Village at Avon plans may change
A proposal to move a school planned for the Village at Avon and replace it with higher-density homes is troubling Avon Town Council members.
The school was originally planned for the northside of Interstate 70, east of the future full-diamond interchange. But the school district didn’t want to be so close to the off-ramp because it seemed unsafe for students, said Shane Bohart, development director of Traer Creek, LLC, the company building The Village at Avon. The sprawling project includes the Wal-Mart Supercenter and The Home Depot.
The new school site, Bohart said, is about 1.6 miles north of the interchange.
“The school district isn’t interested in being near the interchange, so we moved it closer to a higher density area,” Bohart said. “A higher density area typically generates more students.”
But Avon Town Manager Larry Brooks told Bohart at a Town Council meeting Tuesday the move may cause problems.
“Where the school was prior was close to Interstate 70,” Brooks said. “But then it was put away and set off somewhere else. If it doesn’t work, then we’ll park it somewhere else. I’m concerned with this because I think you’ve hopscotched over something.”
Brooks and Town Council members also raised concerns about the school’s access road, which will need the U.S. Forest Service’s approval.
“We want you to park it somewhere now,” Brooks said. “When the Forest Service gives you access to it, then you move it. I have a problem with it.”
Bohart said that if the Forest Service does not approve the access road to the school, the company will go back to the school district to find a suitable location for the school.
Another piece of the puzzle Town Council members raised concerns about was the number of residential units Traer Creek wants to add to its initial proposal. A mix of 310 residential units may surround the school and those units are an addition to the 2,400 units previously approved for the project.
“Our objective is to have higher density single-family lots,” Bohart said.
The residential density previously approved was six homes per acre on 39.5 acres. The amended plan reduces the acreage to 24.2, relocates the school, and increases the density to 10 homes per acre.
“These units are for seasonal short-term rentable housing,” said Tim Losa, an architect with Zehren and Associates and a land planner for the Village at Avon. “It makes housing more attainable.”
Some of the homes will have 700-square-foot lock-off apartments detached from the garage.
“I’m concerned about growth,” Avon Town Councilman Ron Wolfe said. “We don’t have the ability to control the impact – what is this, where is this, what does it look like – of this project.
“The town has to have a reasonable level of “you have to do this,'” Wolfe said.
Other council members questioned transportation. Because the density is higher than previously approved, the town recommended transit services be required for the development – including the school – to reduce traffic congestion and give residents transportation out of what will be an isolated neighborhood.
Bohart appeared to agree.
“We must have transit for this project to work and to take care of the residents in that neighborhood,” Bohart said. “We can’t imagine not having transit services because we have to serve those people.”
Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.