Vail Daily letters to the editor
August 30, 2012
How Village Avon should be
As a resident of Avon in favor of responsible development of the Traer Creek Metro District and the Village at Avon, I believe that the Avon Town Council should accept the recommendation of the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission to deny Traer Creek’s final application for the Village at Avon’s final planned unit development.
The Planning and Zoning Commission was given an impossible task — to fully review the final application (an extremely complex document) and advise the Avon Town Council on whether to approve or deny the application — in a very short, arbitrary and consolidated time frame.
The current application is a complete rewrite of the existing plan. The Planning and Zoning Commission was not given all of the time needed to thoroughly review the application as they were subjected to time lines not in the best interests of the citizens of Avon.
The final application should be denied by the Avon Town Council because it does not stick to the Settlement Term Sheet, does not benefit the town of Avon and does not include the following criteria that are typically required across the United States when considering large development plans such as Traer Creek’s 1,800-acre development. These criteria that must be included in the final application:
1. A detailed master plan for the entire development that includes 3-D models, and current design and architectural drawings depicting the look of the development.
2. The Village at Avon and Traer Creek Metro District property should be subject to all current and new Avon town regulations, codes and ordinances. Not doing so could have a significant negative impact on Avon.
3. Density should not be increased from 650,000 square foot allowed under the current development agreement. This is not part of the Settlement Term Sheet and is not a benefit to the town of Avon. It could have a huge negative impact on Avon’s traffic, noise and lights. If more density is needed in the future, the applicant can file an amendment and the planning commission and Town Council can decide if more density is needed at that time.
4. Traffic flow studies based on projected density.
5. Parking lot requirements for projected number of residents, businesses, schools and recreational facilities.
6. Square footage and locations of schools, ballfields and recreational facilities.
7. Metrics on green space as a result of projected density.
8. Financial models of tax revenues to, and expenses by, the town of Avon with best- and worst-case scenarios based on projected density and commercial-residential mix.
9. Heights capped at the original levels under the current agreement.
10. New commercial uses and additions to temporary uses should be eliminated.
11. Landscaping should be more defined.
12. The expansion of commercial zoning north of I-70 should not be allowed.
13. The Village at Avon Design Review Board must be subject to more town of Avon, and Planning and Zoning Commission oversight and direction.
The town of Avon Development Code has a list of review criteria that Traer Creek’s application does not satisfy, as well. These review criteria include whether the amended planned unit development:
1. Represents an improvement in quality.
2. Promotes the public health, safety and general welfare.
3. Is consistent with the Avon Comprehensive Plan.
4. Has facilities and services available to serve the development while maintaining adequate levels of service to the existing town.
5. Is not likely to result in significant adverse impacts upon the natural environment or on other property in the vicinity.
6. Has future uses compatible in scale with uses on other properties in the vicinity.
Given all of the serious issues above with Traer Creek’s current application that does not stick to the Settlement Term Sheet, benefit the town of Avon, include typical development criteria and adhere to the town of Avon’s Development Code’s criteria, I believe that Traer Creek’s final application should be denied.
I would like to see development of the Village at Avon and the Traer Creek Metro District move forward, but only after the conditions listed above are met to the satisfaction of the planning commission and Avon Town Council.
If Traer Creek cannot meet the conditions above, then they need to walk before they run, and submit an application to the planning commission for only one of the planning areas, such as the hotel in Planning Area N South and RMF-1. This hotel and planning area are included in the Settlement Term Sheet.
Traer Creek should get a letter of intent from a hotel interested in building on the site and then present a smaller, but more mature application to the planning commission for approval. This would be a step forward for both parties and the citizens of Avon.
My family recently rafted the Colorado River from Rancho del Rio to State Bridge. We were delighted with the new county-owned and vastly improved State Bridge boat ramp parcel. Thank you to Commissioner Jon Stavney and the other commissioners for advocating for Eagle County to purchase the parcel of land across from State Bridge.
What a smart use of public funds! The county has improved the parcel in countless ways. The new concrete ramp and gravel double loop make access much more safe and efficient to move boats out of the boat launch area. The landscaping resulted in an aesthetically-pleasing parcel.
