Letter: We don’t want to be like everywhere on Earth | VailDaily.com

Letter: We don’t want to be like everywhere on Earth

Our ski mountains and valley markets itself “like no place on Earth,” but I’m afraid it is about to become “like everywhere else on Earth” and that’s too bad. From the bottom of Vail Pass where a large, unwelcome housing project is being debated all the way to Wolcott it seems there is a rush to build on every possible piece of open ground. Many are buildings that are supposed to be “affordable,” but they’re not. They are supposed to be “attainable,” but they’re not. Someone must have thought they were attractive, but they’re not that, either.

Even Minturn is about to lose much of its unique character when a number of old, but still functional, buildings will soon be torn down to make way for redevelopment. We are told the valley is 2,000 housing units short of meeting the current demand. Has anyone tallied up the number of new projects under construction, coming online, or approved for near-future construction? And has anyone done a study to see what the average rents and selling prices will be? Are they meeting the goals of “affordable” or “attainable?”

I wonder if an unspoiled few acres that make up Meadow Mountain might not be the right place to spend Real Estate Transfer Tax money. Somehow, money was found to buy Bair Ranch at our side of Glenwood Canyon and the Bud Gates Ranch near McCoy. Why not Meadow Mountain?

It makes me sad to see the direction our increasingly congested valley is going. While I understand the need for more housing — we’ve been short of housing since 1962, but somehow we muddled through — and while we seem to be willing to put up with more and more traffic,  we also seem to be in danger of losing much of what brought most of us here in the first place. I fear we are about to become “like everywhere else on Earth” — and that’s too bad.

Carolyn Swanepoel


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