Eagle: Retail-housing complex OK’d | VailDaily.com

Eagle: Retail-housing complex OK’d

Kathy Heicher
Eagle Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado ” Expect to see some substantial residential development in what has traditionally been a commercial district on Chambers Avenue.

The Eagle Town Board has unanimously approved a redevelopment proposal that will introduce a mix of employee housing and commercial space to the area. By approving the first step in the zoning request, the board signaled to the developer that the town is ready to accept the concept.

However, the board also warned the developers that they’ll be taking a hard look at details at the next level of review. That step will include site design details, amenities such as paths, parks and open space, and impacts on traffic and schools. The town will also be pressing for some significant deed restrictions on housing aimed at keeping it affordable for local workers.

“You guys are ahead of the curve. You’re the guinea pigs,” Mayor Ed Woodland told the development team of brothers Dave and Mike Dantas and Tim Broeren.

Mixed use in the Chambers Avenue area not recommended in the existing community plan. However, it is proposed in the town’s yet-to-be completed community plan update.

Board members Kraige Kinney and Roxie Deane voiced some hesitation about the project, noting that the revised community plan is nearing completion.

“We should be waiting and talking to the citizens of the town. We’re doing policy decisions after a project has already been approved,” said Kinney.

Deane wanted more details on amenities including schools, parks and walking paths.

“With housing comes families. I understand the need … but I’m concerned about the impacts that are not addressed,” she said.

Bob Matthews, owner of the West Slope Laundry Company, which is located on a neighboring property, warned that commercial uses have impacts not necessarily compatible with housing.

He pointed out that his business routinely involves noisy diesel trucks starting up at 4 a.m.; and that there’s plenty of barking dogs at a kennel located on the other side of the property. The post office is located to the immediate west.

Matthews asked for a provision that would protect the surrounding commercial properties from future noise complaints.

“If you don’t like the noise, go the Realtor,” he suggested.

The Dantas team said they have a strategy including screens, placement of buildings and buffers that will mitigate noise impacts.

Board member Scot Hunn said the location of the parcel, near a major intersection, was a unique opportunity for the town. He asked the developers to look at ways to reduce the amount of paved surface (parking) on the lot. Hunn said mixed use on Chambers was “inevitable.”

“This is an opportunity to be creative and forward thinking. If this project is to set the bar, we should set it very high,” he said.

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