The area is now a welcome area for anyone, with or without a boat, to relax with their families and friends along our beloved river, to enjoy a picnic in this precious landscape. The bathrooms are a practical addition for everyone, plus the “groover dump” will help those of us who camp on the river.
For anyone who has driven into the area, you will greatly appreciate the graded, paved new driveway. We no longer have to worry about our cars’ alignments! Having access to potable water will be fantastic, especially during hot summers. Saving the $3 per person fee the former owners charged us will save our family money every day we raft.
That the whole area is now part of the BLM system makes sense. The camp host spot with power and water is a clever idea, as well.
My family moved here to partake in a variety of outdoor activities. The county’s purchase and renovation of this land helps countless people enjoy the gems of Eagle County, particularly the Colorado River.
I sometimes complain about elected officials, yet I often fail to thank those who make wise choices that will benefit generations to come. Jon Stavney’s wisdom in pursuing this parcel will benefit countless county residents long after I’ve left this earth.
I cannot wait to raft down to our new county takeout four miles downstream. We’ve never before explored that part of the river as we didn’t have public takeouts in that area. Again, thanks to our current commissioners for pursuing that purchase as well.
Nicole E. Dewell
Let it go to trial
I feel compelled to write this letter regarding the Village at Avon as a resident of Wildridge in Avon. Contrary to what the developer, his lawyers (and lo they are many) and the editor of this newspaper would have you believe, there are many other concerned Avon residents besides those who live directly adjacent to this project.
Having attended several public sessions concerning this and previous iterations of Mr. Lindholm’s nightmare gone wild, I have borne witness to more of his and his lawyers’ (and lo they are many) shenanigans than I care to recall.
Now, it would seem that a bank is telling the Avon Town Council what needs to be done to rectify this ghastly situation. The bank (and the judge) would have you ramrod the many and ever-fluid details and demands of the Village at Avon and their lawyers (and lo there are many), so that they can begin to realize some of the debt they are owed.
Based upon that alone, I would request that you deny approval of their application due to the need for you to perform your due diligence as you would any other project of any size, let alone one so complicated and rife with contradiction and irregularities.
That the developers of this project have continually attempted to leverage more — threatening litigation at the hands of their lawyers (need I repeat myself?) — is representative of the Lindholm M.O.
The man and his minions have a litigation-strewn track record from here to Connecticut to Sweden, yet our Town Council seems to disregard this time and again. He reminds me of the man who upon murdering both of his parents throws himself upon the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.
The Planning and Zoning Commission is charged with the directive of certain duties that pertain to the common good of the citizens of Avon. It is apolitical for that very reason and should not be influenced by the court, the council, any private citizen and, most certainly, not a foreign bank. I appreciate them for undertaking this thankless, no-win task.
I believe the problems with the Settlement Term Sheet have been listed and itemized ad infinitum, so I’ll just keep it visceral when I suggest that we should have never gotten to this point in the first place.
Lindholm should pay his bills and live up to his commitments (without hiding behind a metro district) like everyone else. That he is threatening to sue the town shows a lot of chutzpah. For those who aren’t familiar with that term, it’s Yiddish for balls. Lindolm’s certainly got ’em. Maybe it’s time our council grew a pair.
Thanks for the help
The Red Cliff Studio Tour would like to thank the Vail Daily, Mark Bricklin, Caramie Schnell and photographer Dominque Taylor for the publicity they contributed to the benefit of the local artists in the tour.
Your publicity of the tour promotes and showcases the local artists and the importance of their art to our Vail Valley community. The Vail Daily and Channel 8 publicity makes it possible for the resident artists to have success at the local level.
Red Cliff Studio Tour
No need to worry?
Wow! I just read Jim Cameron’s rambling letter. Of course, rambling is necessary when you have to cover all Dem talking points in one letter.
Now I am so relieved, just when I thought there were serious problems with Medicare, $16 trillion national debt growing at $1trillion per year, 23-plus million Americans unemployed, and looking at falling into a recession — all of which would appear to need a serious debate to get to solutions to solve.
But now I know that our empty suit, do nothing, MIA President Obama has us on the right path. If only that evil Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would pay more taxes, then all the above problems would just go away, and Obama could play even more golf.
Life is good! In fact, no need for me to worry, as Obama has it all taken care. In fact, I think I’ll go play golf. Jim, you want to play with me!