More on Eagle River Station |

More on Eagle River Station

EAGLE, Colorado ” The message couldn’t have been more blunt ” the wildlife biologist charged with studying impacts of the Eagle River Station shopping center says the development won’t affect big game animals.

“The property is not critical habitat to the local deer and elk population. It is not now and never will be,” said Jerry Powell, of Wildlife Specialties, during a Wednesday night town board meeting.

Powell said the elk that have traditionally wintered at the 88-acre site ” where developers want to build 552,000 square foot of retail and 581 home ” are simply opportunistic animals taking advantage of easy grazing. He said it would be better for the animals to find forage in another location such as Bellyache Ridge or the Brush Creek Valley.

“You don’t want to attract wildlife to a property that exists between two major highways,” Powell said.

The state, meanwhile, is said to be designing fencing meant to keep animals away from the new I-70 interchange the developers want to build to bring customers straight to their stores.

On the subject of schools, Eagle River Station’s consultants have projected the development will produce 105 kindergarten through 12th grade students. Eagle County Schools concurs with the estimate and has indicated there is sufficient classroom space at Eagle Valley Elementary, Eagle Valley Middle and Eagle Valley High to adsorb the growth.

Finally, Heidi Aggeler, Eagle River Station’s housing consultant, presented the development’s plan for workforce housing.

Of the total 581 homes, 58 will be part of the town’s deed restricted housing program. An additional 117 would be classified as workforce units with ownership restricted to local employees. The remaining units would be free market.

The median home price at Eagle River Station would be $316,000 and the product mix would include studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.

“The market-rate units subsidize the low-price units. That is how affordable housing works,” said Aggeler.

Town board members questioned whether there will be enough affordable units, asking for information about the number of employees anticipated at various income levels. The town board predicted there will be many more sales clerks than store managers.

“If we don’t know what the mix is, how are we gong to address their needs?” asked Mayor Ed Woodland.

The Eagle Town Board’s review of Eagle River Station will take a hiatus next week. The hearings will resume Sept. 3 with discussion of land use and design issues.

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