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Vail Daily letter: ERS alternative

Rosie Shearwood
Brush Creek, CO Colorado
letters@vaildaily.com

It appears the town of Eagle and Trinity Red Developers will just keep pushing until they get the “yes” vote they are looking for. Eventually, people will get tired of spending too much time at Town Hall and become discouraged about whether their voices will be heard anyway. Why wouldn’t they? Even a fairly recent special election didn’t put the plan to rest.

The “no” vote that answered the Eagle River Station question clearly sent the message that Eagle does not want big box development, yet that is what is being offered again and on an even larger scale. They have set aside land to not be developed right now, but have not decided whether it will be commercial or residential in the future; small consolation to those who voted “no” to either.

I find it no small coincidence the development to the south of Eagle known as Haymeadow will come to the town at precisely the same time. They will feed each other, but the sad part is, together they will alter Eagle from anything it currently resembles. Eagle will be consumed by the sheer volume of people, traffic, commercialism and our town will become unrecognizable as the more or less peaceful place it is now.

Huge politics are at play here, a point that is particularly bitter to me as someone who will be tremendously impacted by the developments but unable to vote. Yes, I can come to meetings and voice my opinion, but what for?

Housing development doesn’t pay for itself, so the 979 housing units on 660 acres of Haymeadow on Brush Creek could appear to be “complemented” by massive commercial development on the other side of town. Providing of course one can claw his way through traffic to get there. Both of these developers recognize a hungry town and will leverage an approval by offering just about everything Eagle feels it needs right now. Why else would they come at this time? We have foundations right across the street from Haymeadow that have sat deserted for a couple of years, and there are empty commercial spaces all over town. Is the answer to infuse a massive flood of the same? This makes absolutely no sense except to developers who recognize a town susceptible to lucrative offers, and ready to take the dangled carrot.

Eagle and Gypsum need to realize they must face commercial growth in a united way. Costco has established a core for that growth and that’s where commercial development belongs. The two governments need to work together to make one successful entity that recognizes both towns share impacts from that kind of growth (traffic in Eagle) and come to an agreement as to how the space between can best be utilized. It already has lost a lot of its separation of community, and there is already a large industrial and commercial presence. Actions of the past have put Gypsum in the driver’s seat, and it’s not always been the friendliest of rides. But it’s time for the small distance between the two towns to be negotiated in a way that is best for both. Ultimately, into the future, it will be necessary for sensible commercial growth. They should unite rather than compete, and I’ve spoken to no one who would object to the 10 minute drive for shopping, which might be quicker than fighting Eagle traffic through roundabouts to ERS.

There’s probably a snowball’s future in a warm place for this to happen … but it’s worth contemplating.


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