renters to follow suit, and if not, well that’s what a security deposit is for. It may not always be fair, it may be more work, but now as a homeowner in the Vail Valley after years of renting, I feel it is my, and their, responsibility to the community as a whole.

Sure, we can build more in Eagle-Vail, but if done for the sake of development, (i.e.. bigger always must be better) I think we lose some of the neighborhood feel that is here. In a valley that is rapidly filling up with cookie-cutter “designed” communities, do we really need all this? I don’t need a new cafe built, why not make somewhere already existing in Eagle-Vail a more desirable place to go? It’s not as if Avon is hours away. Eagle-Vail is a neighborhood, why can’t we focus on improving what we have, instead of trying to make it into its own entity. When we can’t seem to even take care of what we already have, why are we trying to do more?

I support real housing that real people would actually want to live in, not a storage shed to hide the undesirable workforce away from all the beautiful people. This is my home, not a development project.

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