Protect our Wildlife! Stop the East Vail Development!

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Petition to Stop the East Vail Development! Protect our wildlife, natural resources, and our residents!

The Town of Vail has recently sold a parcel of the town's "Natural Area Preservation" in East Vail to Triumph Development. "The new plan calls for a total of 73 units — 42 apartments and 31 townhomes — on 5.4 acres just north of the Interstate 70 interchange in East Vail. That number includes both deed restricted and free market units." ( https://www.vaildaily.com/news/east-vail-parcel-the-subject-of-another-development-plan/

For years, there has been a "housing crisis" in the Town of Vail. Rent is extremely high, there are many properties which go unused majority of the time, and real estate is not affordable for most. The most recent development the TOV (Town of Vail) implemented in an attempt to solve this problem, known as the Chamonix Development, was positioned as a development that would be affordable and realistic for TOV residents. However after construction was finished, these units were either rentable only as "Deed Restricted" or were available for purchase for an extremely pretty penny; the result, many of these units are still currently vacant. The lingering idea that this new East Vail Development is being marketed as "Employee Housing," "Low-Income Housing," or "Affordable Housing" however could turn into six-figure, extremely expensive developments on completion, plagues the minds of residents. This was the fate of the Chamonix development, who is to say this will not be the fate of the East Vail development? Especially due to the fact that the Maryland based development company, Triumph, (the company responsible for developing Chamonix) just so happens to be the same company wishing to develop the East Vail parcel. If it failed to work for TOV employees at Chamonix, how can we assume it will be of any help to our people in East Vail? Triumph Development builds Marriott hotels, high-end office buildings, and even quotes themselves on their site for producing "one of the highest average per-square-foot values in the Vail Valley." Go to to learn more about the developer: ( https://www.triumphdev.com/dev-projects )

The largest concern residents of the Vail Valley have, is the environmental impact of this development. For decades, this area of East Vail has been home to a herd of Bighorn sheep. These sheep winter in the area, and are seen on a daily/weekly basis by Town of Vail residents and visitors. The Town of Vail has had this area zoned as a "'Natural Area Preservation' zone district, one of the town’s most restrictive." ( https://www.vaildaily.com/news/east-vail-parcel-the-subject-of-another-development-plan/ ) Triumph Development claims to have a substantial wildlife plan for the area intact, however upon some digging, their entire "plan" for a multi-million dollar project, protecting the sheep is as follows:

"That information includes:

-Design criteria for reducing potential impacts.
-A wildlife mitigation plan for winter range enhancement.
-Use of the $100,000 Triumph has pledged for habitat enhancement.
-Wildlife restrictions for residents.
-Enforcement. "  (https://www.vaildaily.com/news/revised-booth-heights-plan-for-east-vail-drops-12-units-one-building/

Triumph plans to "plant (a few) Aspen trees behind the development" and install a "wildlife fence." For a company whom of which builds highly prestigious buildings, Marriotts, and massive developments, $100k towards protecting our creatures seems a bit on the lackadaisical side. Triumph's environmental impact record is far from acceptable...

"First, as Triumph’s Environmental Impact Report concedes, there will be an irreversible loss of habitat and displacement for the East Vail bighorn sheep herd and other animals. Triumph understates the harm from that loss, but for the sheep, the development will probably be an extinction level event. That is because the sheep are already severely depressed, and the project will result in the loss of up to 30% of the sheep’s winter foraging range, which is critical in the winter because the sheep then are in their most vulnerable state, and even small losses of habitat can push them over the edge." "And the loss of habitat would be much greater than just the 5-acre development footprint. As Triumph’s biologist concedes, there would also be “sheep displacement from adjacent foraging areas.” Although he did not quantify that loss, the known “zone of influence” of human activity extends outward several hundred yards in all directions. In addition, the sheep would be displaced from two acres between the project site and Frontage Road. The net result will be loss of upward of 80 acres or 30% of their effective winter range."  "This will negatively affect peregrine falcons, elk, deer and black bears, all of which are already severely depressed." ( https://www.vaildaily.com/opinion/lamont-the-rest-of-the-east-vail-development-story/ )

In recent TOV headline news, one of the sheep was struck by a vehicle, leaving Vail residents with the possibility that more people residing in the herd's territory, would lead to more unfortunate headlines such as these.  ( https://www.vaildaily.com/news/bighorn-sheep-killed-in-east-vail-near-controversial-development-site/ ) Our mountain town is slowly turning into a concrete jungle. The animals are disappearing, the natural landscape of Vail is being replaced inch-by-inch with more overpriced development projects, and the local atmosphere of the Vail Valley is turning into bulldozed Aspen trees and overcrowded roundabouts.

Our community needs more housing. That is a fact. However, we need housing developers that are actually going to have our locals in mind, the environmental impacts carefully weighed, and will truly wish to benefit our community. As stated before, this petition is to protect our wildlife, our locals, and our natural resources. We want affordable housing, but not from some out of state Maryland development company who already failed with Chamonix and is hardly concerned with our wildlife.

Stop the development. Keep our wildlife alive. Share. Do your research on Triumph. 

Resources:

"East Vail parcel the subject of another development plan" - https://www.vaildaily.com/news/east-vail-parcel-the-subject-of-another-development-plan/

Revised Booth Heights plan for East Vail drops 12 apartments - https://www.vaildaily.com/news/revised-booth-heights-plan-for-east-vail-drops-12-units-one-building/

Lamont: The rest of the East Vail development story - https://www.vaildaily.com/opinion/lamont-the-rest-of-the-east-vail-development-story/

Bighorn sheep killed in East Vail near controversial development site - https://www.vaildaily.com/news/bighorn-sheep-killed-in-east-vail-near-controversial-development-site/

Triumph Current Development Projects - https://www.triumphdev.com/dev-projects

Triumph Booth Heights Locals’ Housing Neighborhood Proposed Development Fact Sheet - https://files.vailvalleypartnership.com/sites/2/2019/06/East-Vail-Fact-Sheet-061019-FINAL.pdf

Vail housing proposal spotlights growing threat to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep habitat - https://www.denverpost.com/2019/07/27/bighorn-sheep-vail-affordable-housing-development/