Eagle can’t support project | VailDaily.com

Eagle can’t support project

Suzanne Shepard

Although I am not a shopper, but I can certainly understand younger families needing to buy things they need and want. But to compare Eagle to Glenwood Springs is ridiculous, because the population there was 8,942 in 2007, 3,000 more folks than Eagle, and the big box stores draw from all of the Roaring Fork Valley and small towns to the west.

I understand the town of Eagle’s need for funds, resulting from past failure to develop a revenue stream through sensible development, encouraging in-fill and businesses to settle here. That can still be done in the many empty spaces in Eagle and Eagle Ranch. There is enough population now to sustain small businesses, but not a big shopping center. If we need a shoe store or whatever, there are plenty of places for some entrepreneur to put one in.

Eagle River Station will bring very little revenue for 20 years, according to the developers’ information, because the developer has to pay for an interchange and all his investment costs before the town receives any real benefit. That’s where the sales tax and special district taxes will go, to the developer.

My concern about the Eagle River Station development is the long-term costs to the citizens of Eagle (through cost sharing with the developer), to the county and the school district, and to all of us indirectly.

My concern is the utter destruction of a small town as we know it. When you look at the rendering of Eagle River Station, you see a disproportionate amount of sky, with little colored buildings that look like an old town in the midwest. Count the stories!

FInd a 65-foot building in Axon or Vail and visualize that in the pasture east of Chambers Avenue. The mountains and the sky will disappear. By the way, the buildings in Glenwood Meadows are only two stories high.

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Visualize the increased traffic in Eagle from construction traffic for Eagle River Station, from 2,000-3,000 new residents, plus shoppers and a lot of delivery trucks. A projection by the developer is 23,000 cars a day on top of the current traffic problems. The projected traffic improvements will never be enough.

And what will happen to the property east of Eagle River Station? If the east interchange is in place, there will, inevitably, be more sprawl to the east and north, by this developer or another.

Look at the Eagle River Station plan, read the numbers and ask yourself: Is it worth the negative impacts to have more shopping in the Eagle Valley? If you are a shopper, let’s in-fill first, not create still another shopping center. Most of us chose to live in Eagle because of its small town feeling. Ask your town board to adhere to the Eagle Area Comprehensive Plan.