Letter: An Edwards RiverPark Christmas carol
At the recent Board of County Commissioners hearing for Edwards Riverpark I offered a public comment reflecting on the events portrayed in the seasonal story “A Christmas Carol.” As I explained to the commissioners, this was because they face questions coming from the past, the present and the future … albeit not in spirit form.
The question from the past relates to the Edwards Area Community Plan. After much deliberation and consultation with the community, a plan was agreed upon and endorsed by the county. Yet several of the folks who prepared the plan argued at the hearing that RiverPark does not honor the views of the community. I asked how the commissioners could justify approving a project that rejects the views of these committed citizens and in addition, those of us, including myself who thought that plan meant something.
I said that the question they face from the present is obvious: In hundreds of pages of public comment, the vast majority of comments are against. In addition, the “Block the RiverPark” petition has over 1,200 signatories, 822 of them from Edwards, citing areas of concern around traffic, wildlife, size and more. Hence this question from the present: How can commissioners approve a project to which so many stand in opposition today and for so many good reasons?
Finally, I argued that the future of the valley and beyond is asking them a question too. And that is this: In 2020, as our land literally burns and our rivers run dry, how can the commissioners approve a project that stands in direct conflict with the climate goals this county has endorsed. I quoted from the submission made by our Climate Action Collaborative: “The sustainability features of the development do not lend themselves to achievement of our Eagle County climate action goals.” To which I added — 1,600 parking spaces? Seriously?
I closed by expressing the hope that the commissioners, having given due consideration to these questions from the past, the present and the future, would wake up on Christmas Day morning feeling happy that they too were going to do the right thing … by saying: “We hear you, NO.”
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