Letter: Tell commissioners no on Edwards RiverPark
As members of the steering committee for the 2016 revision of the Edwards Area Community plan we would like to point out to Edwards citizens that on Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m. the Eagle County Commissioners will decide the fate of the largest midvalley development in over 30-years, the Edwards RiverPark.
The planning commission has already approved this proposal for 594 units (948,500 total square feet) at the junction of Lake Creek Road and Highway 6 bordering the Eagle River Preserve.
The combined buildings are about equal in size to eight super Walmart stores. The buildings may reach up to 85 feet tall. The square footage will be 250% of all of Riverwalk and the density per acre will be about 150% of Riverwalk.
Traffic impacts for Highway 6 will be enormous (more than 4,400 cars estimated per day), and even the developer agrees that the taxes generated will only pay a portion of the needed expansion east and west of the development, leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions in road improvements.
Impacts to wildlife and the environment of the Eagle River Preserve will be inevitable with the addition of over 1,000 people next door. The developer promises fences and signage but people are not good at obeying signage and short of chain link and barbed wire, no fence is going to stop people from exploring the riverfront.
No in-person testimony will be allowed, concerned community members will have to register in advance to testify via video or phone. Video requires the Google Meet app.
In 2016, hundreds of Edwards residents collectively came together over a 12-month period and contributed to the revising of the Edwards Area Community plan which is supposed to be the guiding document for the county in considering new development proposals in Edwards. This document was ratified and adopted in 2017 by the planning commission and the County Commissioners.
Unfortunately, the county planning staff and the planning commission have misconstrued and ignored the intent and the content of the document and it is now up to the Eagle County Commissioners to add checks and balance to the land-use planning process and say no to the Edwards RiverPark in its current proposed configuration.
The EACP emphasizes maintaining the scale and feel of a small town and sets many standards for new development that this project does not meet.
This property can and should be developed, it is a blighted area, but this is not the right project for Edwards.
Citizens should participate in the hearings over the phone or by video and may also sign a petition asking the county to say no to this at http://www.blockriverpark.com The site and petition have been created by a group of concerned local residents. Written comments may also be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.