Vail Daily letter: Feasible growth, or constraint?
Vail, CO, Colorado
If you couldn’t attend the last Eagle Town Board meeting, you missed a wonderful opportunity to hear the trustees discuss their detailed and insightful thoughts on ERS.
I was also at Town Hall Thursday evening as the candidates addressed certain questions. Irrespective of the candidates’ outspoken platforms and motives, the reality of the upcoming town of Eagle mayoral and Town Board election is clearly about the contentious Eagle River Station issue.
Fundamentally, does the community wish to encourage feasible economic growth for the town of Eagle or constrain it?
The Eagle Area Community Plan, which was drafted and approved by the town of Eagle Planning and Zoning Commission, was a multi-year exhaustive effort and collaboration of the town of Eagle staff, the Board of Trustees, the Planning and Zoning Commission, Eagle County staff, Eagle County commissioners, Eagle County Planning Commission and the Eagle Citizens Advisory Committee.
During the last two years, the trustees, Planning and Zoning Commission and town staff have been mindful, not only to listen to public comment, but assured that the current ERS application conformed to the town of Eagle Community Plan and conformed to the town of Eagle Land Use and Development Code. The trustees had a moral and legal obligation to do so.
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Not surprisingly, the ERS application does conform and the recent near unanimous vote for approval of the project (with one negative vote) reflects the current Board of Trustees’ thoughtful evaluation of the project and what ERS could do for the Eagle Community.
In the event ERS commences development, the town of Eagle is truly benefited, virtually no-risk, in the form of participation in needed municipal improvements, development and construction fees and most importantly, significant sales tax
Of course, this could include job creation and assisting with the stabilization of property values.
Do residents want potential sales tax revenues to leak into other communities to the east and west, or do they want to enjoy the potential sale tax revenue that a development such as ERS could provide?
One of the candidates thought that an indoor flea market facility designed to cater to artists and which would allow her to sell her prized sauerkraut would be her dream concept in which to promote real growth for the town. Maybe a little overboard.
If Zebulon Pike had met the naysayers at the Kansas border, what would he have done? If Peter Seibert had met these folks at the bottom of Vail Pass, what would he have said? It takes courage to move forward, and the nimbys are enjoying the fruits of their pioneering risk-taking!
The residents of Eagle have a clear choice. Elect a new mayor and trustees that want to kill a great opportunity, or respect the thousands of collective hours that have been spent on Eagle River Station and re-elect Ed Woodland and elect Ann McKibbin and Joe Knabel to the Board of Trustees. They have the experience and understand the issues.