Vail Valley Voices: Protect Haymeadow
Vail, CO, Colorado
I invite all of you to take a drive to the south of the town of Eagle.
Many of you bike and run it already. It’s this thing called Brush Creek, and as you run or ride by on two wheels or four wheels, I would ask you to appreciate what we have left in Eagle’s inventory of special yet marketable places.
I see so many people enjoying this last remnant of sweeping open space. Bikers stopping to see the hawk’s nest, photographers shooting perhaps the last photos of open, beautiful hayfields with deer families quietly moving across Brush Creek Road to graze for the evening.
However, it could be cut up into 979 residences. And with allowed accessory dwelling units, the actual number is 1,038, a far less publicized number projected to generate at least 8,530 one-way car trips per day.
The Haymeadow proposal has already passed the hurdle of Eagle’s Planning and Zoning Board with unanimous approval. Why? Because it fits with a highly manipulated new master plan that allows it.
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There’s only one thing left to save this thing called Brush Creek. You! The person who perhaps didn’t vote in the recent election. You! The person who came to Town Hall two years ago to say how important the Brush Creek Valley and its wildlife is to you.
You, who smile and cruise that road enjoying the experience while perhaps not even understanding you are about to lose it. And what a loss to Eagle it would be.
It has been written about in historical documents as part of the foundation of Eagle – the stagecoach road to wealth in the mining town of Fulford.
It has been noted as a last remaining crown jewel in Colorado.
But it is about to become a jewel in a developer’s tiara who is willing to count his rewards 30 years into the future, with promises of money for an unnecessarily needy town right now.
We are going to lose it if we don’t make this Town Board understand it should be protected with a better plan.
We have Eagle Valley Land Trust. We have county open space funds. We have transferable development rights.
We have many methods to explore in protecting this incredible and irreplaceable valley.
And as a heads-up to those of you who live in the west end of Bull Pasture, you may want to contact the town of Eagle before they manipulate your quiet neighborhood into a very busy roadway referred to as the Brush Creek Road Extension, which would take traffic directly to U.S. Highway 6 from Brush Creek Road through your neighborhood.
There is an attitude at the town that “Hey, those folks bought their homes knowing this has been a possibility since the inception of Bull Pasture.”
I wonder how many of you are original homeowners from so many years ago? Who of you since then had even a clue a connector to Highway 6 might march right through your open space and bike path?
And what happens when those thousands of cars (48,000 at Brush Creek build-out to be exact) hit Highway 6 at two, maybe three access points? Those of you who travel that road at 8 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. are already scratching your heads asking, “What is the town of Eagle thinking?” There is a limit to what is acceptable to the existing residents.
Planning and managing growth into the future is important. But in order for planning to proceed in a way that makes sense, preparing for the effect of thousands of cars and thousands of people in our quiet town must come before allowing it.
Highly contentious rights of way in Bull Pasture need to be purchased and secured before this ancillary road can even be considered a possibility. The developers are already counting on that road to be there as they very much need it to support traffic generated by their project, even though it won’t solve Eagle’s traffic problem on Highway 6. Rather, it would add 8,500 additional new vehicles to it per day. One way. Think about that!
Here are some email addresses where you can voice your thoughts: Tom Boni, firstname.lastname@example.org; Willy Powell, email@example.com; write to “Planners, at P.O. Box 609, Eagle, Co. 81631”; or give Tom Boni a call at 970-328-6354.
I’d recommend you don’t come to Haymeadow meetings at Town Hall. There are rules in place as to what you can even speak to, and if it’s not a scheduled topic of discussion for the evening, it won’t be allowed. Just write or speak your heartfelt opinion on the entire project to the above addresses and request it to be a part of public record.
And send it to the editor. What a treat to hear from someone other than myself!
Rosie Shearwood is an Eagle resident.