Letter: Denver density in Eagle?
The Reserve at Hockett Gulch is again up for annexation vote on Tuesday to the Eagle Board of Trustees. The developer is proposing a Front Range style, 500-unit, high-density development with waivers to Eagle code including building height, open space and breaks in the timing of their payments, stretching them out so the project isn’t so front-end loaded.
As members of Eagle Citizens for Smart Growth with more than 100 Eagle residents, we strongly believe the Hockett Gulch project is not consistent with the Eagle Area Community Plan objective “To make Eagle a desirable place to live” and the board should vote down this request.
Eagle is on our third community planner in 12 months, this turnover and lack of continuity has allowed this project to land to the board with many variances to our town code without the scrutiny of, or partnering from, the developer.
Effectively the developer gets all their variances and subsidies and residents get traffic, less open space and 500 market-rate units. Let’s be clear, these units are not affordable housing with caps on rent and income limits. The community benefit is housing stock but the developer will pocket handsome returns and stick Eagle residents with the bill. There are several projects under construction in Eagle that fit our zoning and do not ask for waiving of infrastructure and water fees.
Smart growth incorporates all community members input and partners with stakeholders. This development as proposed will add 1,200-1,500 people to our town. The developer has not reached out broadly to community members or much less held a community forum. How will they integrate with existing ECO transit, community recreation and support existing commercial centers in town? We do not know and that coordination has not been done.
The developer has got the Eagle Chamber and the Vail Valley Partnership to lineup behind this project but not the community. What business owner doesn’t want more residents and consumers? Sadly, this development has completely failed in community outreach and consensus-building of such an impactful annexation.
Eagle is going through rapid change with Haymeadow and many announced developments in town. These received great scrutiny and were determined to provide benefit to the community as a whole and meet our zoning rules. Eagle Citizens for Smart Growth urge the Eagle Board of Trustees to vote down this annexation as it gives away too much of what makes Eagle great.
Keith Klesner, Ellen Bodenhemier