Eagle grapples with plan for Trinity building
EAGLE — No one is arguing that the large commercial building at 850 Castle Drive in West Eagle is out of character in its largely residential neighborhood.
Additionally, residents and town officials are mostly in agreement that a new proposed use of the structure would be an improvement over the business that is there now. The crux of the argument is future zoning for the property and how to best incorporate it into the neighborhood in the future.
Trinity Recycling currently occupies the building, which was constructed in 1971. Since that time, the West Eagle neighborhood has expanded around the building and it is now surrounded by residential uses. The operations of the metal recycling company have drawn complaints from the neighboring properties, and earlier this year the Eagle Town Board granted an extension of the business’s special use permit only after owner Josh Thompson pledged to put his property up for sale and search for a more compatible operation. He did, and he has. However, the mechanism for bringing in a more compatible operation to the site has neighbors worried.
Umbrella Roofing has applied to the town to house its Eagle Valley operations at the site. The business impact would be similar to the Superior Drywall operation housed in the building before Trinity Recycling. Neighboring property owners generally agreed that operation reasonably blended into the neighborhood.
Trevor Cannon of Umbrella Roofing said his operation would involve a maximum of five deliveries per week and none of the trucks would be parked along Castle Drive. He also said there would be virtually no retail sales at the site and generally the operation would involve having roofing teams load up at the area and then travel to their job sites. Cannon said only minimal sheet metal work would happen at the site.
“As far as noise goes, it’s pretty quiet,” said Cannon. He added Umbrella has no diesel trucks in its fleet so there won’t be early morning start up noise.
“I was thrilled to move forward and get a new applicant on the property,” said Eagle Town Planner Tom Boni. He saw the application as a way to remove negative impacts to the neighborhood, so to bring attract a more neighborhood-friendly business, he believed the best procedural method was to have the applicant request the property be rezoned as Commercial Limited. Currently the land is zoned Residential Multi Family and the Trinity Recycling operation is allowed under a Special Use Permit. Residents of the area balked at that plan.
Arguing that the re-zoning would adversely affect their property values, the neighbors appealed to the town board last week to reject the proposal.
“It sounds like Trevor would be a great neighbor, but what might come behind him?” said resident Cameron Gross.
Other neighbors urged the board to take a hard line and require a residential use at the property.
“We have had a lot of people approach us and it wasn’t a good fit,” said Trinity owner Josh Thompson. “Nobody wants to throw money into making it an apartment building and I don’t think there is any perfect solution for us. I think this is the closest to fit.”
Other property owners urge the town to buy the land and make it a park, arguing if the town can research development of a riverfront park near the fairgrounds, it can look into an amenity that would benefit residents.
“This property has been identified as a difficult property,” said Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick. “I am having trouble understanding the difficulty with Umbrella Roofing.”
In large part the neighbors agreed the proposed use would be an improvement over Trinity Recycling, but remained adamant that the zoning change is a problem.
With the neighborhood opposition in mind, the town board directed staff to rethink the proposal to determine if it can proceed without the rezoning action.
“As much as I like the applicant and what he is bring to the neighborhood … I need to look at the big picture,” said town board member Kevin Brubeck.
“Whatever we do, we need to come out of this not in a worse position,” said town board member Anne McKibbin.
Staff and the applicant will retool the proposal for reconsideration by the town board on Oct. 13.
For 40 years, Eagle’s Community Helpline has been a living example of the axiom that giving begins at home.