Eagle County commissioners approve deposit for modular units that are likely to go into Edwards
- 20: Modular living units ordered from Fading West Building Systems of Buena Vista.
- $178,000: Non-refundable down payment
- 4: 1,000 square-foot units in the order.
- 16: 468 square-foot units in the order.
The Eagle County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to place a non-refundable deposit on 20 housing units. The units will likely end up in Edwards.
The deposit agreement was part of Tuesday’s consent agenda, which normally includes items that can be passed with little, if any, debate or public input. This item was a little different.
The modular units are expected to be built on county-owned land on the north side of the Mountain Recreation fieldhouse. The idea is to use the site for a county government office building, with the housing units adjacent.
The item passed on a 2-0 vote — Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry was absent for the session — but there was public comment on the topic.
Longtime Edwards resident Chris Neuswanger asked the commissioners to “hit the pause button” on the purchase agreement.
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Neuswanger said there are already a number of residential projects either approved or in the approval process. Those projects would add “more than 1,000 units” to the area, he said.
Of those projects, only two — West End and RiverPark — are required to provide “significant” infrastructure improvements. Traffic on Miller Ranch Road is already “gridlocked” mornings and evenings, Neuswanger said, which results in traffic congestion in nearby areas.
Neuswanger also noted that Freedom Park is already “the most overused park in the county,” with more and more people now starting to crowd neighborhood parks elsewhere in Edwards.
Edwards resident Kris Miller asked the commissioners to hold off on the modular unit purchase since the county’s planning staff and the Eagle County Planning Commission haven’t yet approved a plan.
Miller also asked the commissioners how much new water service is actually available for new projects.
“I wish all three of you (commissioners) would spend time in Edwards in the middle of the day,” Miller said. “We’re in gridlock as it is, and it’s going to get worse.”
While Miller said she hadn’t heard anything about new housing on the site in any earlier meetings, Jill Klosterman, the county’s finance director, said that isn’t the case.
Klosterman noted that county officials had in the summer of 2022 shared with Edwards officials three options for the property. All of those options included housing, she said.
But, she added, the main purpose of the plan is for county offices that are currently housed in Avon. The new offices will be “primarily” an election center, Klosterman said.
Responding to questions about the non-refundable deposit paid for the units, Klosterman said if the units don’t work on the Edwards site, they could be sited elsewhere.
In a subsequent discussion, Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney said the modular units fit well with the county’s Bold Housing Solutions efforts.
“You’re being nimble,” McQueeney told people from the county’s housing office. “The work you’re doing is getting actual people into homes. … If we were to build this building in Edwards and not build housing (supporters) would be taken aback.”