Vail Daily letter: Reject Homestead proposal |

Vail Daily letter: Reject Homestead proposal

Buddy Shipley
Edwards, CO Colorado

I’ve read the letters and emails and attended some of the meetings regarding the Homestead open space proposal, and as a result I reject the deal completely. There is simply no value to Homestead. Contrary to claims made in the Vail Daily, this open space proposal provides zero benefits to Homestead or its homeowners. Homestead has not required help with its open space for 30 years; we don’t need the government’s “help” now.

There are just too many down sides. Homestead would become a thoroughfare for public access to the county-owned open space easement, and that would mean more traffic on the only road into the community, more cars, more parking issues, and more policing issues. The increase in traffic and people may not be huge, but it will inevitably be more than we currently experience.

Then there’s the maintenance, garbage cleanup, paving a parking lot, plowing it in winter, fencing, signage, and who knows what else. Who will pay for all of this? Yes, it has been said that responsibility for these things would have to be negotiated, but the very fact that the county wants to “negotiate” them means they want Homestead to pay for something, else there wouldn’t be anything to negotiate. We already know the county wants Homestead to cough up $70,000, and Creamery to come up with $400,000. All property owners have paid into the County’s Open Space tax for years, but apparently for the county commissioners, that’s not good enough. They always want more, more of our land and more of our money. I say no more.

Homestead would receive nothing in return for permanently giving up its land. However, we would lose control of open space land we now own, along with all potential leverage toward unforeseen future negotiations or needs. What does the county and the Eagle Valley Land Trust propose to give Homestead residents for their land and trouble? Not a thing, but it’s clear they want more than just our land. Claiming the 400 acres could be developed into some sprawling complex of homes is just a scare tactic – not even the fear mongers can possibly believe their own propaganda.

Concerns expressed over possible rezoning and development of the land is just hyperbole for several reasons:

• The Board of Commissioners is not likely to grant an up-zone request, let alone a development.

• In this economic climate banks are unwilling to lend money for such ventures.

• There is a glut of homes on the market (resale and new) and prices are still dropping.

• Eagle County saw 618 foreclosures in 2010, and we’re already at 154 as of Wednesday.

I urge the Homestead board of directors to reject this proposal.

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