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Please help save my lot

I love my way of life.

I wake up, kiss my charming wife, wake my three beautiful kids, have breakfast, and then sip java and read the morning news while admiring the breathtaking views across Happy Valley.

Friends and neighbors sometimes come up and visit on the back deck, also admiring the wonderful views. “It is a picturesque masterpiece!” more than a few have been heard to say.



We are proud – as longtime locals – to know that our children will forever be able to enjoy the visual aspect our house creates, as well as giving the elk and deer a continued haven to enjoy in our own little private parcel of Eagle County.

Well, at least we were, for unfortunately, that is all about to change.



Yes, friends, our amazing views, witnessed by all who visit, are standing on the proverbial precipice of total disaster.

What allows for this wonderful view – this striking sight of nature’s modern art – is a pristine, unfettered, empty lot bordering the eastern edge of the parcel containing our home yet opening up the skies northward for truly spectacular scenery.

Now, some scum bucket wants to develop that empty lot (I should probably mention at this point that we also happen to own it).



Yes, Mr. S. Bucket has the unfortunate right to purchase and develop the lot simply because of a signature received (not too damn fairly, I might add) from moi. A few months back, during an alcohol-induced haze of a local golf tourney, I regrettably bet that it would be at least two years before Happy Valley received international publicity to rival that received from the Ryan and Trista love fest last winter.

Man, was I ever wrong.

Anyway, now the jerk is threatening to exercise his wagered option (scribbled on a bar napkin, no less) and develop the land, that is, unless I can stop him. And that’s where you, my fellow all-loving and all-understanding Happy Valleyites, come into play.

All I’m asking for is a little help, some modest assistance in the form of a conservation easement from the public to maintain a private local’s way of life, thus allowing him (me) to continue offering such delectable views to friends and family, free of charge.

The current value is $225,000. Barely more than half an acre in total size, the lot contains a cute little stream (partially buried due to surrounding development) that my children affectionately call “Carnes Creek.”

Please don’t let “Carnes Creek” be sold out from under my kids.

Sure, I could sell some stocks or bonds, some downvalley real estate, or maybe even dip into a family trust, but that would be selfish. I’m doing this for the common good of Eagle County, and who’s more common than us common Happy Valley folk?

Surely there are some road repair or shop project funds that could be postponed. Maybe even a day care center that doesn’t really need the money, say, in the Berry Creek area.

So, please, call your friends, call your neighbors, but whatever you do, call your Eagle County commissioners.

If it worked once, there’s a darn good chance it will work again.

n n n

Bair Ranch had a little lamb,

Its fleece was green as gold.

Yet everywhere the Fleecer went,

“Spend your own dam money!” he was told.

But then to Eagle County came

The Fleecer (with land trust “volunteers”),

And soon departed with uncollected tax dollars

We’ll all be paying for years S

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.net


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