8 candidates vying for 4 council seats in Avon
September 9, 2018
Editor's note: The Vail Daily intends to publish individual candidate profiles for each of the eight Avon Town Council candidates in the weeks to come. Learn more about the candidates, their backgrounds and views in those profiles.
AVON — When the votes are tallied in the Avon Town Council election in November, the four winning candidates could set the town's direction for years to come.
The Avon Town Council is a seven-member body, and issues that come before the council are decided upon based on a four-person majority.
Four seats are up for grabs, with eight candidates hoping to fill them. Two of the candidates are incumbents seeking re-election.
The candidates will inherit several big issues surrounding development and town-owned land in Avon. Among the biggest will be the future of the building where they will be sworn in.
Avon Town Hall and the town staff's offices are expected to move to a new location in 2019, leaving a big question mark over the location of the previous town hall.
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According to the town properties plan passed in 2018, the old town hall will be demolished to accommodate future uses. But that plan is simply a guiding document, and no plans for the building have been set in motion as of yet.
Ideas for the town hall site include the relocation of the historic Hahnewald Barn, a controversial idea that could cost millions, but could also preserve a piece of Avon's history dating back more than 100 years. The Hahnewald Barn is currently being discussed by the town's planning commission, and is sure to become an election issue in the weeks to come.
Across the street, in the Benchmark Road building previously occupied by the Eagle River Fire and Protection District, options abound for the new council to consider. While the location was used for employee housing after the fire district vacated in 2017, other ideas include renovating or expanding the building for cultural, educational and/or entrepreneurial opportunities.
New development is likely to come before the council in 2019, as well.
In August, the town approved a modification to the zoning on a parcel of land at the northwest intersection of Post Boulevard and East Beaver Creek Boulevard. By allowing for more residential density and less commercial requirements, the modification is expected to make the parcel more attractive to a potential developer.
Also in 2018, the town granted a residential high density zoning to the Folsom Property, located immediately to the east of the Ascent building on Highway 6 in Avon. That property is also expected to be OK'd for short term rentals. While a development proposal for the property is more likely to be tackled by the planning commission, it could come before the new council, as well.
If there's one thing that the new council can expect to pack the chambers full of interested stakeholders, it's trails.
Several new trail zones have been called for in the town's trails master plan, including a multiuse trail to provide connections between the Wild West and Wyse Way trails in the West Avon Preserve, a 3-mile hiking trail in the Buffalo Ridge area of town and a new trail area speculatively called the East Avon Preserve near Traer Creek.
The town has been in the process of securing an easement for the East Avon Preserve from the Village at Avon, which could come through under the new council. If trail development is granted for that area, a potential plan calls for a beginner-level stacked loop trail system on the parcel, consisting of three trail segments which intend to provide a family-friendly learning environment for children, beginning mountain bikers and other users, according to the town's trails master plan.
Find the trails plan, as well as the town properties plan, at Avon.org.