Eagle postpones decision to annex Reserve at Hockett Gulch | VailDaily.com

Eagle postpones decision to annex Reserve at Hockett Gulch

Town is close to approving massive 500-unit workforce housing project

Eagle's town board is poised to annex the Reserve at Hockett Gulch, the first step in approving the 500-unit workforce housing project.
Special to the Daily
Reserve at Hockett Gulch Overview
  • 500 dwelling units: 400 one- and two-bedroom rental apartments.
  • 100 units a variety of townhouses, apartments, and single-family homes.
  • 45% of rental units would be deed-restricted so that units are occupied by local workforce population. You have to work 30 hours a week in Eagle County to live in one or be retired from an Eagle County job.
  • Anticipated rent for a one-bedroom apartment $1,425. That 80.8% of Area Median Income
  • Anticipated rent for a two-bedroom apartment at $2,175 is 102.8% of AMI
  • 15% of for-sale units would be deed-restricted at 100% of AMI
  • PUD allows for limited amount of commercial space
  • 31% of the PUD’s 29.65 acres is open space

EAGLE — The Reserve at Hockett Gulch is one of the town’s largest real estate developments in the last quarter-century, and the town board wants to take one more look before giving it the green light.

Eagle is set to annex the project, which would entail 500 units on 30 acres in what will become Eagle’s western boundary. During Tuesday night’s meeting the town board postponed an annexation decision.

Rents calculate area median income

Rents are expected to be $1,425 for a one-bedroom apartment, 80% of average median income, and $2,175 for a two-bedroom unit, project planner Dominic Mauriello said.

 “You have to make the rents affordable for the people who live there,” Mauriello said.

Of the 500 units, 400 will be one- and two-bedroom rental units. Of those, 45% of rental units and 15% of for-sale units will be deed-restricted. That’s about 180 of the units, Mauriello said.

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To live in one of those deed-restricted units, you have to work in Eagle County for an average of 30 hours a week.

In preparing Tuesday’s presentation, Mauriello and the project planners found that 1,500 people commute each day to Eagle for jobs, Mauriello said, citing the county government, school district, town government, judicial system and courts along with other employers.

In defense of density

Opponents cited insufficient open space, parking and traffic impacts from the Reserve at Hockett Gulch and the 800-home Haymeadow project and other developments.

Rosie Shearwood called Hockett Gulch, “the third large alteration to our town in recent years. The first was Eagle Ranch, the second was the Haymeadow, and this is the third.”

“This would be a real end to preserving our town as we know it,” Shearwood said. “The support for Hockett Gulch is from those who will benefit from it financially.”

Proponents extolled the project’s part in easing the area’s workforce housing shortage. Every day someone is forced out of this town because they cannot afford to stay, proponents said.

As for traffic, the streets and roundabouts were designed to accommodate Hockett Gulch residents, and much more, proponents said.

Eagle’s community plan encourages development from the core outward, said Jon Stavney.

“This is exactly where density belongs,” Stavney said.

The Reserve at Hockett Gulch’s 500 units will mean an estimated 900 new local wallets for shopping and dining in Eagle, proponents said.

Water and paying for it

The project hit a buzz saw in March when developers asked for a $3 million reduction in its water fees. They won’t get it.

As part of the annexation, the developers will sign over to the town all the water rights they have, but that won’t cover the water they need. To cover that they’ll pay another $950,000, Mauriello said.

“You don’t have the actual bucket of water, so you’re getting a bucket of cash,” Carrie McCool, of McCool Development said.

Opponents say that even with that $950,000 payment, the developers are still getting a $2 million break in those fees.

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