A Dangerfield of master plans | VailDaily.com

A Dangerfield of master plans

Don Rogers

The latest rendition of Eagle County master plan is just about ready for public comment. Yipee. Oh, wait, that’s “comprehensive” plan now. Perhaps extra syllables are thought to add weight to this grand document that purports to guide development in the county.Purports? That’s a rather snide way to put it, isn’t it? Yes, we know Eagle County’s planners work hard putting this together, conducting public meetings for input, along with all that mapping. An awful lot of hours and care go into this, that’s true.Problem is, it’s all pretty much meaningless. The plan, syllables and all, has no weight, no clout, no regulatory backup – and gets no respect. The commissioners have long ignored it while making development decisions, aside from some standard lip service about how important all this planning really, really is. Uh, huh.The latest example is an ironic one. Part of downtown Edwards, laid out in the master plan for development to go with the rest of that largely retail neighborhood next to the gravel pit to be “saved,” is well on its way becoming open space.That’s nice. Really it is, even if the commissioners committed $6 million to bust the comprehensive plan and save what it already would have had along the river, where it counts, without squandering two years’ worth of open space funds. So when will these folks actually follow what their staff and the public work so earnestly every few years to achieve? Whatever you call it, this plan is fundamentally a joke. Vail, Colorado

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