Councilman: Give Avon deal-making power |

Councilman: Give Avon deal-making power

Rich Carroll
Vail CO, Colorado

Avon residents, you have a special election on May 6. We are asking you to decide if a different method to sell or trade town-owned land is better for Avon.

Today, an election must be held to approve (or not) the sale or exchange of town-owned land.

Under the proposed ballot change, any contemplated transaction involving town-owned land must comply with the publicly adopted town planning documents, including the Avon Comprehensive Plan, The West Town Center Plan, The East Town Center Plan and The Nottingham Park Master Plan.

The process of considering a land transaction begins with a redevelopment project being proposed. As that development proposal works its way through the town staff, the planning and zoning commission and the Council public processes, the possible land transaction is part of the considerations.

If town land is a necessary piece of the transaction and if the development meets all of the town criteria, including compliance with the entire town planning documents, the council can approve the development and the land transaction. Both planning and zoning commission and council approvals will be the products of extensive public meetings and hearings.

These public hearings determine that the value received is fair and the highest and best value and that the development project meets all town requirements and plans. After the public hearings, thew council will pass, or deny, an ordinance that approves the land transaction. Voters that disagree with the council may call for an election to challenge that decision. Citizens have a different yet final say.

Open space and parks are of great importance in Avon, including Wildridge. To sell open space and parks in Wildridge requires 70-percent approval by Wildridge property owners. This is in the Wildridge covenants. Only you can change Wildridge open space, not the council ” not now and not if the ballot question passes.

Avon is trying to obtain more open space. Avon’s parks, open space, and recreation center will be enhanced, revitalized, and be woven more tightly into our lives. This has always made sense and is reflected in our planning documents. Citizens and the council want to increase these areas that provide us an enriched experience.

The planning documents work. A recent project along Highway 6 was denied because it did not meet the comprehensive plan as it was too tall and too dense. After a recent council hearing, a proposed Sheraton expansion was withdrawn for reasons including there was not enough and proper public spaces for locals.

Elect people and who will follow the laws, conduct transparent government, and have local residents in mind. A “bad” council will make poor decisions whether this ballot question passes or not. It takes four council members to approve a bad deal, not one or two. A superb council has the potential to make Avon an even greater town if this passes. There are some small risks, but I believe they are outweighed by great rewards.

A benefit of the charter amendment is that Avon can make a better “deal” through a public/private partnership to revitalize Avon. Nottingham Park and the library could be expanded at minimal taxpayer expense. A private sector business would perform the development, not the town.

It is my goal to revitalize Avon, to make sure Avon is first in people’s minds of where to live, run a business, spend a day recreating, or an evening out. Together with our citizens, our business community and elected officials, we can make Avon special for all the right reasons.

We live in a representative democracy. I want to know what you think. Ask questions of myself or any council member. Participate in the town’s planning and decision making processes. I ask you to vote yes. Above all else, vote and let your council know what you think. We are here to serve you.

Rich Carroll is an Avon town councilor.

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