Vail Daily letter: Wrong for Edwards
July 13, 2010
The Remonov project proposed by Rick Mueller for Edwards on Tracts B, T and K should not be approved. This project has been presented several times and then withdrawn before a decision could be made.
I hope this time it is withdrawn permanently or stays on the table until the planning commission formally rejects the proposal.
All three tracts of land in the proposal are designated as open space.
If one were to look at a map of Edwards, it would show that these parcels were supposed to provide a buffer between the commercial development and the residential areas of Edwards.
Mr. Mueller knew about the open space requirements when he purchased the land and has been receiving discounted tax rates because of it. Now he wants to remove the designations because he’s ready to build luxury condos for retired second-home owners (his words, not mine) on Tract T.
In order to do so, he proposes to put the required employee-housing units on a separate parcel he owns (also open space). The employee housing originally was supposed to be deed-restricted and critical employees such as firefighters, paramedics and nurses were to be given priority.
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Apparently these buzz words weren’t good enough for the current proposal. Now he wants to “donate” the land for development by Habitat for Humanity in order to satisfy his employee-housing requirements for the luxury condos.
I doubt firefighters, paramedics and nurses would qualify for Habitat housing. Mr. Mueller, by the way, is also the president of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity.
He has proposed to donate portions of this land to the Eagle River Fire Protection District for the redevelopment of the Edwards Fire Station and for a roundabout for the West End project. All this would be done on a little over an acre of land sandwiched between the post office and the condos to the west.
The current proposal for 24 employee-housing units doesn’t meet the current county requirements for parking spaces and needs a variance by the county to fit.
In order to gain approval for these luxury condos, he also says he will build a day-care center on the other tract behind the Smiling Moose Deli.
All this so he can build on Tract T. These five-story condos will tower over the single-family homes of the South 40 subdivision. Some of these homes are within 50 feet of the planned condos. A high-density project should not be built abutting a low-density residential community.
Before anyone claims I’m against any development, let me state for the record that I’m not against development.
I just don’t happen to think a developer that buys open space, gets a tax break for years and now wants to tug on the heart strings of the people with buzz words like Habitat for Humanity, employee housing, donating portions of land to the community and day-care facilities in order to build an out-of-proportion condo complex should be allowed to do so.