Vail Daily letter: Against land swap | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Against land swap

The developers of the stalled Battle Mountain development are at it again. This time they want to acquire all of Meadow Mountain, about 4,700 acres, from south of central Minturn all the way to the eastern edge of Beaver Creek Ski Area and they plan to build something in the area of 1,700 houses, some of which would be of similar density to that of Eagle-Vail and Singletree.

The motivation for this development is to attempt to resuscitate a bad idea that was sidelined by an economic downturn. Battle Mountain Development (owned by Lubert Adler and Crave Real Estate Ventures) wants to acquire Meadow Mountain solely to pull itself out of the financial blunder that Battle Mountain has become.

In our meeting with Battle Mountain Development there was no mention of the good of the community, the betterment of Minturn, or the benefit to the Vail Valley as a whole. In fact, the stress that the increase of traffic would put on Dowd Junction was never addressed. The idea that they could leave 3,ooo acres open to the public is laughable. No one paying millions of dollars for a home is going to want people traipsing through their back yards. Look at Beaver Creek, where there are security guards stopping you if you drive through a development. There was also no mention of the negative impact on our valleywide recreation or of the hunting grounds and wildlife area that would be destroyed or of the snowmobiling, hiking, horseback riding, sledding, walking opportunities that would be eliminated.

The company¹s representatives did talk about the high density housing that would occupy all of the lower slopes above the Forest Service office and the multi-million dollar homes that would cover all of the upper slopes above Minturn and Dowd Junction — homes that would be just a couple hundred feet from the Holy Cross Wilderness boundary! They were quick to tell us that the development would double the size of Minturn! This would destroy the unique ambiance of Minturn, one of the last authentic towns in the area. The residents of Vail Valley need to make their feelings known to the Forest Service before the developers can complete the land swap. Yes, we live in Minturn and it will affect us quite a bit, but it will affect all of us who love this valley and what is left of the open spaces. We don't need more homes for the 1 percent, and we don't need less access, less open space in the valley.

Claire Beck and David Middleton