Special deal for Crossroads?
Special to the Daily
January 11, 2006
This is the first installment from the Vail
Village Homeowners Association's 2005 Annual Long Report to the
association's membership and constituencies. The full report can be
obtained on the association's Web site at
Crossroads redevelopment: A proposal to redevelop the Crossroads
complex in Vail Village was withdrawn by the developer from
consideration by Vail Town Council in August. The Town Council at that
time was opposed (4-3) to the project. The proposal will again be
submitted in December for reconsideration.
It is the perception of some observers that developer activism in the
recent Town Council election may have reversed the earlier split vote
of the council so that the proposed project would now receive
The association favors the redevelopment of Crossroads, but has been
unable to forge a compromise between the developer and adjacent
property owners who objected to the height, site plan and density of
Likewise, the association remains to be convinced that the project is
in full compliance with the spirit and intent of the town of Vail's
development regulations which apply equitably to all property owners
in the same or similar circumstances as it applies to impact fees and
the like.There are significant differences between the proposal, the
Vail Village Master Plan, and the underlying zoning. A nearby
condominium project, with similar disparities, was required to first
amend the master plan and underlying zoning through the public review
The dispute arises because the project is exempt from the scrutiny
involved with the amendment procedures as it is a proposed special
development district (SDD). Disputes over interpretation and
exemptions give the appearance the SDD is being improperly used as a
grant of special privilege.
The association advocates the consistent and equitable enforcement of
zoning regulations and planning procedures upon all property owners
that share the same or comparable zoning benefits.
Applying a likewise comparison to impact fees, the Crossroads
developer has thus far not successfully demonstrated that his project
contributes its fair share to adequately offset the long-term effects
upon public infrastructure. Impact fees and the valuation of other
claimed public amenities should be uniformly assessed of all new
development. Public benefits that are represented as public amenities
do not release the developers from placing them under the control or
ownership of the town of Vail.
The demonstration of public benefits also does not release the
developer from paying impact fees that should be ranked in accord with
their relative importance to the public welfare, beginning with public
safety and ending with public art.
The purpose of the impact fees and public amenities is to relieve
business and property owners from an increased tax burden for
upgrading the community's infrastructure and the like resulting from
development. All proposed contractual agreements must be made
available to the public prior to the project proceeding through the
public review process, not at the end.
Such was not the case in the previous proceeding and was partially
responsible for the rejection of the proposal.
Jim Lamont was the town of Vail's first director of community
development (1972-77). The executive director of the Vail Village
Homeowners Association is a professional town planner and has been
involved in most aspects of Vail's development during his career.