Carnes: Proposed access road for Berlaimont Estates is deja vu all over again (column) |

Carnes: Proposed access road for Berlaimont Estates is deja vu all over again (column)

The power of observation — noticing and paying close attention to things — is an ability we all have, but most of us choose to ignore it except under certain circumstance.

For instance, the tobacco industry for the 21st century, aka the National Rifle Association, is ignored by most of us most of the time, except, of course, for the occasional mass shooting of innocents.

And thanks to a 24-hour news cycle and social media, we can’t help but observe the daily idiocy from our nation’s capitol, whether it’s Jared Kushner being voted off the security island or his father-in-law obsessing over Alec Baldwin while ignoring Vladimir Putin.

Like Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “I think what the president means is …,” these things are shoved in our collective faces so often it’s difficult for anyone to not observe them.

But these are national issues, and though I consider myself to be perhaps a tad more observant than average, I was completely oblivious to the proposed access road issue just north of Edwards.

That is, until local Peter Hart wrote his eye-opening column in the Vail Daily last week (“Don’t pave paradise for sprawl in the backcountry,” Friday, March 2).

This road, officially known as Forest Road 774 (right behind the Shaw Cancer Center), has been a biker and hiker haven for decades, heavily used by locals from spring though the fall as a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the valley floor (such as it is).

And now we have yet another development group from Florida (more on that in a minute) wanting to pave over the access to their 680 acres so their potential 19 gated-community homeowners don’t have to get their Land Rovers dirty for the few weeks they’re here each year.

Oh, the horror.

Haven’t we been down this road enough times?

Remember Brightwater in Gypsum or Magness Lindholm’s giant “Village at Avon” project? One is toast, and the other, 20 years into a 20-year project, is still little more than a Walmart and Home Depot.

Or another developer from Florida, who flew into town on a Golden Goose, promised free gin for everyone and then left an entire town “craving” for more promises.

How about the one in Avon who put up a few statues, had a few controversial shutter issues and promised a movie theater and a bowling alley? Evidently the cinema and lanes are now for their property in — you guessed it — Naples, Florida.

What is it with Florida?

Yes, this spot above Edwards is private property and they have every right to improve it however they see fit, as long as it conforms to neighborhood, local, district, regional, county, state and federal laws and codes.

But understand the same right exists for the rest of us to complain about it in hopes of having the “improvement” denied, and you can do so online before Monday, March 12, through the link with this column at

Is this a classic case of NIMBYism?

Well, duh, of course it is, but I simply do not care because the rest of us are already here and we have more than enough empty mansions in our backyard as it is.

Does that attitude make you angry?

Same answer.

We sometimes miss observing what is right under our collective noses and then find ourselves bitching in futile hindsight.

I hope it doesn’t happen this time.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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