Heritage Park project continued | VailDaily.com

Heritage Park project continued

Veronica Whitney

Commissioners are continuing Tuesday’s hearing on the project because of lack of time.

County staff planners have recommended approval, with conditions – but the Eagle County Planning Commission rejected the project in May, citing density and traffic issues.

Jim Guida, the developer of the proposed 24 single-family homes near Homestead insists his proposal is needed in the community, however, saying his project is in compliance with the Edwards Community Plan, which has yet to be adopted.

Homestead neighbors have sent county planners more than 150 letters opposing the project, citing density and traffic issues, as well.

The Eagle County Master Plan, meanwhile, calls the 11-acre parcel known as the Allen Tract a “community center,” allowing density of three to six units per acre. Guida, in fact, is proposing less than that.

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“We’re creating a neighborhood that fits with the surroundings and close to the community center,” Guida says.

Surrounding the proposed Heritage Park development, density is 2.5 units per acre to the north, 4.9 units per acre to the south and one unit per 14 acres at Green Ranch, to the west.

In the early planning stages, Guida asked the Planning Commission four times to table a vote on the project, which county staff earlier said wasn’t compatible with the character of surrounding land uses. The initial project consisted of 44 units – 18 of which were lock-offs.

In April, Guida resubmitted the plan, calling for 24 single-family home sites instead of the 26 units previously proposed. Neighbors of the proposed project, however, argued that a traffic problem would be created due to the width of Allen Circle, a narrow access road off Homestead Drive and the only proposed entrance to the development.

County engineers determined access would be adequate after reviewing a traffic study provided by Guida.

Guida says he can’t reduce density because of the cost of construction and complying with county’s affordable-housing regulations. He has agreed to pay the county $75,000.

“As people moves into Edwards, you need to provide them with homes,” Guida says. “This is an infill parcel, and developing there will help reduce urban sprawl.”

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.

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