Vail Daily letter: Hold firm, Avon Town Council |

Vail Daily letter: Hold firm, Avon Town Council

Howard Leavitt
Vail, CO, Colorado

Mayor Carroll and Avon Town Council members: Tonight you may make the final decision on whether to support the recommendation handed down by our Avon Planning and Zoning Commission by denying the final development plan as proposed by the developer.

While we’ve heard many times, especially from the developer, the metro district and the bank to which they are both beholden, that approval would avoid further litigation — and nobody really wants that. The expedient route for all involved would be to suck it up and sign off on this mess.

I would like to take this opportunity to suggest to you that this task you have undertaken is not about expediency, but about no less than the future direction that our town takes.

As our elected officials, this is the task you are charged with: to help guide our town into the future. Sometimes the route may be strewn with obstacles and challenges and fraught with the temptation to do the expedient thing.

If we allow the threat and cost of further litigation to act as a foil, the decision that follows may not only be far reaching and with long-lasting impacts on Avon, but the ramifications of precedent will long be felt throughout the valley.

This is what the developer wants. This is all the developer knows. This is the means by which this developer operates. Litigate into submission. And once victory is realized, litigate some more.

I would suggest that the road that has taken us here since 1998 was paved with bad intentions. We were threatened into submission at that time and history is about to repeat itself — unless, of course, you finally draw the line and take a stand.

If you approve the plan, the developer, as sure as his track record would imply, will not stop here. With no controls and undefined, open-ended benefits to the developer, the problems will have only just begun.

I have been here long enough to know that responsible and appropriate development has its place. And responsible and appropriate development occurs when everyone abides by the same rules and meets the same set of standards for approval.

By that simple equation, you must deny the final plan and ask the developer to come back in good faith on the town’s development standards – not theirs and not the bank’s – so that their project can finally be developed to the benefit of all.

Thanks for your time, your efforts and your patience in dealing with this challenge.

Howard Leavitt


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