Eagle-Vail property owners pick new president | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail property owners pick new president

Matt Zalaznick
Vail Daily/Quentin HunstadPaddy's owner Ralph Dockery was recently elected president of the Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association.

Dockery, who has lived in Eagle-Vail for 21 years and is co-owner of Paddy’s Sports Bar and Grill on U.S. Highway 6, says homeowners are afraid the “half-diamond” interchange will make on already bothersome traffic problem on the highway unbearable.

“I’m a biker and I’d rather ride I-70 through Eagle-Vail than Highway 6,” Dockery said.

The Colorado Department of Transportation, better known as CDOT, says the purpose of building the half-diamond interchange where I-70 passes over Highway 6 in Eagle-Vail is to reduce the number of cars getting on the highway in the sometimes perilous Dowd Junction about a mile east.

But, Dockery said, Eagle-Vail residents aren’t convinced, because a “full-diamond” I-70 interchange is being built on the western outskirts of Eagle-Vail, just another mile away. Those ramps are being funded by the developer of the Village of Avon shopping and residential complex.

“There are other options than cramming a half-diamond interchange down our throats,” Dockery said of CDOT’s goals of easing traffic in Dowd Junction. “We’re extremely interested in making sure the half-diamond doesn’t go in because that would just increase traffic and make Highway 6 more dangerous for bikers and pedestrians.”

The 1,400-member Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association is a little more powerful than similar groups because the neighborhood is unincorporated and doesn’t have a town council to fight its battles.

The Property Owners Association is responsible for enforcing building restrictions and other “covenants,” such as leash laws.

“Our primary job is to maintain and enhance property values through enforcement of covenants that have to do with parking, maintenance and design review,” Dockery said. “We don’t have a town council to take care of things; we kind of take care of our own house.”

The organization is not to be confused with the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District, which owns and manages neighborhood recreational facilities, such as the golf course, parks and a swimming pool.

One thing – other than the half-diamond – Eagle-Vail residents would like to see paved through their neighborhood is a bike path running from their border with Avon to Dowd Junction, Dockery said,

“We’re looking at getting a bike path through Eagle-Vail to connect Dowd Junction with Avon,” he said.

Property Owners also want to keep a close watch on the Village of Avon development, which is being built entirely in Avon’s town limits but will be right outside the backyards of Eagle-Vail homes on the north side of Highway 6.

“We want to minimize traffic, dirt and other construction problems over the three- to four-year build out,” Dockery said.

Dockery has been the group’s treasurer for the past two years. He said he put his name in for president because he’s been in the neighborhood a long time and he knows what its goals and problems are.

“I’ve got a couple years experience under my belt and that’s what you need,” he said. “At least you’re aware of the issues and some of the history and you can use that as a base to move right in.”

Dockery said more homeowners are getting involved in the neighborhood. For example, more people than ever attended this year’s annual property owners meeting, he said.

The Property Owners Association will again lead a spring clean-up and is planning other gatherings this summer to build neighborhood unity.

“Just so neighbors get to meet each other and bring up any concerns that they have in the community,” he said.

As for the half-diamond, CDOT officials say construction could begin at the end of the summer. Again, transportation officials say if less cars are getting on I-70 in the middle of the sharp curve at Dowd Junction, there should be less accidents on that winding stretch of highway.

Dockery and other Eagle-Vail resident say that problem will be solved by the Village at Avon interchange. What also makes the half-diamond unpopular is that is only has two ramps instead of four –an eastbound on -amp and a westbound off-ramp. That means, Eagle-Vail residents getting on the I-70 at the half-diamond could only travel east toward Dowd Junction, Vail and Denver.

Dockery said the neighborhood will fight the project, although residents are not quite ready to block backhoes and tractors.

“We’re trying to get homeowners to contact different officials,” he said. “The problems they have in Dowd Junction are caused on I-70. I don’t think they have anything to do with the exit there. You don’t see accidents on exits; you see accidents in Dowd Junction.”

Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.

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