Eagle’s longtime top planner resigns | VailDaily.com

Eagle’s longtime top planner resigns

Kathy Heicher
Special to the Daily Bill Gray, above, has replaced Larry McKinzie as Eagle's top town planner.

EAGLE – The town announced this week that its long-term town planner, Larry McKinzie has submitted his resignation, effective Friday.McKinzie has been the town’s lead planner for the last eight years.”We will miss his experience,” Eagle Town Manager Willy Powell said. “Larry has been adept at various skills required in the field- from long-term visioning to review of site plans.” McKinzie, who is an architect, was instrumental in the design of the town hall, the pool and ice rink and the pedestrian bridge on Eby Creek Road, Powell said.

Bill Gray, currently the assistant town planner, will step into McKinzie’s position.The Eagle Town Board requested McKinzie’s resignation. McKinzie declined to comment.The change comes in the midst of the review of the controversial Red Mountain Ranch, a mixed-use project that could lure a big-box store on the east edge of Eagle. A $5 million renovation of downtown Eagle also is underway.Eagle Mayor Jon Stavney said the Town Board is confident employees will weather the transition.

“Staff personnel changes at that level are always awkward, and not less so today for the staggering scope of work that the town currently has on its plate,” said Stavney. He praised McKinzie for serving the interests of the town “aggressively and passionately” through years of immense growth.The projects that have come to fruition under McKinzie’s tenure include Eagle Ranch and the Bluffs subdivisions. He was also at the helm of the planning department during the review, and subsequent denial, of the immense Adam’s Rib project on Brush Creek. Much of the land that would have been developed is now Sylvan Lake State Park.McKinzie first came to Eagle in 1981, where he worked as an architect. He left in 1985, and spent five years working as an architect in Aspen. He returned to Eagle, and opened up his own business. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Town Board in the early 1990s, then was elected to a four-year term in 1992. He also served as president of the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“Larry has always stood up for the best interests of the town,” Powell said, “We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”Gray has been with the town for a year-and-a-half. He was formerly director of panning and zoning for Grand County. Gray is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning.”The Board is excited about the prospect of augmenting Bill Gray’s experience by bringing another perspective to the planners’ office as Eagle looks to the future,” Stavney said. “The variety of projects will be a great opportunity for a new planner to hit the ground running.”Vail, Colorado

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