Letter: To the Vail Town Council: Consider tabling East Vail discussion
October 2, 2017
I sent the following letter to the Vail Town Council on Thursday, Sept. 28. The council will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 3, to consider the second approval of the rezoning ordinance related to the East Vail parcel. I urge all interested community members to be present Tuesday to express their views on the matter.
Dear friends and neighbors on the Town Council: I am writing to ask that you present a motion at your meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, to table a second vote on the rezoning of the East Vail parcel until mid-November.
You have heard enough to know that the East Vail parcel is an unfortunate choice for employee housing for many reasons. You have also heard enough to know that those who oppose the rezoning understand and are sympathetic to the need for affordable employee housing but believe that there are better alternatives than the East Vail parcel.
Right now, Vail Resorts has no incentive to discuss alternatives because it appears that a majority of the council will approve the rezoning on Tuesday. However, if you table a second vote on the proposal — say through Nov. 21 — you will be sending a very powerful message to each of the "players."
• To Vail Resorts, you will be saying get serious and talk to us (the town) about alternatives — the town-owned site west of Middle Creek and your property at Ever Vail.
• To those who believe that development on the East Vail site would mean the loss of our iconic bighorn sheep herd, you will be saying that you can have time to bring in your own experts to address the issue because to date we've only heard from Vail Resorts' paid consultants.
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• To the community, you will be acknowledging that there are some serious questions about the suitability of the rezoning and whether or not Vail Resorts has adequately met the Planning and Environmental Commission's eight criteria, and you will be saying that you want to level the playing field by allowing community members time to prepare a thorough response to Vail Resorts' elaborate presentation.
Tabling isn't saying no. It is saying we need more time before we make an irrevocable decision that could do harm in the long run. Tabling, in other words, is doing the right thing as responsible leaders of this wonderful community.
Thank you for your consideration.