Vail Valley Voices: What’s the point of this public process?
Vail, CO, Colorado
More than a year ago, I started writing a column from my viewpoint as a resident sitting at Town Hall hoping to help educate what was happening in Eagle, Colo.
However, it seems that the longer I sit at meetings, I’m getting confused as to the point of the public process.
In January 2010, residents defeated ERS 1.0, supposedly in part because it didn’t comply with the old Eagle Area Community Plan. So during 2.0, I expected to hear more about how this plan was different and how it fits the new community plan.
However, when a resident pointed out that on page 40, it clearly states that any plan for east Eagle should be submitted as a single plan (I think the large acreage of blank space on the site plan shows it is not a single plan), the Town Board did not even discuss the issue.
There are many examples of how this plan does not fit the Area Community Plan, but it seems everyone is tired of this project. And it does not seem to matter that even though the minimum parking spaces are “only” 3.5 per 1,000 commercial square feet, the maximum allowed is what should be a concern to the town, as this project could be sold and the planned unit development guide will determine what is allowed. More than 4,000 parking spaces are possible!
Trustee Turnipseed even stated at the last meeting that the guide seemed vague enough that in his experience, these things end up in court. I think our neighbors in Avon can agree with this statement to the tune of approximately $1.4 million in legal and professional fees for their Traer Creek development in 2010-11 alone.
If the public process is for residents and if this proposal is supposed to bring such a financial windfall, is it not reasonable to expect residents to have time to present their own expert’s view of the viability of this project? It seems the mayor and Tom Boni, the current town planner and former Red Development staffer, do not think so and denied time at a hearing for a residents group expert.
I’ve done my best to educate myself on the process, but it seems the longer I sit at Town Hall, the clearer it is for the residents that something does not add up, and it isn’t just the developer’s projections.
It seems it is clear that no matter how many things we have going on in Eagle or what amazing national attention we have (thank you, Bonfire Brewery!), Eagle River Station will be the focus in our town until it is pushed through because the developer spent too much money on some land.
See ya’ll at Town Hall!
Brandi Resa is an Eagle resident.