Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Josef Staufer

To Mayor Slifer, Councilwoman Donovan, Councilmen Cleveland and Logan:I would like to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of the majority of your constituency for having the courage to vote NO on the Crossroads proposal.With all the political pressure brought to bear by the developer, who started his “Bring people back to Vail” campaign long before the town even knew what he had in mind, it is comforting to know that the majority of the council (albeit a small one) still knows and cares about what Vail is all about.Vail Mountain has brought our guests here, and the alpine character and charm of Vail Village keeps bringing them back. Destroy that and you have really killed the goose that lays the golden egg.If we have learned anything from the past experience it should be that special development districts should NOT be left to the staff to interpret. Quoting a recent opinion, “the staff has run away with the special development district concept like a freight train out of control.”Any developer buys the land knowing fully well what the existing zoning is. He immediately applies for a special development district. He starts working with the staff, who recommends approval or denial to the planning commission. The staff, in my opinion, should not be allowed to either recommend approval or denial. They should present the facts and let the planning commission arrive at their own conclusion based on those facts. There should be well established guidelines from the council about what is and is not acceptable in terms of variances from the underlying zoning.When Crossroads first came in, the staff recommended denial. After MINUTE changes, the staff found it was compatible with the neighborhood and met the urban design guidelines and recommended approval. The planning commission members to one man (or woman) parroted “it meets urban design guidelines” before voting to approve.Before any new special development districts are being considered, I think it is important that the council establishes guidelines not only to the staff and the planning commissioner, but also for the developer, in whose advantage it is to know what the rules are and what variances he can reasonably expect.Again, thank you for voting NO.Josef StauferVailTilted toward VailEvery road that was ever built was a “dirt road.” Vail Pass road construction was started late in 1937 and continued through 1938-39. The road was paved in 1939 and was named Black Gore or Black Lakes Pass. Sometime later the name was changed to Vail Pass in honor of Charlie Vail, Colorado state highway engineer at the time of construction.I appreciate Dick’s work, or for that matter, anyone else who researches and records the history of this area. The article referred to above is a little too enthusiastic and too tilted toward Vail. Those of us who don’t live in the Gore Creek Valley, the home of Vail, still live in our chosen, and sometimes lifelong locations. We do not live in Greater Vail and we still get our mail at the U.S. Post Office that has been there since the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad went through the Eagle River Valley in 1887. About 75 years before anyone except his mother ever heard of Charlie Vail. When my address is changed to P.O. Box ____, Greater Vail, I’ll fall in line.Frank DollAvonVail, Colorado