Letter: Geologic hazards on East Vail proposed housing site
Sunday, between rainstorms, I walked the social trail from the end of Lupine into the Vail Memorial Park and, as the rain began, back to the asphalt bike path. Glancing up at the East Vail cliffs above Exit 180 I saw a white cascade of water pouring down the hillside toward the frontage road.
Looking more intently, I saw a second, wider waterfall pouring over the cliff of the amphitheater walls just to the west, and below it at the next rock band, a wider lower falls. Wondering where all that water was going, I drove back to Vail on the north frontage road stopping just below the 5-acre proposed building site for workforce housing. There I saw wetlands with a steady influx of two streams from the two falls
The developer is aware of seasonal drainage here, but this is way beyond what he claims can be controlled working with the Army Corps of Engineers. The protected Natural Area Preserve status of the 17 or so acres to the east of the housing site has been labeled geologically sensitive as is known for rockfall and slumping when saturated in wet years. But what resident in this project would want two waterfalls above their homes and two streams running through their property, even only “seasonally?”
And how stable are those rocks and soils above? The entire parcel, including the 5-acre project piece, is not a building site for 270-350 residents, it is a candidate for open space and N.A.P. designation. I invite you to go see for yourself.