Eagle’s first RV campground fails to move forward Tuesday | VailDaily.com

Eagle’s first RV campground fails to move forward Tuesday

BaseCamp Eagle, a project proposal that would have brought a campground to the Brush Creek Valley, remains in limbo

Members of the Eagle Town Council listen to public comment regarding the BaseCamp Eagle campground project, which failed to move forward at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Kelli Duncan

EAGLE — A proposal to bring an RV campground to the Brush Creek Valley did not move forward at a Town Council meeting Tuesday night after more than a dozen residents came out to express their opposition to the project.

Eagle residents Shawn and Marci Colby are seeking to establish an RV park and campground on 10 acres of their 13.5-acre property at 3220 Brush Creek Road, an idea that they said was years in the making.

On Tuesday, the Town Council was set to have a final vote to approve the annexation of those 10 acres as well as the rezoning of the land and a special use permit to allow for the proposed seasonal campground.

However, when it came time to vote on the first resolution — the annexation of the land — the motion failed to get a second and, therefore, the whole project did not move forward.

“Thank you guys, we’re sorry,” said Council member Mikel “Pappy” Kerst after the motion died Tuesday. “Come back, we’ll get through it all.”

The project elicited a total of 75 comments from residents during the public hearing process prior to Tuesday’s vote, more than a dozen of whom spoke in opposition of the campground Tuesday, citing concerns related to traffic, the risk posed by campfires and the impact on wildlife and nearby wetlands.

A Brush Creek Valley resident speaks out in opposition of the BaseCamp Eagle project at a meeting of the Eagle Town Council on Tuesday.
Kelli Duncan/kduncan@vaildaily.com

Tambi Katieb, the project’s planner, said the Colbys care deeply about the environment and take any potential impacts very seriously, adding that their idea for the park was born out of seeing the impact that the area’s other densely-populated campgrounds and RV parks were having on public lands.

The campground would operate seasonally from April to November to avoid further impacting the migratory patterns of the local elk population, Katieb said.

Many residents said they support the idea of a new campground but felt that the Brush Creek corridor was not the place to do it, with one resident saying it would be an “eyesore.”

Residents also cited concerns for the increased traffic that out-of-towners would bring to Brush Creek Road, which they said is already overburdened and hazardous for larger vehicles like RVs.

In response to concerns about air quality and wildfire risk due to campfires, Katieb said BaseCamp Eagle plans to use new, SOLO fire pits, which use special ventilation to reduce smoke and increase safety.

Shawn and Marci Colby (bottom left, second to left) listen as project planner Tambi Katieb outlines the BaseCamp Eagle project for the Eagle Town Council on Tuesday.
Kelli Duncan

Council member Geoffrey Grimmer said the project “could not have been a more intelligent design,” praising the Colbys for their development of new trails and incorporation of a small orchard in the park. However, he said that the potential long-term traffic effects on Brush Creek Road were inescapable and not easily remedied.

Not everyone is opposed to the project. Kevin Brubeck, a former council member who toured the property, spoke out in favor of the project in April, saying it is a piece of infrastructure that Eagle currently lacks.

Robert Tadlock, president of the Hardscrabble Trails Coalition, also wrote a public comment letter in support of the project.

“We do see a big need for camping in Eagle,” said Tadlock. “I don’t think any of us are saying this is not going to have any negative impacts. … But weighing it all out we just felt like it would be a net positive.”

The park would include 29 sites for RVs, 20 sites for tents or vans, and four group sites, each with two tent pads, for a total of 53 campsites, according to Katieb’s presentation. Four cabins could be built in a future phase of the project.

An overview of the proposed BaseCamp Eagle campground project, showing 29 sites for RVs, 20 sites for tents or vans, four group tent sites and the location of four possible cabins to be built in a future phase.
BaseCamp Eagle

The seasonal closure from Dec. 15 to April 15 would indeed mitigate the park’s impact on the local elk and mule deer populations significantly, but the park would still have some adverse effects on surrounding wildlife, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife representative Brian Wodrich, who joined Tuesday’s meeting remotely.

“We do have elk calving and productive areas in the nearby vicinity, but this site itself is not the only productive place for elk production for calving,” Wodrich said.

To prevent an increase in bear activity in the area, the Colbys would require all trash and food to be stored inside buildings or in bear-proof containers, Wodrich said.

Shawn Colby, of Eagle, thinks 10 acres of his 13.5-acre property on Brush Creek Road would make a great campground for people who come to town for events or to recreate. The project failed to move forward at a meeting of the Eagle Town Council on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Tom Lotshaw

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