Vail council puts off Crossroads plan decision
VAIL – Vail residents spoke with their hearts about a new Crossroads Tuesday. Their hearts have to pump a little longer.The Vail Town Council delayed the project Tuesday after several hours of often-emotional public comment. The council voted to work more with developer Peter Knobel on the design and scope of the building.A full house was on hand for the council’s first official hearing for the Crossroads plan, proposed by developer Peter Knobel. The plan would replace the current, 1970s-vintage shopping center with a six-story structure much larger than those around it. No one Tuesday argued the old building needs to be replaced, but the size of the new Crossroads has brought a host of complaints. Longtime Vail business owner Joe Staufer called the project “horrendous, overpowering.”Luc Meyer of the Left Bank restaurant said the project “changes the face of Vail.””We’re about to sell the soul of Vail,” resident Georgine Burton said.Owners of the condominiums in the Village Inn Plaza to the west of the project continued to voice their opposition to the building, based mostly on its size and how close it is to the western property line.”The building dwarfs and overshadows,” the neighboring condos, said attorney Ann Bishop, who represents several condo owners at Village Inn Plaza.
But supporters were also passionate that Crossroads will get Vail a much-needed economic boost.”I’m looking forward to taking my son to the ice rink and the movie theater,” said Mark Gordon.Supporters also said the plaza in the plan will be a plus for Vail. That plaza has been touted as a new gathering place in Vail Village.Resident Tim Parks said Vail is changing, and Crossroads can be part of that change.”I don’t think this is a little sleepy village any more,” Parks said. “I think it’s a very good use of the land.”Robert Aikens, owner of Verbatim Booksellers in the Village Inn Plaza, also supports the new Crossroads, and especially its promise to bring local residents back to Vail.”Need something to bring people back,” he said. “I’m holding on by the skin of my teeth trying to keep a bookstore in Vail.”In the end, though, council members said the project needs more work.”The plaza is as much an amenity to the developer as the public,” Councilman Kent Logan said, adding he was disappointed in the town staff for not demanding more changes to the building.
“Crossroads is a project that needs to get done,” Logan said. “We have to take a different approach to this project. But I don’t think we’re that far apart.”Logan urged the rest of the council to put off a decision, allowing time to work out the problems he saw with the project.Councilman Greg Moffet argued passionately for approval.” In order to maintain our community we have to evolve,” Moffet said. “This is the only project I’ve seen that adds real community benefits.”In the end, though, Dominic Mauriello, the planner working for Knobel, asked the council to put off the matter for another day.Mauriello asked for, and received, an extension to the council’s July 19 meeting, to give him, Knobel, and the town a chance to forge a compromise.
Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail DailyVail, Colorado