Vail Daily letter: Reject Village at Avon plan
Vail, CO, Colorado
As a property owner in Avon, I suggest that anyone who lives, works or plays in Avon, Beaver Creek, Eagle-Vail or the rest of the Vail Valley should care about the development of the Village at Avon. The potential for development is huge and will affect the quality of life and aesthetics in Avon forever.
The Planning and Zoning Commission in Avon has recently been tasked with an impossible job in the wake of the lawsuit surrounding this development. Into the lap of the commission has been dropped an amendment to the current development plan that is so extensive and far reaching that it would be monumental for the commission to even digest it in the artificially short time frame provided.
The amendment makes sweeping changes never contemplated when a majority of Avon Town Council members approved the Settlement Term Sheet to guide it out of the lawsuit.
Certain limits in the current plan that affect the density, height and extent of uses have either been amended or eliminated. I sympathize with how helpless the commission must feel.
We citizens, a majority of Town Council members and the judge want the parties want to settle a dispute. But the planning commission has a job to uphold, which is to ensure that the laws of the town are satisfied to ensure logical, appropriate development.
The town got browbeaten by Traer Creek in 1998 and gave up a lot of tools that would have helped Avon to have a hand in what this property would become. We had a glimmer back then that there would be public improvements.
What I ask of the planning commission and Town Council is not to be part of a worse situation for the sake of settling this lawsuit. The planning commission this week recommended the Town Council reject this application.
If more rights and control are relinquished by approval of this development plan amendment, the town could end up in the future right back here where we are today: financially strapped with unattractive, unsustainable, illogical development that cannot support itself and provides little benefit to the people who reside, work, eat and recreate in Avon.
We deserve public improvements. We deserve parks, not slivers of dead grass in a median. We deserve a school with a chunk of truly serviceable land. We deserve appropriate limits on density and height until it is proven that more will work.
No governmental authority in its right mind should cave to a developer entity which appears as if it will never be satisfied with the great deal that it already has.
In the end, we ask and in fact demand is that the town follow its own laws and regulations. If it is true that the time constraints will not allow the planning commission a complete review of this application, then the commission should tell the decision makers they cannot do their job under those terms.
If the application is not sufficient and does not satisfy all requirements that they must use for every other applicant, then the commission must recommend for the sake of consistency and precedent that Town Council deny it.
If the application reaches beyond the directive of the Town Council and has not been amended to follow the meat of the Settlement Term Sheet, then the commission must recommend that the council deny it.
From what I know and have seen in Traer Creek in terms of refusing to participate in this settlement in good faith, Avon should deny this application for a development plan amendment until it takes the form that was intended.
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