County mulls redevelopment plan for 9-acre West Eagle site
West Eagle proposal
Total area: 8.84 acres
Total density: 78 units
Apartments: 24 “stacked flats”
Townhomes: 27 units
Small Bungalows: 16 units
Single family: 11 lots
EAGLE — Officials and staff from the town of Eagle and Eagle County have no shortage of ideas for the redevelopment of the West Eagle neighborhood.
What they lack is money.
This week the Eagle County commissioners took their first look at a plan for an approximately 9-acre site the county owns in the neighborhood. The site plan includes provisions for the Brush Creek Road extension, a street improvement that Eagle has desired for decades, as well as 78 housing units that include a mixture of apartments, townhomes, small bungalows and small single family homes. The project will include both for-sale and rental units.
“This project has quite a bit of history,” noted Pedro Campos, a land planner with Zehren and Associates who was part of the project team that developed the county’s West Eagle proposal. That team also included staff from Eagle, the county and Alpine Engineering.
“We really think this plan could work,” said Campos as he explained the overall design and phasing plan. The big challenge is the aging infrastructure in the area and the costs associated with a redevelopment.
“Just in general, the town of Eagle’s system need some upgrades to support this level of development,” said Gary Brooks, of Alpine Engineering.
As proposed, the West Eagle development encompasses 8.84 acres the county owns. U.S. Highway 6 is the western edge of the property and Eagle Ranch wetlands and open space are located on the southern edge.
Campos noted the site is within easy walking distance to the Broadway business district and can connect to the community’s trail system. He said the project team worked diligently to address the impact the new housing will have on existing homes in the area.
“This is not the most density we could put here,” said Eagle County Housing Director Jill Klostermann. “But this number feels pretty good in terms of fitting in with the neighborhood and being a cool place to live. It has the ability to be a great asset to Eagle.”
Campos said the project has been divided into four phases, with the first consisting of 12 apartments in two buildings, three townhomes and five single family lots. The first phase is proposed on a section of land located south of Castle Drive. From there, the remaining phases would spread north and east and would be reliant on completion of the Brush Creek Road extension.
Looks good on paper
When presented with the plan, county officials offered support for the plan concept, but noted that financial feasibility is another issue.
Typically, when infrastructure improvements cost are high, that expense is passed on to the people who eventually purchase homes in the affected area. But one of the county’s goals for the West Eagle project is to provide affordable housing. That means finding money to help make the project happen.
Klostermann said the project team plans to present the proposal to the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission at its June 22 meeting. She also asked the commissioners to green light an additional economic study for the proposal.
“That is what we would suggest as a next step — to do a little more exploring about costs associated with the project,” said Klostermann. In particular, she said staff wants to determine the affordability of the proposed first phase.
Tom Boni, Eagle town planner, offered his support for the proposal.
“We are very excited. We have to commend the process,” said Boni. “I really do think this neighborhood is ready and changing.”
Likewise, one of the landowners in the area, Steve Koonce, offered his support for the plan.
“To me, this is an encouraging move forward,” said Koonce.
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