Vail Daily letter: Doesn’t make sense
May 15, 2012
I am sure all the Eagle residents have seen the signs around town “Save Eagle, Vote Yes for ERS.” This sends a great message, but I believe they have it backwards. First you must define what ails Eagle. The problems I see with Eagle are empty homes, falling home values , empty commercial space, and morning traffic jams near Capital Street and Highway 6.
How can any logical thinking person think that adding more commercial space and housing to Eagle is going to help those problems? Retail shopping centers are archaic. All malls, including fancy strip malls have a life cycle, and they all die eventually. What happens to Eagle when we have an empty parking lot five times the size of Costco’s sitting empty? Studies have shown that Internet sales are set to increase 67 percent by the year 2016. E-commerce is the wave of the future, not shopping malls.
RED Development and the town of Eagle must be taking lessons from comrade Obama. Much like the health-care bill that was forced upon Americans, ERS is being forced on Eagle residents. We already voted “no,” but our elected Town Board members chose to ignore the wishes of the people.
In regards to Obama’s bill, senators were quoting as saying “we need to pass this bill to see what’s in it.” That is exactly what is happening now. People want to approve ERS even though we have no idea what’s in it! There have been zero stores that have commited to this development. What we do know is it is adding a giant parking lot, and 550 housing units that are going to compete againts current homeowners. They are also promising jobs that are somehow tied to these mystery stores that have yet to be defined.
Jobs for whom? Do local construction companies really think they are going to be the low bidders and land these temporary jobs? Do Eagle residents really think $8 an hour retail jobs are going to allow people to buy their homes, and allow these workers to be self sufficient enough to add to Eagle’s economy rather than draw upon tax payer funded services?
Before voting, plan a field trip though our area. Drive down Chambers Avenue and look at all the empty lots, and empty commercial space. Then take a trip over to the airport and look at all the empty lots and real estate signs. Aftewards, drive back through Eagle Ranch, and look at all those empty commercial spots.
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Then ask yourself if a lack of commercial space is the problem around here. When you are done, feel free to drive through any of Eagle and Gypsum’s neighborhoods and count the empty houses and real estate signs. Ask yourself what adding an additional 550 housing units will accomplish.
People should be leery of RED and the Town Board. Anyone that is this desperate has a hidden agenda. Disguising marketing phone calls as surveys should be your first clue.