Eagle-Vailites irked by apartment "Quest’
The street, blocked off from the rest of the neighborhood by busy U.S. Highway 6, doesn’t have any parks or public pools. But since the street dead-ends at a cul-de-sac, it also doesn’t have a lot of traffic, says resident Drew Rader.
“We’ve always been a forgotten stepchild over there,” Rader says. “It’s been nice that we are at the end of the cul-de-sac and there’s not a lot of traffic. But being on north side, we don’t have any parks and there’s no direct walking access to the rest of Eagle-Vail.”
The rest of Eagle-Vail, of course, has its golf course, a public pool, tennis courts, access to several hiking trails and several parks, including one built specifically for the neigbhorhood’s skateboarders.
Riverside Court residents have fought for more recognition from the powers that be in Eagle-Vail and the county. But one company they say they wish would forget them is McVey and Company Realtors, who, since 1994, has been trying to pave a road from the west end of their to block to a 15-unit apartment complex alongside the Eagle River.
McVey, based in Edwards, has filed with Eagle County to build a 15-unit complex on the other side of the Qwest building from Riverside Court, between the highway and the river. But before the company can build, it needs permission to pave a road closer to the riverbank than is normally allowed. Planners call that kind of approval a “variance.”
The same developer was turned down by the county in 1994 when it sought the same variance to build a 10-unit complex on the same piece of land.
A spokesman for the company could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday.
Riverside Court resident Brian Donaldson says he’s not happy about the developer’s plans to fiddle with the riverbank.
“If they change the riverbank, I’ll just have a better view of Super Wal-Mart,” he says, referring to the store scheduled to open next summer across the river in the large Village at Avon shopping complex.
But Clark Shivley, another Riverside Court resident, says he and his neighbors’ biggest concern is that their street will be flooded by the cars driven by future tenants of the River Quest complex.
“There are a lot of young families with small kids on the street,” Shivley says. “Already, in the last few years, a kid was struck by a car. Kids don’t have too many other places to play other than the street and the end area.”
Riverside Court also is trying to handle its own parking problems, Donaldson says.
“Increased vehicular traffic would just drive those concerns up through the roof,” Donaldson says. “Pedestrians are taking their lives in their hands right now. Throw another 50 cars a day in there and we’ll really have a problem.”
Eagle County and the Colorado Department of Transportation are currently building a bike path that should give Riverside Court residents better and safer access to the rest of Eagle-Vail.
A traffic light also will soon begin operating at the intersection of Stone Bridge Drive and Highway 6 to make it easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the busy road.
The light is already hanging above the highway, but has yet to be activated.
“It’s not that we’re opposed to any sort of development there, but we feel as though it needs to be reasonable,” Shivley says. “Trying to squish 15 units on that piece of property – anybody who took a look at it would think it’s insane. I could see six units.”
Donaldson also says he and his neighbors aren’t interested in restricting how the developer uses his property.
“You hate to see rights to develop property limited, but we’re hoping they take a look at alternative methods of access,” Donaldson says.
Rader says he and his neighbors, who are circulating a petition against the complex, have some better ideas for the piece of land.
“It just seems there is way too much density on the property and the access is questionable,” Rader says. “Ideally, it would be a park, though we don’t know if that’s realistic or not.”
Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.