Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Peter Bergh

Having followed with great interest the events leading up to the pending acquisition of the 72-acre property in Edwards known as the Eaton Ranch, and being very supportive of this purchase for numerous reasons, I am anxious that the land be properly allocated for future use and enjoyment by residents of Eagle County and their guests. Frankly, locking up this property for eternity as simply undefined “open space” makes very little practical sense in my judgment. Rather, it should be viewed as a central park, much like New York City’s Central Park, a multi-use parkland that has given joy and pleasure to many millions of people over the past century and will continue to do so far into the future.Edwards is now the center of the population growth for those who choose to live in Eagle County full time and will most likely continue in that regard for another 25 years of so or until greater Edwards is built out. Pressures for additional outlets for outdoor recreation facilities in the area will continue to build (witness the success and popularity of Freedom Park) and portions of the Eaton Ranch are ideally suited for a variety of recreational purposes.For example, the riparian area adjacent to the Eagle River should ideally remain relatively undisturbed as “open space” with a simple pathway paralleling the river; the hillside adjacent to Route 6 is the ideal slope and orientation for a terrific sledding hill (to replace Meadow Mountain) if graded properly; the benchland that has been created by the excavation of gravel over the years would be greatly enhanced by the creation of a large lake, say 10 acres or so; a large outdoor amphitheater for mid-valley concerts would be a great addition to the community; it would be nice to have a public access point to the river where canoes, rafts and kayaks could be launched; and etc. Finally, as Edwards continues to grow and develop there will be a corresponding need for adequate commercial development to serve the needs of the resident population, which now totals something over 9,000 people (how about a large Whole Foods Supermarket?). I for one think that it would make great sense to trade off 5 to 10 acres of land toward the eastern end of the property to Rick Hermes’ Community Concepts for 80 acres or so he controls towards the west end of the property (plus a large chunk of cash, as the 80 acres is apparently wetland and of very little commercial value).Hermes’ group has some good ideas for a scaled-backed development adjacent to the already established community center that would add economic vitality and a pleasant shopping and dining environment for residents; and the community would gain another 80 acres or so of real open space (flood plain and wetlands) and a fresh infusion of cash. All in all a win-win-win for all concerned. Let’s hope that the powers that be at least keep an open mind to this (or other) possible scenarios that make good sense for all concerned.Peter BerghEdwardsFishy numberWhy doesn’t someone publish what Runyon keeps chanting about? Where exactly are these 16,000 unbuilt units? If he is correct, maybe this point would help in his quest for a moratorium. I would bet hotel units, time-share, condo and employee housing numbers place this evil 16,000 demon well out of wack with single-family homes. How about a breakdown on all 16,000 units per specific location and product type (you could do this). This would help all of us concerned citizens weigh in on the actual issues and not the political hysteria. A well-informed community and council could force developers to position their development with the product that the county does need, similar to the methods for supplying employee housing. Or maybe the county should do a master plan and identify where development is best positioned and for what type, similar to the one that outlines the highest and best use of the Eaton parcel. Oh wait, I guess they did identify commercial mixed-use high density for Eaton. “How silly. We must have made a typo; we meant open space.” (Could the 16,000 figure be a “typo” too?) Seem familiar?Brian Judge Venerable traditionDon Rogers is right, this time. The benefits of anonymous comments on the issues of the day far outweigh any harm. It’s an old tradition in this country. The Federalist, a series of articles promoting adoption of the Constitution, was authored by Hamilton, Madison and Jay, all using the pseudonym Publius. Ben Franklin got a lot of his views aired in Poor Richard’s Almanac, and as a woman, Silence Dogood. Congress is considering legislation to provide cover to reporters for their sources of news about the government. It’s already the law in a number of states, including Colorado. Why limit such protection to people in the news business, and why limit it to information about government misdeeds? As I’ve said before: Why do you need to know who said it, except for retaliation? Remember, it’s the thought that counts. Terry QuinnEagleLove that rideThis was my fourth 100-mile Eagle River Ride. It has been a blast every year and getting better and bigger every year. The support was outstanding, from the speed demons uttering words of encouragement (thanks Toph, Ray, …) to the aid stations with volunteers keeping us hydrated and fed.As a Belgian, I have to admit the peanut butter was calling my name. What about Nutella next year? Have to go sign up for my fifth Eagle River Ride.Gerlinde DebieVail, Colorado

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