Parking spat resurfaces before Eagle board
EAGLE, Colorado – Kevin Allen moved his business, High Country Computers, out of Eagle earlier this summer but Tuesday night he appealed to members of the Eagle Town Board to shut down his former neighboring business over the parking dispute that led to his decision to relocate.
The issue involves a special use permit request from Eagle Auto Sales owners Treavor Theelke and Dari Laidman to expand the number of for-sale vehicles that can be parked at the property, located on the eastern side of the junction at U.S. Highway 6 and Broadway. The issue was complicated because of procedure. Because the public hearing for the issue had been formally advertised, the issue was before the Eagle Town Board Tuesday. However, the board members were asked to simply remand the discussion back to the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission because that group has not yet issued a recommendation regarding the request.
During the discussion, however, Allen formally requested revocation of the special use permit that allows Eagle Auto Sales to operate. He noted that when his business was located next door, the operators of Eagle Auto Sales violated the terms of the special use permit by illegally posting signs that reserved parking spaces the business was not entitled to use. Town Planner Tom Boni noted this was true, and when he was presented information about the violation, he contacted the Eagle Auto Sales owners and told them to remove the signs.
However, the bad blood between the two businesses continued and Allen alleged that it escalated to the point where Laidman behaved in a threatening manner. At that point Allen opted to move his business.
Since his departure, Allen said Eagle Auto Sales has repeatedly violated the parking rules set forth in the special use permit. He cited these ongoing alleged violations as the reason to revoke the special use permit
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Eagle Mayor Ed Woodland responded that if Allen believed he was being threatened, he needed to contact the Eagle Police, not look to the Eagle Town Board for resolution. He also noted that Allen’s objections are complicated by the fact that he no longer owns a business in town, nor is he a resident of Eagle.
As for the reported special use violation, Woodland said that the town’s policy is to first work with businesses, not to run them out of town. In the case of Eagle Auto Sales, Woodland noted there are no other tenants in the building to use the parking spaces and the issue is whether the building landlord finds the parking situation acceptable.
“The violation (cited) for revocation is what they are applying to change,” added town board member Scot Webster.
Woodland also took issue with Allen’s assertion that the town’s lack of response to the ongoing problem was why High County Computers moved out of town.
“People move all the time because they don’t like their neighbors. The role of the town board is not to mediate disputes with neighbors,” said Woodland.
Allen noted that the issue is the building’s appearance as people enter Eagle. Allen said he much prefers the way the entrances to Edwards and Avon look.
Woodland noted that while the town was sorry to see Allen’s business leave, it wasn’t interested in running out another commercial operation based on a violation that can be addressed in another manner.
“The rule of thumb is to work with people, not hammer them,” said Woodland.
The special use permit request was sent back to the Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission for formal recommendation and the town board will vote on the matter following that action. As for the alleged parking violations, the board instructed Allen that the proper procedure is to cite the violation and refer the information to the town planner for investigation.