This fire needs to be put out |

This fire needs to be put out

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

Taking private property should be a last resort, not the first convenient option, for a municipal government.

Vail should not be inserting itself into the ownership dispute at the Wendy’s property. The fire station the town recently decided it would like to build there has gone a quarter of a century since a judge’s order to build one in West Vail. Why the sudden hurry?

Vail has plenty of town land for that fire station. Condemning the Wendy’s property is hardly a necessity.

Whatever has afflicted Vail for the sake of a fire station seems to have spread to Avon, home of the Eagle River Fire Protection District.

The fire district’s officials have decided they just have to have some private land on Nottingham Road, across from Pizza Hut, whether the owners choose to sell or not. Their own station next to Nottingham Lake at the center of town is just not big enough to suit them anymore.

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But making an offer to purchase and simply taking someone’s property for government use are two very different things.

The owner of the property the fire district covets, Jim Pavelich, sees commercial value and wants to develop the land. Last we looked, that’s his property, his choice. Barring true necessity for public takeover, he should be free to do as he chooses with it ” within reason and land-use codes, of course.

Neither Avon nor Vail truly lack for land owned by local government. None of the extreme conditions for condemnation of private property exist in either town for the convenience of fire station locations. Those stations can be built elsewhere ” in Vail’s case, on the town-owned land right next door to Wendy’s.

Eagle River Fire and the town of Vail are reaching much too easily for what should be their very last alternative.

” Don Rogers for the Editorial Board

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