Water spurs growth in Avon
AVON ” Right now, the Village at Avon consists of a couple big box stores and Traer Creek Plaza, which is still a work in progress.
But developer Traer Creek has much larger plans for the Village ” plans that will eventually cover 1,800 acres stretching toward Vail and call for 2,400 homes and 274,629 more square feet of commercial space. But none of that will happen if Traer Creek can’t get water.
More than a year after submitting a request, Traer Creek cleared its first hurdle in the quest for water when a 2-million gallon water tank was unanimously approved by the Avon Town Council at the end of June.
“By fall, we were getting a little concerned about how long it was taking to get the approval,” said Traer Creek spokesman Dan Christopherson. “This is a big break. To grow, we needed this water tank.”
Addressing council’s concerns about the visual blight a tank could create, the concrete and steel tank will be partly buried into a fairly steep hill, said Tambi Katieb, Avon’s community development director.
“It won’t be sitting up and visible,” Christopherson said. “It will be landscaped to take away any visual impact.”
The tank will be at Nottingham Gulch (just below Traer Creek’s reservoir) for easy water collection and distribution. To further soften the tank’s appearance, Aspen trees and shrubs will be planted around it.
“Over time, as the vegetation matures, it’s going to be pretty hard to recognize that there’s a partially buried tank there,” Katieb said.
As required, Traer Creek will also replace the wetlands in the area below the tank that will be affected by construction.
“We are required to make sure we mitigate any impacts on wildlife that we cause by disturbing wetlands,” Christopherson said.
But all this will take some time. Traer Creek’s first priority is finding funding for the $12 million project.
“We’re going to do it all just as quickly as we can,” Christopherson said.
In the meantime, Traer Creek is looking into building another shopping center just west of Traer Creek Plaza and is drafting plans for a multi-family residential and commercial development north of Interstate 70. The water tank will need to be up and running for these developments to happen, but it won’t just serve the Village at Avon.
“In the event of a fire or some other demand within the town of Avon that would put stress on the water supply, this would be helpful in providing additional water and water pressure,” Christopherson said.
Nic Corbett can be reached at email@example.com