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Woodland Hills rejected

Protests by nearby residents convinced two of the three Eagle County commissioners to send developer David Nudell back to the county planning commission with orders to reduce density in the 88-unit project on 8.8 acres near the Eagle River Mobile Home Park.

Commissioners Michael Gallagher and Tom Stone voted to send the project back to the planning commission. Fellow-commissioner Arn Menconi, however, said the plan helps protect rural and open areas and that he was ready to support it.

“We need to de-demonize density and look for ways to put people where the people are,” said Menconi, referring to existing community centers. “That’s the way to maintain the rural character and natural beauty of our region.”

Gallagher and Stone, however, had concerns about traffic within the project, as well as on Highway 6, and how it would effect any development on the land on either side – which Stone said would certainly be proposed for development if Woodland Hills is approved. Stone said the time is long since passed to make Highway 6 traffic a consideration as part of every development project.

“At some point in time, someone has to make a stand and ask, “When do we quit putting it off?'” said Stone. “I still like the idea of modular homes on small lots. It would create a natural progression to the mobile-home community next door.”

Both Gallagher and Stone said they appreciated Woodland Hills’ proposed purpose of providing attainable housing for local workers.

“We are faced with two needs,” said Gallagher. “One is affordable housing, and we’re doing a lot to address it, and we appreciate your effort on that.”

On the other hand, Gallagher said, the overall planning of the Edwards community has to be kept in mind. The current zoning, Gallagher pointed out, allows 55 units.

“We’re using the Edwards Master Plan that is there at the time, not some to-be-adopted-at-some-time plan,” said Gallagher.

Stone said the Woodland Hills project is nothing but sprawl.

Menconi disagreed.

“This is a plan in favor of stopping sprawl,” said Menconi. “The more people we can bring to live in the core of our community, the more we protect the rural areas that we treasure. I’d like to congratulate Mr. Nudell for his willingness to adapt to concerns of commissioners and the residents of Edwards.”

Menconi said he received a letter from developer Bobby Warner in which Warner insisted no private development be brought forward for attainable housing unless it’s a publicly funded in some way, or done along with “trophy homes.”

Woodland Hills, as proposed:

– 88 units on an 8.8-acre parcel near the Eagle River Village Mobile Home Park in Edwards.

– 76 units would be two-bedroom, two-bath with a garage; 12 units would be one-bedroom, one-bath with a garage.

– The one-bedroom units are deed-restricted, with a cap on appreciation of 3 percent a year.

– The two-bedroom units are free-market

– Sale of all units will be limited to people who work in Eagle County.

– A half-acre playing field; sodded pocket park; a picnic area; health trail through the project.

– Trail connects to ECO trails system.

– Internal street connects to adjacent properties.


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