Letter: Are we overbuilding in this valley? Here’s the answer

Finally … someone has done the research and published the answer to the discussion we are hearing valley-wide:  “Are we overbuilding this valley?”  And the answer is a resounding YES!

In his column in the August 30 edition of the Vail Daily, Norman Bowles states: “Vail Daily stories report proposals for at least 5,000 additional housing units … in this valley.  That is enough housing for more than another 15,000 people.” He goes on to detail how many and where.

It is pretty clear that the town and county planning commissions aren’t talking with each other or they would have recognized long ago that we are not only overplanning and overbuilding, but we are ruining what we came here for — a non-urban lifestyle in a beautiful mountain setting.

One additional detail Norman did not include is the rental or sales rates at which these projects will be offered. Will they meet the need for workforce housing or be targeted more to second homebuyers leaving us with a still under-served population, but lots more rooftops and concrete?  If Norman had gone a bit farther in his report I think it would have become quite clear that there will be some landlords, developers, and lenders who will be faced with empty or unsold units. Remember the early days of Sun Ridge and Mountain Stream? Others?

Soon enough we will find out just how much of this is truly “affordable” or even necessary.

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Carolyn Swanepoel


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