Letter: Booth Heights proposal must be scrutinized
To the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission: Thank you for your work to date on the Booth Heights project. I am very concerned, however, that the PEC will not scrutinize the Booth Heights project thoroughly. My hope is that the PEC will hire its own wildlife experts to study the effect on the wildlife corridor in the area and the winter grazing area of the bighorn sheep, and will analyze and publish cost estimates to provide services to the project, to provide additional parking in town if there is not enough parking for residents onsite and the continuing costs to mitigate the effects of the project on the area.
I also hope that the PEC will, in its planning capacity, provide the public with details on how having 300 or more residents in this part of Vail will affect the neighborhood and the costs to rest of us who live in Vail. Finally, I hope that the PEC will refer the approval of the Booth Heights project to the full town council.
I worry that the PEC’s process considering this project will not be transparent and will not be slow and considered, giving the community time to absorb the implications of it. I view it as a David and Goliath situation in which David cannot win — where the powers in town are calling the shots and the little people will have no voice and no influence. In my opinion, additional housing in Vail should not be built if the costs to wildlife or to the town are not completely explored and accepted by the community. Indeed, this is such an important issue, I believe that the town should conduct a referendum on the issue.