Too soon to OK Crossroads
January 8, 2006
Five years ago, our town was in economic decline.
It seemed that everyone and everything was moving downvalley. What a
difference $1 billion in re-development makes!
We have not as yet seen how some of the new developments will change
the look of our community. When the Four Seasons and Vail Plaza Hotel
are complete, the height and mass of these projects will surprise many
people. Most other projects seem a more appropriate scale.
There is one major project that is not yet approved and has created
wide discussion. In fact, the Crossroads redevelopment is all that
everyone seems to be talking about!
Virtually everyone wants Crossroads re-developed. Many are influenced
by amenities promised by the developer. But beyond that, there is deep
concern about a process that has allowed applicable zoning, covenants
and planning codes not to be followed. And more specifically there are
objections to the height and mass of the proposed project.
The homeowners association shares these concerns, recognizing that
they occur when a special development district is proposed.
The SDD is not new. Town councils in the past have approved many
projects that exceed height and mass rules in return for public
benefit. Past and present councils have considered these up-zoning
approvals carefully, often attempting to ensure that results are not
over-growth or inconsistent with community standards.
When they are justified, SDDs allow a compromise between the people's
desires and the public benefits. Successful projects include the
Austria House, the Golden Peak base lodge and other projects currently
As the sequence of events related to the Crossroads project are
playing out, it now appears that it's up to the Town Council to
mediate and approve a new Crossroads that achieves a compromise to
satisfy the opposing views and bring the community together. In doing
this, the council should demonstrate that this result reflects
adherence to the applicable town policy, review and approval
Until these are demonstrated, the homeowners association cannot
recommend approval of the project.
Getting this done is a big job and will require courage. If the
council is not successful, the community might lose a needed project.
It is also possible that dissatisfied people could take the issue back
to the people by petition calling for a vote! This result would be
very unfortunate and divisive. Let's all hope that the council, the
community and the developer can work together and achieve a viable
compromise that we all can support.
Alan Kosloff is the president of the Vail Village Homeowners
Vail Chamber and Business Association
January 8, 2006
To the members of the Planning and Environmental Commission:
Peter Knobel has once again submitted a proposal for the redevelopment of the
Crossroads building. His plans include many potential benefits to the Vail
community, and the delays in getting this project under way are a disservice to
the citizens and economy of Vail.
With Mr. Knobel's latest proposal set to be presented to the commission on
Monday, Jan. 9, we would like to lend our support to his endeavor.
The Vail Chamber and Business Association Board of Directors has unanimously
decided to support this most recent Crossroads redevelopment proposal.
In this vein, we are strongly encouraging you, the members of the Planning and
Environmental Commission, to swiftly and collectively approve this plan.
The redevelopment of Crossroads is supported and even longed for by a large
number of Vail citizens. Do the right thing and move forward with this integral
step to a better Vail.
The Board of Directors
Marka Brenner, Dale Bugby, John Cogswell, Kaye Ferry, Lourdes Ferzacca, Tom
Gorman, Ghiqui Hoffman, Nicole Hoffman-Ewing, Steve Rosenthal, Rich tenBraak,