To: Mayor Slifer
and Town Council
From: Alan Kosloff and
Board of Directors
Date: March 21, 2006
RE: Crossroads at
Vail Special Development District Application
VVHA Board of Directors requested in their December 29, 2005 letter to the
Town of Vail that the Town Council work to achieve compromise among the
applicant, affected property owners, and other interests to build a
community consensus with respect to the review and approval of the proposed
Crossroads Special Development District. Should the concerns of affected
parties remain unresolved, their recourse is to exercise their right to
appeal the Council’s decision directly to the Vail electorate or the
Association has, for some time, been concerned with the potential for abuse
of the Special Development District (SDD). The Association
recommends that reform of development regulations should be adopted that
would lead to improved consensus and community building among the Town of
Vail’s residents and property owners. The Association urges that the Town
Council should initiate as soon as possible and implement on a timely basis
the following reforms.
Special Development District review criteria should be more specific as to
expectations for compliance with governing master plans and the degree of
allowable deviation from underlying zoning.
Greater emphasis should be placed upon the recommendations of master
plans, as well as the preparation and administration of master plans for
all neighborhoods and service/infrastructure functions of the community.
3. Efforts should be increased to expand public participation,
notification and knowledge concerning property owner’s rights and
responsibilities with respect to the review and approval process for
Special Development Districts, master planning, zoning amendments and
4. The public hearing process should be structured so that there is
a balance of opportunity for the applicant and parties-of-record to argue
their position, both in writing and verbally, before the public, town
staff and Town Council during the application, public hearing and review
5. Exparte (inappropriate influence) provisions should apply to
private contact with elected and appointed officials both prior to and
after application for development permits. Contact should be conducted in
open public session.
6. The language and justification, financial and otherwise, for
Town Staff recommended agreements of
developer improvements, assessment and imposition of impact fees, the
allocation of public assets, and conditions of approval should be
completed and available to the public prior to the release of a
development application for public hearing and review.
7. Zoning development standards, notification requirements,
including public hearing rights and responsibilities should be made more
comprehendible to the layman. They should become less reliant upon staff
interpretation, e.g. height standards. Vague evaluation criteria should
be replaced with master plan compliance requirements.
Association has the following specific concerns with respect to the
Crossroads SDD Developer Improvement Agreement (DIA).
of time the DIA is effective is for the “life of the SDD.” If the SDD is
ever repealed and replaced with a standard zone district, would such an
action terminate the DIA? The procedure terminating a SDD and replacing
it with a standard zone district has occurred in the Town of Vail, within
recent years, on a property in the same neighborhood. It is
not appropriate for the developer to
receive a financial windfall, if the DIA is terminated within a timeframe
that does not allow the financial value of the public assets and amenities
to be fully realized.
Association believes it is appropriate that the DIA contain a provision
for the Crossroads SDD to participate in a voluntary advisory Traffic
Management Committee composed of business and residential property owners
sharing common traffic routes and infrastructure facilities (parking and
loading & delivery) throughout Vail Village. A similar provision has been
provided in other major projects in both Vail Village and Golden Peak.
Participation is important as the Crossroads proposal has the potential,
in conjunction with an increase in the cumulative traffic demand for Vail
Village or the conduct of special events, to cause adverse implication for
two key intersections. Each of these borderline intersections have the
potential to reach capacity, resulting in undesirable traffic congestion.
Traffic congestion would adversely affect the immediate area and the
resort town center as a whole.
Association has the following specific concerns with respect to compliance
with the Crossroads SDD review criteria.
difference in the deviations between the applicant’s proposal and the
principle underlying zoning standards are: Height/61.9 feet, GRFA/133.6%,
Site Coverage/18.6%. The proposal fails to attain an appropriate
compromise with Special Development District review criteria, most
specifically, the criterion concerning compatibility and sensitivity to
the immediate environment, neighborhood and adjacent properties relative
to architectural design, scale, bulk, building height, buffer zones,
identity, character, visual integrity and orientation. The failure
concerns those directly adjacent neighbors to the west and others in the
surrounding Vail Village neighborhood.
The repetitious roof form and the lack of
sufficient low-rise structures or landscape buffers in the foreground
accentuate the verticality of the south, west, and north facades. The
architectural style and orientation over emphasizes the building’s bulk and
height. It creates a visual integrity that is insensitive and incompatible
with the immediate environment, to the detriment of adjacent properties and
the surrounding neighborhood.