Eagle hosts river corridor plan meeting
January 2, 2016
EAGLE — The town of Eagle will host a public information meeting regarding the recently adopted Eagle River Corridor Plan on Wednesday.
The session is planned at 6 p.m. at Eagle Town Hall.
The Eagle River Corridor Plan was officially adopted by the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission Dec. 1. Adoption of the plan establishes the document as the town's guide for future growth and development along the Eagle River.
"The Eagle River is a tremendous asset of the town of Eagle, and this plan will enable the community to take better advantage of this natural resource," said Eagle Town Board member Andy Jessen. "The community has made it clear that they want to connect the town with the river, while preserving it for future generations."
“We heard loud and clear through our river corridor planning process that the community wants improved access to the river. The Chambers Park boat ramp improvements are a great start. These improvements are something that the town can build off of as the Eagle River Corridor Plan is implemented over the coming years.”Matt FarrarAssistant planner, town of Eagle
The planning process for the Eagle River Corridor Plan began in September 2014. The plan was prepared in partnership with Community Builders (formerly the Sonoran Institute) and under the guidance and direction of a steering committee that was comprised of interested citizens, landowners, elected and appointed public officials of Eagle and Eagle County staff. There were several opportunities for public input regarding the plan and a total of five drafts were prepared throughout the course of the planning commission's review.
Highlights of the plan
The planning area encompasses approximately 3.4 miles of the Eagle River and more than 300 acres. Design and construction of the Eagle River Park, much of which is located at the current truck parking site on the eastern side of the Eagle County Fairgrounds, was identified as a priority. The town has hired an engineering firm, S20 Design, to work on the design of in-stream and riverbank improvements and is negotiating with a landscape architect firm, studioINSITE, to create a conceptual landscape plan of the Eagle River Park that will be used to guide future discussion with the public on what the park should include.
The park plan includes a variety of amenities such as a riverside park, beaches, river viewing areas, trails and in-stream features to create a river park.
Eagle officials say the park plan reflects six major themes:
• Conservation: Protect water quality of the Eagle River and create a network of open space along the river to preserve important wetlands, riparian areas and wildlife habitat while allowing for active recreation in select areas.
• Economic development: Increase public and private sector investment within the river corridor that results in economic growth.
• Recreation: Provide high quality, river oriented recreation amenities that allow for a wide variety of user groups to enjoy the Eagle River and its immediate environs.
• Place making: Create authentic and memorable places along the Eagle River for both residents and visitors.
• Transportation and access: Provide safe and convenient public access from Eagle's neighborhoods to the Eagle River.
• Education and awareness: Use elements of the Eagle River and adjacent land to promote understanding of the river ecosystem and other qualities of the river corridor.
"The Eagle River is probably our most under utilized natural resource," Jessen said. "We've seen success with our trail building efforts; the town of Eagle River Corridor Plan allows for additional recreation opportunities in Eagle, as we continue to establish ourselves as a premier outdoor recreation destination in Colorado and provide a high quality of life for our residents and guests."
Last fall, the town of Eagle worked with S20 Design to improve the Chambers Park boat ramp. S20 enlarged the take-out eddy for the boat ramp and did some boulder terracing work along the edge of the eddy. The improvements to the eddy should make it easier for boaters to catch the eddy for the Chambers Park boat ramp and avoid the Rodeo Rapids down river. The boulder terracing will reduce erosion and impacts from boaters walking the bank. The boulder terracing also creates convenient access for visitors to relax and hang out next to the river.
S20 Design's work also entailed repositioning the boulders in the weirs located upstream and downstream of the boat ramp. Upstream and downstream boulders were reconfigured to improve the function of the eddy at higher river flows to discourage people from climbing out onto the boulders at higher flows.
"The improvements made at the Chambers Park boat ramp this fall create better access to the takeout eddy and the boat ramp, improve safety and create a unique place in Eagle for people to hang out along the river," said Matt Farrar, town of Eagle assistant planner. "We heard loud and clear through our river corridor planning process that the community wants improved access to the river. The Chambers Park boat ramp improvements are a great start. These improvements are something that the town can build off of as the Eagle River Corridor Plan is implemented over the coming years."