Shops or a fire station?
Vail CO, Colorado
AVON ” Avon firefighters want a new station across the street from Pizza Hut, but it could come at the cost of new shops and affordable housing for the town.
Jim Pavelich says he’s always had plans to develop the land he owns by the Golden Eagle Tire store on Nottingham Road, but the land and the now-vacant store may be condemned by the Eagle River Fire Protection District.
The 1.7-acre area is perfect for a fire station with easy access to downtown Avon, Wildridge and Interstate 70, fire Chief Charlie Moore said. The district wants this to be a replacement for its station on Benchmark Road, which Moore said is getting too small for new equipment and doesn’t fit in Avon’s plan for redeveloping its downtown.
A new station will be necessary, and this is the place to build it, Moore said.
“We’ve looked at a lot of sites in Avon, and that’s the best there is to relocate to,” Moore said. “There’s not much land in Avon that’s developable.”
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Pavelich, who founded the Vail Daily, said he recently sold his newspapers in California and is ready to build on his land in Avon as soon as possible. Now, there’s a good chance the land will be condemned.
“We’ve had an architect draw up some informal plans, and we’d like to go forward in the next year,” Pavelich said. “We’re looking at low-cost housing, a family-style restaurant, a small bakery ” lots of things.”
Pavelich said he wants the best fire protection for the area, but he doesn’t want Avon to lose out on a treasure trove of sales-tax revenues. There are other sites in the town for a fire station, Pavelich said.
He points to land in the Village at Avon recently donated to the fire district by developer Traer Creek LLC. The fire district does have plans for a station there someday, but only when the Village at Avon is fully developed, Moore said. Now, there aren’t many buildings there, and fire stations need to be near buildings.
“The site may someday serve Traer Creek, but it’s not a place that will work for downtown Avon, and we don’t need that site for quite a few years,” Moore said. “It wouldn’t make sense. There aren’t a lot of structures over there.”
Still, Pavelich sees his land as a better fit for shops and housing.
“It’s a great potential site for the community, and I hope the fire district would see it that way,” Pavelich said. “We are potentially going to contest the actual decision when it’s made.”
Moore said the condemnation isn’t finalized and that negotiations are taking place.
Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.