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Letters to the editor

Sheika Gramshammer

This letter was sent to the Vail Town Council:Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council: I am submitting this letter in an effort to share my observations and concerns about the proposed development at the Crossroads shopping center. As you well know, Pepi and I have lived here for more than 40 years, and it is here that we have made our business, raised our children and contributed to the community whenever we’ve seen a need that we could positively address. So I write this letter not with any contempt or personal angst, but because I hope to remind you of some of the values and objectives on which our town was conceived.Having looked at the plans presented by Peter Knobel, I am generally impressed and supportive of his design. I truly believe that his efforts will help to revitalize our village core, and I am enthusiastic that someone of such stature is eager to invest in our community. I do, however, have a genuine concern with the height of the building as a whole, but more specifically, the height of the wing on the west side of the proposal. I sincerely appreciate that the structure, as it parallels I-70, will in fact create a sound barrier and mitigate some of the highway noise. But I don’t see a need to allow the same height considerations throughout the entire project.One of the things that has made our piece of paradise so inviting and unique is that the Bavarian style of architecture has surpassed the test of time. That is not to say that new buildings must re-create the past, but it is vitally important that we maintain the views and the visual corridors inherent in this mountain town. The proposed development, as is, dwarfs the existing buildings it abuts. Gone will be the views from Meadow Drive and the breathtaking sight of the Gore Range throughout the day and in the evening’s alpine glow.I can only believe, no, I know for a fact, that our founding father’s vision for our town was to maximize its potential by maintaining its landscape, doing all that was possible to keep open spaces open and the skylines building-free. I think allowing the excessive height on the west wing of Mr. Knobel’s project is a discredit to that vision and will severely impact all that has been worked for in the last 40-plus years.I have no reason to believe that Mr. Knobel’s intentions are anything other than pure. But I caution you to remember that he is a new developer in our midst and though his plan has many positive merits, it is likely that once it is complete, he will be on his way to build in other areas. With that being said, I encourage you to trust some of us long-timers, listen to our wisdom and step back this proposed development to make it an enhancement rather than a blemish to our beautiful town.Thank you for giving my thoughts your consideration.Sheika GramshammerVail


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