Eagle-Vail street spat sputters
Some of their neighbors, meanwhile, say they fear nearby U.S. Highway 6 will become more dangerous if the same developer is forced to pave his street from the busy cross-county road where a bike path is now being built.
Walter Allen, chairman of the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District, says another street leading north off Highway 6 would endanger bicyclists and pedestrians on the recreation path planned by the district, Eagle County and the developer of the Village at Avon.
“I’m fearful this would be an unsafe condition,” Allen says. “We already have an outlet at Riverside Court and I think that could be utilized in a much safer fashion.”
Allen points out that on the south side of Eagle-Vail there are only three streets leading to about 1,450 homes and apartments. On the north side, where Riverside Court is, there are already two side streets for approximately 50 homes.
“You would have three points of access across the bike path, which is potentially very hazardous. That tends to negate what we’re spending $500,000 on,” Allen says.
Riverside Court is cut-off from the rest of Eagle-Vail by the golf course to the east, a Qwest building to the west, the Eagle River to the north and Highway 6 to the south.
Landowner Jim McVey and builder Keith Kelly are proposing to build a 15-unit townhome complex called River Quest west of the Qwest building.
Riverside Court homeowner Clark Shivley says he and his neighbors are mostly concerned about extra traffic generated by the complex.
“We feel as though we’ve been impacted quite a bit more than a lot of other parts of community by the advent of the boxes,” Shivley says, referring to the Village at Avon complex being built across the river.
“To further impact us,” he adds, “with a development such as this is going to be not only stressful but dangerous.”
McVey says many young families are interested in homes at River Quest, and if they moved in they would certainly be conscious of the safety of children on Riverside Court.
“It would be an ideal affordable-housing project for locals,” McVey says. “It’s being very well received by locals who need affordable housing, and it has a river frontage.”
McVey and Kelly say their road is being extended from Riverside Court because neither the county nor the Colorado Department of Transportation are eager to have another side street leading off Highway 6.
“It doesn’t make any sense. That’s what the county sees; that’s what the state sees,” Kelly says. “From a traffic planning situation and a safety situation, it defies what they want to happen.”
Were the road to be built off Highway 6, it would enter right where cars will start slowing down to turn onto a four-lane bridge leading into the Village at Avon when the shopping complex opens next summer, Kelly says.
The piece of land also has been singled out for condos since the early 1970s, he adds. A larger project planned for the same property was rejected in 1994, Kelly says.
The hitch for McVey and Kelly is they need special permission to build the road from Riverside Court because doing so would deviate from Eagle County’s zoning code. The board that grants such permission, known as the Zoning Board of Adjustment, was supposed to decide on the request this week but delayed its decision until January.
The Eagle-Vail Property Owners’ Association, through a letter to the Board of Adjustment from its presidents, Ralph Dockery, has given its support to the Riverside Court residents in opposing the River Quest proposal.
“In particular we feel the development is far too high a density for the community and will only exacerbate an already deplorable parking access situation on the west end of Riverside Court,” Dockery wrote. “A proposal with half the units and access via Highway 6 would be a more reasonable proposition, albeit not the ideal use of this land in our eyes,” he wrote.
Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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