Eagle project not a ‘mall’
Unfortunately, there have been some inaccuracies and important omissions in recent reporting on the approval process for Eagle River Station. For starters, let’s call this project by it’s proper designation and name. This is a mixed-use project with a lifestyle shopping center included. The shopping center is not a “mall.” By definition, a mall is an enclosed shopping center. It usually has several department store anchors, and is often at least twice the size of the shopping center proposed here. A lifestyle center is open air and pedestrian friendly.
The parking lot that is of such concern to the planning and zoning commission is broken into at least three areas. During winter months, some of the parking field will be used for snow storage, and unavailable for parking. The use of the 4.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of built-out space does reflect the industry norm. Although the parking lot might not be filled in May, it may be at Christmas. Downtown has suffered since more than 70 parking places were removed during the streetscape renovation. Why would we want to plan for insufficient parking?
The most recent article failed to mention the real reason why the meetings were continued until next Thursday. The town attorney interrupted Scott Turnipseed’s build up to denial to remind the commission that The Town Board had already approved the zoning plan, and the applicant had moved forward accordingly. The commission is therefore bound to act within the parameters of the approved plan. The attorney’s comments halted the commission in it’s tracks. It’s too bad that this important intervention was not reported on in the article.
This applicant has acted in good faith, and they deserve the courtesy of a good faith evaluation. Let’s give it to them. Eagle River Station is a good deal for the community.