Avon residents voice opposition to Nottingham Park plan
More than two dozen locals show up to planning commission meeting Tuesday
AVON — Tuesday’s Nottingham Park Master Plan work session was scheduled to be the first of two. But after more than two dozen people showed up to applaud criticisms from their neighbors about the plan, the second session was canceled.
Residents voiced opposition to an idea to return portions of the park to native grasses, expressed concern over parking on West Beaver Creek Boulevard, questioned the usage of the softball diamonds, and brought up several other issues which will be passed on to the town council, commissioners assured residents.
The second work session had been planned for August 6, but Matt Pielsticker, the town’s planning director, said he will deliver a report to the town council at its regular meeting on August 13, instead, summarizing the public comments.
Bob and Sandy Helt, who own a property that borders the park, both spoke out against the native grass idea, saying the turf grass is much preferred by their neighbors for the access it allows to the park.
Bob Helt also pointed out that prairie dogs have invaded the softball fields in the park, and the neighbors in the area would not want to see the burrowing rodents expand their territory to the area near their homes if a native grass environment were to border their property.
About two dozen people applauded Helt’s suggestions for the Park Master Plan. Helt said he became aware of the plan when the town stopped mowing the area of the park known as “Councilmen’s Corner;” Helt made some calls and met with David McWilliams from Avon’s planning department, who informed him of the plan.
‘Loud and clear’
Several members of the council attended the meeting; councilman Jake Wolf was the only elected official to speak — he identified himself as “the only councilor living right next to Councilmen’s Corner.”
Wolf said the park master plan was outdated, pointing out that the now-defunct plan to move the Hahnewald Barn to Nottingham Park was once part of park master plan, and the plan came together under the management of former town manager Virginia Egger, who was terminated in a unanimous decision by the town council.
“Maybe that’s enough to scrap this plan,” Wolf said.
Commissioner Kenneth Howell said the planning department has acknowledged that there are many pieces within the plan which will not go forward.
“That’s why we had this public comment,” Howell said.
Pielsticker thanked the community for attending.
“We heard your comments loud and clear,” Pielsticker said.
Yunlong Chen was last spotted at the Vail Transportation Center between 8:15 and 9 a.m. on Feb. 28; a little while later his ski pass was scanned at Gondola One. That was the last known activity related to Chen.