Avon wants bus service from Traer Creek
Daily Staff Writer
AVON ” Developer Traer Creek LLC will have to meet a list of demands, including providing bus service to Buffalo Ridge and Wal-Mart, if it wants to change its building plans north of Eaglebend Road, the Avon Town Council decided Tuesday.
Traer Creek, the development company for the Village at Avon, is hoping to move a planned row of shops and restaurants out of the back-yard view of about 20 homes on Eagle Bend Drive. Traer Creek says it found a way to rearrange its plans and move most of the commercial area toward the center of their development, and instead put more housing on the side facing the Eagle Bend Homes.
The town council approved these changes, but only with certain conditions.
For one, Avon wants the Traer Creek Metro District, which is responsible for funding things like police service, roads and snow removal in the Village at Avon, to start funding the long debated bus service to Buffalo Ridge and Wal-Mart.
Avon had started bus service to Wal-Mart and Buffalo Ridge in June 2006, but ended it in May 2007 despite the large number of people that used it. The town said it could no longer afford the bus route and that the Traer Creek Metropolitan District should be paying for bus service instead.
The district has agreed to fund a bus route when more people move into the area and when more businesses are paying taxes. Legally, it’s up to the district to request bus service. The Town Council decided to start service anyway and pay the bill, hoping to prove how much the stops are needed.
Several council members expressed frustration that Traer Creek hasn’t started funding the bus service and said the new proposal will make bus service to the east end of town even more vital. Councilman Brian Sipes said the town needs more certainty as to when the Traer Creek will provide bus service.
Representatives from Traer Creek said that they’d be open to talking about providing bus service to Buffalo Ridge and Wal-Mart, but that tacking conditions on to this proposal was an inappropriate way of addressing the issue.
The town also wants Traer Creek to guarantee that attainable housing would be included in this new development area.
Planner Dominic Mauriello said that the proposed planning area would naturally have the kind of housing mix sought by the town council, but that it shouldn’t be dictated in a condition of the proposed plan.
The town council also wants Traer Creek to forfeit its 35-year period of vested rights established in 1998 and replace it with the town’s new five-year vesting period established in 2006, accelerate the timing of the developer’s requirement to build an ice skating rink and fund a traffic study for the area.
Traer Creek said forfeiting its period of vested rights was the biggest deal killer ” under no circumstances would they allow that to happen. The other things though, maybe they can talk about them.
When the council approved the conditions, it was with the understanding that the town staff would work with Traer Creek representatives to make the conditions more palatable and reasonable for the developer.
If the conditions are approved for a second time as they are now, Traer Creek would likely withdraw its proposal and build up the area as originally planned, with commercial buildings backed up against the homes on Eaglebend Road.
Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.