Vail Daily letter: Unneeded proposal
February 16, 2016
It seems the powers that be have trouble listening to the voices of Vail Valley residents when it comes to issues we truly care about. Whether we are talking about the perpetual push for the Skier Building, or the outrageous land swap proposals at Meadow Mountain, we seem to have a problem with ideas being repackaged in an effort to force the public to swallow these unwanted pills.
Maybe this is being pessimistic or untrustworthy, but how are we supposed to believe that a company that wanted to build an upscale housing community complete with chairlifts is suddenly concerned with affordable housing in the valley? And are we really to believe that $500,000 falls into the "affordable" category for the average valley local? Affordable housing is coined as being priced at 30 percent of an individual's income, I am pretty sure Vail's $10 per hour wage doesn't add up to that. I can't help but ponder that this developer is up the proverbial creek with a parcel of land that they no longer wish to use and is simply trying to convince us to turn over some more prime real estate.
Yes, there is a clear housing issue. However, the majority of locals moved here for a job that allowed them to partake in the beauty that surrounds us. If we are looking to cure the housing woes, building another Bachelor Gulch isn't going to help those of us that have already made this place our home. However, if Crave so desires land to build, why not use some of the parcels that have sat for ages, like Traer Creek's "no man's land" that has sat in litigation and limbo for years?
While I am not against the sustainable development of meaningful communities in our valley, I do think we should encourage the creation of the type of communities we need, and not let dollar signs and smooth tongues convince us to give away parts of our valley that can never be retrieved.