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Letters to the editor

Compiled by Daily staff

The simple lifeMy letter is in response to Austin Richardson’s column March 29 regarding big-box mania here in the valley. I would like to commend you for drawing attention to my every feeling about the gross consumerism that encompasses the Vail Valley. I would also like to touch on a couple of points that also need attention. Since moving here 12 years ago, I have witnessed quite a bit of change. One thing that has not changed, though, is the fact that people from all over this country come here with their very American gluttony and self-absorption and build their second, third or fourth “dream home.” Let us not limit it to the East Coasters. I have honestly experienced more people from Texas (yikes!) and California victimizing the area than people from the East. My point is not to defend the East Coast but to bring to light the fact that we are living in a resort town, not a ski town. It’s been this way for quite some time now. I am from the East Coast and of course did not come here to live the same existence I did there. I’ve always been willing to sacrifice comfort and convenience to live a gloriously simple life. I can certainly understand how you would come to this conclusion that suburban lifestyle originated there, but now I need to dispel the myth. Every part of the country has suffered suburbanization, and it’s origin cannot honestly be pinpointed. I think most people who move here to actually establish a life here do so to rid themselves of a certain lifestyle. So instead of wasting energy placing blame, we should all become more proactive in fighting the invasion of large corporations. They don’t follow any one demographic; they follow anyone that is willing to give them their money. So all of you that are so proud that you “live in the mountains” and complain about Wal-Mart and company and don’t do anything about it but support them by shopping there, shame on you. If you don’t want to live in a resort town, then make it a real town by powering together as a community. It’s easy, even if you’re from Jersey.Kim Smith VailDon’t cloud issueWith the Crossroads (Solaris) decision likely going to the voters, I hope that we can keep the debate on a factual basis and not let statistics and misrepresentation of facts cloud the issues. There are several town documents which apply to this project including zoning, master plans and land use plans. These documents provide DIFFERENT square footage allowances for Crossroads. The Town Council, the PEC and the town planning staff all encouraged the use of a special development district and the use of the master plan as the basis for calculating square footage. The early attempt by the developer to change the underlying zoning and work through the normal process was strongly DISCOURAGED by the town and therefore the old zoning was largely considered to be secondary to the master plan in the development of the SDD. Because this is a SDD, the height and other variances apply only to this building. Arguments that this could happen to Bridge Street are folly, given the current PEC and Town Council. The neighborhood of which this building is a part includes the Frontage Road/I-70 corridor – NOT Bridge Street. Next, there will no doubt be discussion of just what constitutes a public benefit. To me the public plaza for community events, the skating rink/pop jet fountain, the new theaters, bowling alley, arcade and other new retail all qualify as public benefits. They certainly make Vail a more conducive place to live and visit (as opposed to new curb and gutter). The question of private ownership is to me moot. Vail Mountain is privately owned and the greatest benefit (the reason for our existence) that the town has.Finally, a referendum has to a large extent already been held on this project. In the November Town Council elections, two council members who opposed Crossroads were defeated while three candidates who favored it were elected.Bill JewittTown of Vail Planning and Environmental Commission Vail, Colorado


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