Vail Valley Voices: Really, RED? | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley Voices: Really, RED?

Jan Rosenthal Townsend
Vail, CO, Colorado

I will join the other “no” to ERS people who can’t vote (about 3,000 people) yet call Eagle home or own businesses here. We are all impacted by the project in many ways, ranging from traffic, pollution, night sky dissipation and we all agree on an array of other visual and economic concerns.

I may not get to vote because of where I live (up above town looking over to your ERS property), but I do have a say whether RED and “yes” voters like it or not. I have a huge stake in the outcome of this vote and in “determining Eagle’s future,” since I own property and a business in downtown Eagle. Jeff McMahon’s demeaning comments in the May 15 Vail Daily about how many “no” voters are “outsiders” really gets my blood boiling.

Let me remind you, Jeff, you and other partners with RED are not locals! And the money you make goes back to Kansas City.

I also laugh out loud at the utter hypocrisy when I see the ever-expanding list of “supporters” in your ads which includes a list of individuals with their spouses names listed separately, along with several businesses owned by some of these people, some of which are not even Eagle-based businesses. Not to mention a couple of people that don’t live in Eagle nor even in this county! How dumb do you think we all are?

McMahon also stated in his letter, “The proposed Eagle River Station development is on the same 88-acre property and has the same height limitations, open space requirements and setback restrictions as the first Eagle River Station development. It is physically impossible to grow the density by 30 percent with those restrictions in place.”

This is total nonsense. RED wrote its own planned unit-development guidelines, inclusive of setbacks, height restrictions and open space. That’s the whole point of a PUD. It’s to allow for and encourage flexibility in each one of those standards or limitations and for only one primary purpose – to promote better design than otherwise would be possible via conventional subdivision processes and standards.

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Regarding open space, a “pocket park” and some trees is hardly that. ERS achieves the bare minimum. Point is you did increase the square footage, and you very well could have designed a project that uses less land, produces higher densities and still have gotten the same amount of retail square footage.

Your mention of removing the hotel is a total joke. You removed the hotel five years ago at the front end of the ERS 1.0! Saying you did that “due to the wishes of the people” is another crock. You did not listen (as your ads-letters have said) to the overwhelming majority of citizens (even your supporters), who said we wanted a smaller project and one that sets a higher bar. You came back with a bigger project with no known tenants. And we are supposed to buy into this? Really? Again, how dumb do you think we all are?

In reference to your obsession with denouncing our claims that ERS is 80 percent larger than Glenwood Meadows, the reality is, ERS IS 80 percent bigger than the existing retail space at Glenwood Meadows. We are not talking about acreage. Plus, Glenwood Meadows doesn’t have any four-and-a-half story buildings or any rental units there. I have to ask my fellow neighbors, do you really think 250-550 rental apartments will help your home values? Really? If so, I have some swamp land near Kansas City to sell you all!

Please go to http://www.yestoeagle.com or the Facebook page “Eagle CO – Keep it Real” to see a more detailed analysis of the aforementioned. ERS has no named tenants, yet four-five big-box stores are planned with other ancillary (unknown) retailers.

By RED’S own admission, they (and all of us) have no idea who is coming, if anyone. All the “yes” signs, banners, ads, radio spots, mailers and letters change none of that. We are not that dumb!

Oh, and by the way, about the letters awhile ago asking about donations made to the “no” campaign in 2010? It was all legal, but we never saw the larger checks. Dave Flaherty, with Magellan Strategies out of Louisville, our campaign manager, handled all of that. Perhaps you should ask him. We heard he was hired by RED to now help with the “yes” campaign. If so, I’m sure Jeff McMahon has his

number.

I urge all my fellow citizens and Eagle voters to please use common sense, read between the RED lines and vote “no” (again!) on May 22. We all need to come up with real, viable and sustainable economic solutions for our town. We need to build minds here in Eagle, not mega malls.