Eagle River Meadows may abandon north side | VailDaily.com

Eagle River Meadows may abandon north side

Scott N. Millersmiller@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado – The Eagle River Meadows project may end up quite a bit smaller than originally proposed.Facing public opposition about a proposal to build more than 200 homes on the north side of the Eagle River just east of the Brett Ranch townhomes, the developers, the Atira Group, has proposed another option – deeding that property to Eagle County in exchange for more homes on the south side of the river, at the location of the old B & B gravel pit.Developer Lance Badger and county planners unveiled the proposal at a Tuesday hearing in Eagle. County Commissioners said they were interested, but needed more information, primarily about how the value of the land and just what the developers would need to put on the south side.Perhaps the biggest part of the new proposal is that Atira has asked that in exchange for giving up the north side of the property, it wouldn’t have to build any employee housing. Eagle County could save the property for future housing, or could create permanent open space there.If Atira limits its development to the south side, it would add about 100 housing units there, in addition to planned medical offices. About 40 of those units would be reserved for affordable housing, with about half of the remaining 200 units reserved for “resident only” housing.While Badger said his company still prefers its original plan, it is willing to develop detailed plans for both options on the property,The second plan comes with a host of questions, from parking to access off U.S. Highway 6 to pedestrian connections with the Brett Ranch townhomes and Lake Creek Village apartments on the north side of the river. The original plan called for a river bridge and road connecting Eagle River Meadows with the north side.”There are very clear benefits to connecting to Brett Ranch and Lake Creek Village,” Commissioner Jon Stavney said. “Whether that outweighs building on the north side isn’t clear.”Since Tuesday’s hearing started at 5:30 p.m. and with the hour already nearing 8 p.m., the commissioners decided there was simply too much information to process in that session.”A roll-up-our-sleeves hearing next week will give us clarity,” Commissioner Sara Fisher said.That hearing will start at 2 p.m. Aug. 31, and the commissioners expect it to be a lengthy one.”If it goes to midnight, it goes ’til midnight,” Fisher said.Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.