Avon, developer try to settle differences | VailDaily.com

Avon, developer try to settle differences

Lauren Glendenning
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado – The Traer Creek Metropolitan District and the town of Avon are trying to work out their differences through informal meetings – without their lawyers – after lawsuits and disagreements have battered their relationship.

The town sued the district claiming it owes the town money and Traer Creek LLC, the developer of the Village at Avon, sued the town over the development’s vested rights. The recent and upcoming meetings between the town, the district and the LLC are meant to try to get them to communicate better and mend the relationship between them, said Michael Lindholm, of Traer Creek Metropolitan District.

“Things haven’t gone as smoothly as they could have,” Lindholm said.

While the lawsuits are ongoing, the town and Traer Creek representatives aren’t discussing them in their meetings, said Avon Town Manager Larry Brooks.

Brooks put together what he calls a dispute list – a list of topics he’d like to work through in the meetings, such as why the district hasn’t begun the improvements along East Beaver Creek Boulevard, Brooks said.

The agreement says the district is supposed to finish those improvements – things like building the road and sidewalk, streetlights and benches – by this winter, but construction hasn’t started yet.

“The agreement says they were supposed to, and they’re saying they don’t have the money,” Brooks said.

Brooks said the town has been understanding to a point, but there’s not much wiggle room left. The district has built about 15 percent to 20 percent of what it agreed it would have by now, Brooks said.

“There was going to be more housing (by now); retail and commercial were going to be farther along,” he said. “For whatever reason, that hasn’t happened.”

The agreement, which was signed in 1998, is the longest and largest the town has ever signed, Brooks said. The Village at Avon is an 1,800-acre project with a 35-year vested rights term.

In retrospect, there are obvious flaws in the agreement, he said.

“If the town were confronted with this situation again, I think what we would want is the absolute security that the infrastructure and civil improvements were going to be built,” Brooks said. “We would want to know what the remedies were if they were not built.”

If it were up to Brooks, the town and Traer Creek would sit down and re-write the entire thing.

Lindholm said the agreement is moving forward and developing, and the meetings are helping everyone work together.

“The developer feels like it has explanations for why things have happened, and the town has its own set of explanations for who’s right and who’s wrong,” Lindholm said. “That’s why we’re having these meetings – to see if we can bridge some of these gaps here.”

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com

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