Councilman: Help council make a better Avon |

Councilman: Help council make a better Avon

Brian Sipes
Avon CO, Colorado

Once again it is election season in Avon and once again fear is being sowed in the face of reason. At stake is the future of our town.

On May 6 we are asking you to streamline government, give us the ability to negotiate the best deal possible for you and to implement our exciting plans for the future.

For the last six years we have methodically engaged the public in open conversation about what we wanted to be when we grow up. We used to allow developers to decide our future and just reacted to what they brought us.

You can see the result in our awkward street pattern and difficult pedestrian circulation.

We spent years and hundreds of thousands of dollars revising first our comprehensive plan, then on creating detailed plans for west and east Avon. We have just begun a new planning process for Harry A. Nottingham Park where we have heard loud and clear what we already knew; that people highly value our parks and open space. We have made sure our plans for the future are what the majority of us want.

Now we want to implement these plans on your behalf and we need the tools to do so.

The opposition to this amendment claim concerns based mostly on fear and then some personally attack anyone who tries to explain this amendment. They argue that some future council will sell off park land and they attempt to undermine master plans that were overwhelmingly well-received by our citizens. They fail to mention these public plans or the safeguards included in the amendment.

It is true that our West Town Center plan contemplates changes and possible redevelopment of some sites adjacent to Nottingham Park. A quick glance at the plan however shows that the sites shown to be redeveloped are those that already have buildings on them (including the rec center, town hall, fire station and library).

If you haven’t seen our plans go to the Avon Web site: .

The charter amendment requires that any proposed land transaction meet the criteria of all our planning documents, that we receive more value than we provide and that it provides a social, financial or cultural long-term benefit. Every such consideration would only be done as part of a development proposal and never as a stand-alone sale or exchange. No short-term sale for cash can meet these criteria.

The kind of deal that is contemplated would be something like this: We provide the land where the fire station is currently to a developer and in exchange they provide and build a new building (like a new town hall or police station) and perhaps also build us a rec center expansion. We get new facilities on land that already has development, a developer gets a desirable address and the taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill!

The last three elections have shown me that Avon voters are smart and well-informed. They have rejected negative campaign practices, personal attacks, shallow arguments, and fear-mongering and have voted in favor of a bright future.

I choose to trust the citizens of this town to elect good representatives, to hold them accountable and to give them the tools to do their job and make our future happen.

Please join me and vote yes on Tuesday.

Brian Sipes is the mayor pro-tem of Avon.

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