Letter: Count me as an ‘aggrieved citizen’ on Booth Heights
How am I “aggrieved?” Let me count the ways.
I’ve lost hours of sleep, not to mention all the time I’ve spent writing two dozen letters, offering comments following the study of agendas within agendas, and staff memos, for both the Vail Town Council and the town’s Planning and Environmental Commission, as well as hours spent in meetings of the same bodies.
More time has been spent reviewing documents of wildlife biologists and the effort it has taken to communicate the import of these to decision-makers over months of public meetings.
There’s also the anguish that personal property rights should trump mission statements calling for preserving the environment, even to the point of risking extirpation of an iconic herd of bighorn sheep, beloved by visitors and residents, and the personal pain and grief from the realization that I might be viewing for the last spring the bighorn ewes, yearlings, on their usual forage grounds along the frontage road to East Vail.
There are the painful imaginings of the loss of a lovely primeval landscape at the foot of the East Vail cliffs north of Interstate Exit 180, soon to be defaced by a 60-foot high trench to protect numerous massive buildings from inevitable rockfall from cliff tops.
And there’s a disappointment in fellow citizens I thought deserving of my respect that they would not recuse themselves from voting in the face of obvious conflicts of personal interest.
There’s distress that elected officials whom I thought far better of would put the will of Vail Resorts ahead of that of a clear majority of Vail citizens, then duck a public vote on that same position by hiding behind a contested 4-3 vote by a group of appointed, not elected, officials.
There’s the shock that these same elected officials would again push the screening of a record number of appeals of the controversial decision for the resort company to an appointed official, decent and fair as that individual might be, to determine whether these appellants are sufficiently “aggrieved” for their appeal to have “standing.”
Community Development Director Matt Gennett, members of the Vail Town Council and Planning and Environmental Commission, do you hear my pain? Do you share it? Reverse this bad decision!