What are a town’s values?
VAIL – The crowd, about 200 strong, mulled around Donovan Pavilion with green-dot stickers, deciding what Vail needs more of and what it needs less of.More of an environmental leader? That got 37 dots. A rec center – 19 dots. Less highway noise scored 38 dots.
That exercise was the culmination of a workshop for Vail 20/20, which seeks to create a plan for the next 10-15 years in the town. Work began with two workshops in which residents, workers and others came up with “values” and “visions” for the community. Town officials are hoping the results of this week’s discussions will guide Vail for the next decade.The workshops are healthy for the town, especially after the divisive Crossroads redevelopment controversy, said Paul Kuzniar, a Vail second-home owner who attended the meeting.”If you don’t rejuvenate, you die,” he said. “All of us as we get older have to take measures to keep ourselves healthy.”The town will take the ideas from the meetings and draft a “strategic plan.””We wanted to kind of reconnect with the community and talk about what’s really important,” said Russ Forrest, Vail’s community development director.Will it get used?Residents considered eight values that the town formed in 1996 at “Vail Tomorrow,” the town’s last community plan. In small groups, they first decided what other values the town should have. Then they discussed what the town needs to do less or more of to support the 1996 values.Later, participants affixed the dots beside which of these ideas they supported.The issues of housing, a rec center, highway noise, environmental stewardship, pine-beetle-killed trees and support of the arts all emerged as leaders in the dot survey.Mark Cervantes of the Holiday Inn/Apex Lodge, who attended the workshop, said he hoped the input is actually used by the town.”I want to see something come out of it,” he said.Some ideas from 1996 came to fruition, Forrest said. Residents wanted more housing, Forrest said, and in the next decade, the town created several affordable homes, including the Middle Creek complex.John Reimers of East Vail said a lot of the issues seemed related to finding space for important things in the cramped Gore Creek Valley, like parking, housing or community centers. Reimers said he was impressed with the attendance at meeting.”It’s very positive that a lot of my neighbors came out,” he said.Karl Fauland of West Vail said he was surprised to see that many other residents shared his concerns, such as an emphasis on sustainability.”I just wanted to get a feel for the process,” he said. Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado
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