Sprawling mall planned for Eagle up for endorsement | VailDaily.com

Sprawling mall planned for Eagle up for endorsement

EAGLE, Colorado ” The Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission is expected Tuesday to hand down its recommendation regarding the Eagle River Station shopping center and housing complex.

The sprawling project proposed by developers Trinity/RED east of town has been the subject of planning commission hearings for the past three months. Once the commission’s recommendation will be considered when the Town Board begins reviewing the project.

Last week, the commission toiled through an 81-page staff recommendation that detailed 115 conditions that should be attached to the project if Eagle opts to approve it. While many of those conditions are technical in nature ” dealing with lighting specifications, sign standards, storm water drainage and the like. But there is some disagreement between the town and the developers over parking and the height of some buildings.

The town has recommended that some of the huge parking lot planned should be made smaller to allow for more landscaping.

Planning commissioner Greg Macik noted that regional shopping areas, such as Glenwood Meadows and Gypsum’s Costco store, never seem to fill out their parking areas. “The quantity of parking seems excessive,” he said. “The question has been asked a dozen times. Where are the people going to come from?”

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But Michael Hans of RED Development said the parking is appropriate given his experience with the company’s other shopping centers. He said that if parking lots fill up, customers don’t stop coming. Instead they park in islands or in the street, causing significant problems.

“We have gotten to the point in this project that we can’t give up any parking,” said Hans.

The height of the residential buildings are another significant sticking point. The developers are proposing four-story, 65-foot tall buildings.

“To me, this is a deal-killer. It doesn’t fit with small town atmosphere,” said planning commissioner Bob Egan.

The planning commissioner have also been unhappy with a large sign the developers plan to put at the entrance to Eagle River Station.

Members of the public were sharply divided about the benefits and burdens that Eagle River Station would bring to town.

“I just don’t understand how this fits into our town. I think this project is extremely risky for the community,” said resident Charlie Hauser.

Resident Fred Schmidt countered by arguing that Eagle River Station’s sales tax generation has potential to be very beneficial for the community.

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