Can Edwards be tied together?
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” New guidelines for Edward’s business district will encourage well-marked street crossings, bike access, trail access, a uniform look, and sidewalk cafes and awnings.
The Edwards design guidelines are supposed to create a “downtown” atmosphere for Edwards. County planners hope to give the busy and rapidly growing unincorporated area the look and feel of a real town.
The proposed set of design guidelines would not be rules, but county commissioners would consider whether or not future developments gel with the guidelines when approving proposals.
The guidelines are purposely vague, said County Senior Planner Cliff Simonton ” they don’t attempt to specify a certain architectural style. Instead, it asks for design that is “compatible with Eagle County’s mountain setting.”
“We would like to keep it general because the emphasis is trying to create some uniformity and build a sense of place,” Simonton said. “We’ve decided best place for that is the streetscape ” the design, lighting and signs.”
The Eagle County Planning Commission will decide whether or not to adopt the guidelines today, and it is looking for input from residents.
Some of the goals of the guidelines are to make the area pedestrian friendly, take advantage of the river, and give it a cohesive architectural look.
It also address problems that have come up in Edwards development such as traffic congestion and lack of parking. It encourages underground parking, development connected to public transit and well-designed and landscaped parking lots.
The Edwards downtown is already mostly developed, but the guidelines will target any thing yet to be developed or any redevelopment that happens in the future, Simonton said.
Much of the development in Edwards has turned out well, but the quick growth of the area hasn’t encouraged much uniformity, he said.
“Most towns have got design guidelines,” he said. “What’s troubling about Edwards as a community is that it doesn’t have that. There is a bit of a hodgepodge on those four corners.”
The Eagle County Planning Commission wants residents’ input on the new guidelines. See the full guidelines at http://www.eaglecounty.us/commDev/communityplan.cfm.
Let the county know your thoughts by contacting Cliff Simonton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-328-8751.
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or email@example.com.