Some deal for open space |

Some deal for open space

Michael Beltracchi
Vail, CO, Colorado

Is your property worth 30 percent more now than it was a couple of years ago? That is the premium that Eagle County’s Open Space Advisory Committee is proposing to pay for a conservation easement to four attorneys from Missouri who currently own 1,018 acres of land called the Colorado River Ranch 12 miles north of Dotsero.

The county’s share of the deal has been reported to be $5.7 million. The apparent inflated “appraised” price for this property reminds me

of the recent runup in real estate prices when

there was too much easy money in the system nationwide.

In exchange for $13 million, the current owners of the property would agree to a conservation easement so that it would not be developed, but they would also retain 70 acres on which they could build a 7,000-square-foot house and 10 acres for buildings that would be used to run a cattle ranch.

What would taxpayers get for their $5.7 million? A 2-acre parking lot at one end of the property.

If Eagle County has $5.7 million that they are dying to spend for 2 acres of parking, how about buying some land next to the gondola in Avon for parking that all taxpayers can use?

Michael Beltracchi


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