EAGLE — Tuesday night the Eagle Town Board launched what could well be one of the final large-tract land use review processes for the community when it opened public hearings for the Haymeadow project.
Haymeadow is being proposed by Abrika Properties — a partnership of Ric Newman and Alan Cohen. They purchased the 660-acre property south of the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink back in 2005.
In his project introduction to the town board, Newman noted that initial Abrika submitted a development proposal in 2006, but later withdrew that plan to participate in the revision of the Eagle Area Community Plan. When the master plan revision was completed, Newman said the Haymeadow project was developed to meet the goals of a “conservation oriented development” that would extend to the defined growth boundary established by the town.
By waiting, Newman said the development team came up with a plan that meets Eagle’s character.
“What we have been hearing over the years is about the importance of recreation to the community,” Newman said. He added that connectivity, open space and trails are the heart of the Haymeadow plan.
Planner Rick Pylman presented the detailed plan for “Neighborhood A” as the first phase for the Haymeadow development. This first phase includes 214 housing units — a mix of single family homes, duplexes and multi-family units. With its proximity to a new school site, the initial development phase features 145 multi-family units and is one of the more dense parts of the overall plan.
“We haven’t tried to design the other neighborhoods, that are five years or 10 year of 20 years out,” said Pylman.
As the development team talked about future housing plans at the site, they also detailed plans for the land during the building period.
“As the project develops, we intend to keep the balance of undeveloped land as irrigated hay fields,” said Gary Brooks of Alpine Engineering.
At the conclusion of the developer’s presentation, Mayor Yuri Kostick opened the first public comment session for the plan. Kostick said public comment will be part of each Haymeadow meeting.
Kraige Kinney, a resident of Brush Creek Road, questioned the overall density proposed for Haymeadow. “I am in support of you approving this. I just think it should be about 100 units less.”
“My concern has been for the wildlife, all through this,” said Brush Creek Road resident Rosie Shearwood. She noted that a recommendation for a 1,000-foot wide wildlife corridor along the project’s boundary was a vital part of the plan.
Traffic concerns will be a large part of the overall Haymeadow review and public comment has already touched on that issue. Construction of the long-debated Brush Creek bypass — a new road connecting Brush Creek Road to U.S. Highway 6 at the Capitol Street intersection — is the big off-site improvement that will be highlighted during the Haymeadow debate.
The next Haymeadow review meeting is planned Dec. 18 and the discussion topics will be open space trails, geology, wetlands, parks and wildlife. The hearing schedule will then take a break until Jan. 14 and is slated to continue during regular town board meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month through March 25, when a final vote on the proposed development is slated.
“As the project develops, we intend to keep the balance of undeveloped land as irrigated hay fields.”