Edwards can do better …
Edwards’ local government should take leadership in preserving Eaton Ranch as open space.That’s what David Lach, president of the metro district, said in a letter to the editor explaining why the board committed $750,000 to the effort to buy the 72-acre parcel for $12 million.We couldn’t agree more.True, we doubt the wisdom of Eaton. Too much money for too little land that’s worth preserving this way. The valuable parkland can be saved along the river without the expense. The bulk of the gravel pit abutting Edwards’ busiest corner would be better developed, and all that money better spent on more worthy open space.The Vail Valley Foundation and Eagle County now should be a million dollars or less from preserving Eaton. And, well, they will likely increase the chances of places like Wolcott catching the development they’ve avoided in downtown Edwards. Whoopee. But we have no quibble with the Edwards Metro District making a significant contribution to the cause if they believe in it. Frankly, they ought to be chipping in more – say $2.2 million, the amount Eagle County will dip into its general fund in addition to emptying its open space fund to come up with half the cost of this little parcel. The development pressure will move rather than go away. And the metro board is indulging in a pipe dream that saving Eaton will ease traffic. But they’ll see that for themselves soon enough. What’s perplexing is this notion that if they didn’t preserve Eaton Ranch, the county commissioners would HAVE to approve a big high-density development there. But since when is it government’s job to guarantee a developer his profit? Still, if Edwards believes in it, they ought to do better than $750,000. That’s next to nothing for the cost to the rest of the county in the long run. Vail, Colorado
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