Heritage Park back on the table

Veronica Whitney

After recommending denial twice to a request for a sketch plan, the Eagle County Community Development Department is recommending approval of the 24-unit residential project on what is known as the Allen Tract.

Developer Jim Guida has asked the Planning Commission four times to table a vote on the project, which the county staff said wasn’t compatible with the character of surrounding land uses in all directions.

Guida resubmitted the plan, which now comprises of 24 single-family home sites instead of the 26 units previously proposed. The initial project consisted of 44 units – 18 of which were lock-offs.

The Eagle County Planning Commission is expected to vote on the project on Wednesday. The project needs approval from the county commissioners before the developer can apply for a change in the zoning district.

“The latest modifications are sufficient to render a positive recommendation with conditions placed on it,” said Matt Gennett, a staff planner for Eagle County. “Density has come down significantly from the initial proposal and 24 units is better than 26.”

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The project’s gross density with 24 units is 2.1 units per acre, almost

double the 1.1 unit per acre combined density in Homestead, east of the proposed site. The density of the Green Ranch, west of the proposed project is one unit per 14 acres.

“We haven’t placed any conditions on density,” Gennett said. “They’ve

come down as much as they’ll go.”

Guida also has added an open space buffer to give it a transition from less dense neighboring areas. The resubmittal includes 30 percent of usable open space instead of the 25 percent proposed initially.

“The new proposal looks better in terms of density and compatibility,”

Gennett said.

Homestead neighbors have sent county planners more than 100 letters opposing the project, citing density and traffic issues. County engineers, however, determined a traffic study adequate. Neighbors argue the traffic problem could be the width of Allen Circle, a narrow access road off Homestead Drive.

After seeing the new layout, Mike Claymon, who lives along Allen Circle, said Tuesday he still opposes the project.

“I’m still against it, even more so than before,” he said. “There’s absolutely no community support for this project. Why would the county approve this? There’s no section of the Edwards community that supports it because the drawbacks dramatically outweigh the benefits.”

The drawbacks, Claymon said, still are density and traffic.

“Tripling the traffic on a small side street is unacceptable,” he added.

Although the density proposed still exceeds that in surrounding areas, Gennett said it will be a judgment call.

“You’re looking whether it’s compatible or not with surrounding uses, which in this case is residential. So it is compatible,” Gennett said.

If the Planning Commission rejects the project, county commissioners could still grant approval.

“In the end, what would be acceptable in terms of compatibility will be

in the hands of the county commissioners,” Gennett said.

Veronica Whitney can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 454 or at

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