Avon revising blueprints for development | VailDaily.com

Avon revising blueprints for development

Christine Ina Casillas
Avon is in the process of revising its "Comprehensive Plan," which will set a blueprint for development and growth in the coming decades.

Future development in Avon might be breaking the mold in the valley, town officials say.

Avon will be creating an updated comprehensive plan over the next year to determine the future of development in the town.

Avon released a request for proposals to consultants across the country to update the town’s comprehensive plan, a document that provides a solid framework for development in the town. The last comprehensive plan was adopted in 1996.

“The town has changed dramatically since 1996,” said Tambi Katieb, planner for Avon. “The Village at Avon project being annexed into the town left a dramatic effect on the town.”

The methods for planning and guiding development have also vastly changed since 1996, Katieb said.

In 1996, Avon Road was completed. Room was made for pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Beaver Creek Boulevard. The Town Center plan was being developed. The Sheridan hotel and the Chapel Square Shopping Center entered the scene. And the town didn’t have a basis for development then.

“The town was doing all those things with development,” Katieb said, “But the town was probably too busy to develop a new comprehensive plan because of those big projects. But we’re here now.”

An updated comprehensive plan is expected to give the town a framework for steering future construction and growth.

“We’re creating an active living document,” Katieb said. “It’s a heck of a database to use for the town.”

The updated comprehensive plan will be used as a tool for existing and future development, Katieb said. It will provide goals, policies and other measures for community development. The project also will create what are called “community indicators” – a first in the valley and one of the few community projects in Colorado proposing to use these tools, he said.

“We want a sophisticated toolbox that goes beyond the traditional comprehensive plan,” he said.

In the “toolbox,’ the town will have set levels of sustainability and capacity in areas such as the economy, social issues, the environment and recreation, he said. The measurements will set benchmarks that the town can use to look back at in 10 to 20 years. The levels have yet to be determined, but they will be established through a variety of public hearing throughout the next year, he said.

“The measures will be set up as a benchmark of time,” Katieb said. “For example, economic measures will show a cost of living, and the social index will show education.”

Katieb likened the project to an instrument panel in an aircraft. Every so often, small adjustments to the panel are made to ensure that it remains safe and new.

Avon Mayor Buz Reynolds said Avon was moving so fast that the current comprehensive plan isn’t sufficient enough to cover the town.

“With a lot of the town still undeveloped,” Reynolds said, “it is important to get a current “comp plan’ in place so we are building a community everyone can enjoy.”

The town has a build-out analysis, but town officials want to clean up the summary with solid numbers through the comprehensive plan, Katieb said.

“It’s going to take the better part of the year to work through this process,” Katieb said. “It’s a visioning process.”

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at ccasillas@vaildaily.com.

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