Eagle River Meadows still in hearing mode | VailDaily.com

Eagle River Meadows still in hearing mode

Scott N. Millersmiller@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado – Lance Badger has more work to do.After more than four hours in an evening session with a skeptical group of Eagle County commissioners, the Eagle River Meadows project hearings are on hold until Dec. 7.Badger and the Atira Group have proposed housing and a medical campus at a site on both sides of the Eagle River including and around the old B&B Excavating gravel pit at Edwards.The plan originally envisioned housing on both the north and south sides of the river, linked by a bridge. But at a summer hearing, Badger was encouraged to develop an alternative plan that didn’t put any homes on the north side.He drew up that plan and presented it in late summer. Two weeks ago, Badger thought he might be on his way to “sketch plan” approval – the first of three county approvals needed before construction can begin – but with the original plan for building on both sides of the river. But after a two-hour summary of the project Tuesday evening, Commissioner Sara Fisher said she had some deep reservations about the project. Fisher said the housing units were too small for growing families and said she believes Eagle River Meadows would create a new community center away from the center of Edwards.”The commercial size is just too massive for that part of the valley floor,” Fisher said.Commissioner Peter Runyon said the plan so far is too speculative and wondered if Atira could be more specific about the business plan for the “health and wellness” center planned for the project.”I’m happy to get you to a point where it is less sketchy,” Badger said. “But that’s going to take some direction from the three of you.”That could be difficult.Stavney seems willing to pass Badger on to the next level.”It might fly there, and it might not,” Stavney said.Runyon seems more willing to talk about a version of the plan that pulls housing from the north side of the river.And Tuesday, Fisher said she wanted to see a “toned-down” version of the plan.Only seven members of the public attended the meeting, and only three people spoke.Eileen Bradley, a registered nurse, questioned whether the medical facilities could really draw people from around the country because of the area’s elevation.David Nelson, who lives in Old Edwards Estates, said he’d rather not see any building on the north side of the river.While Badger continues to promote Eagle River Meadows as a way to diversify the local economy, he acknowleged he has a lot of work to do to get votes from two of the commissioners when all three seem to have differing ideas of what they’d like to see at the property.Badger told the commissioners he’d been working on Eagle River Meadows for two years and is eager to move to the next step. But, he said, holding the next meeting Dec. 7 is all right with him.”I don’t want to rush into a decision on this,” he said. “If it takes that kind of time, let’s do it.”

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