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Letters to the editor

John Tedstrom

A few months ago I wrote a letter to the editor concerning Eaton Ranch. At that time there was talk about potential development of the area that many of us perceived as a bad idea.I am now very excited about the momentum building in support of turning Eaton Ranch into the Eagle River Preserve. The most important next step in this effort is to generate support among our county commissioners to use $6 million in county funds to help preserve it. We live in a long, skinny valley where almost everything we do has a huge impact on everyone who lives and visits here. Open space is one of the things that makes our valley unique, beautiful and an incredibly desirable place to live. As a result, I think protecting the Eagle River Preserve is one of the more important things we can do as caretakers of this place. Preserving the Eagle River Preserve will have a long lasting impact on the character of the entire valley and be the benchmark that all other open space projects will be measured against. It will make a strong statement, that shows what we as residents value, that will last for generations. Many of us came here and stay here because of our love of the natural environment all around us. I think that is worth fighting for. Please get involved. Tell your friends, contact the county commissioners, sign a petition, attend the meeting on Jan. 20, write letters to all the papers in the area, and in Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Denver. But please get involved. This is truly one of those things in life we only get to do once.John TedstromEdwardsWorth the expenseThe floor of our once beautiful Eagle River Valley is beginning to look like any other urban corridor. Opportunities to preserve open space on the valley floor are becoming increasingly rare and prohibitively expensive. We simply cannot allow the opportunity to preserve the Eaton Ranch parcel, with its beautiful riparian corridor, slip through our fingers. I urge my fellow citizens to support efforts to obtain $6 million of funding from Eagle County to preserve this property. Alan Danson Historic opportunityOn Thursday, Jan. 20, the Eagle County commissioners have the opportunity to change the course of Eagle County history. Please vote to allocate Eagle County funds to preserve the Eaton Ranch Parcel as open space. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own and to keep green a beautiful chunk of our valley.The private sector, through the gracious efforts of the Vail Valley Foundation, is raising half of the money; now it’s our turn to contribute. What better use of open space funds is there? What better use of general fund dollars is there than to preserve a large portion of our rapidly disappearing precious, natural, undeveloped land? This land will be enjoyed by all Eagle County residents FOREVER! This purchase benefits all of your constituents. The alternative benefits only the developer.Commissioners, please do not hesitate and let this golden opportunity slip through your hands. Vote yes on Thursday, Jan. 20, to allocate Eagle County funds to purchase the Eaton Parcel. New New WallaceEdwardsEnsure our beautyHow fortunate we are to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. When Earl Eaton first told Pete Seibert about the beauty and opportunities that Vail possessed, he knew it was so from his own personal history and experience. Now, in 2005, we too have a smidgen of that history and experience and the opportunity to thoughtfully and collaboratively ensure that we maintain the beauty and the quality of life that we have grown to love. It is all about how we work together as communities from Gypsum to Vail to plan open spaces, appropriate residential areas, creative commercial spaces and balanced resort development. All of the elements are synergistic. They simply don’t work in isolation. We have to realize that if we don’t slow down, plan carefully and allocate funding for open space and regional planning our wonderful, unique valley will resemble every other sprawling suburban environment. Then we will kill the very place we dreamed about. I am a firm believer that now is the time to act in a focused and meaningful fashion to begin to plan regionally. The purchase and set-aside of the Eaton Ranch is a positive step for all of us – present and future. Lissa Tyler EdwardsSpend $6 million on EatonI wholeheartedly support the use of $6 million of county funds for the Eagle River Preserve.Vincent P. EmmerForest for the treesOn the matter of the Eaton Ranch, in your editorial “How Much is it Worth,” it would appear that your otherwise clear vision is somewhat clouded by the trees that are obscuring your view of the forest.It is a proven fact that open space, all open space, saves a community lots of money, for the cost of the additional services required to support development (schools, roads utilities, etc.) always far exceeds the taxes generated by the development (and the other development it spawns). Existing taxpayers are forced to shoulder the added burden, while some newly wealthy developer retires to the Carolinas. Some trade-off.The metropolis of Edwards is booming, if you have not noticed, and as a consequence services (particularly roads and parking) are already strained to the breaking point with little relief in sight. The thought of adding to the current mix something over 400,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, plus hundreds of dwelling units (the Hermes proposal) boggles the rational mind.The quality of life that all of us claim to enjoy in Eagle County today is a fragile quality, and if overtopped by too much development what we now enjoy will one day emulate the goose that laid the golden eggs. Just how many restaurants, gas stations, liquor stores, boutiques, hardware stores, medical offices, hair salons and shops of all kinds do we need to have all the services that we require close at hand? When is too much, too much? Tough questions, but if we as a community do not establish a commitment to the concept of “smart growth” with some reasonable limits to that growth, Eagle County will one day soon resemble the ugly, congested mess that lies just over the mountains to the East.Taking the most developable 72 acres of the Eaton Ranch off the market forever and maintaining it as open space for all to enjoy does many positive things for greater Edwards and for the entire county. The alternative, following the logic of your own preferred path, is simply another version of the mess that is Dillon/Silverthorne today. The choice is clear, preserve the ranch. Now can you see the forest?Peter BerghEdwards Keep Eaton open spaceI live in Edwards and want to express my concern over the rampant growth in Eagle County. I have lived in the Vail Valley for over 25 years and watched the growth. It needs to be slowed and watched carefully, as our water and other natural resources continue to be in a delicate balance. I am strongly in favor of using Eagle County tax dollars to support the preservation of the Eagle River Valley, i.e., Eagle River Preserve project, the Eaton Ranch in Edwards. Please support the efforts to maintain this open space.Cindy L. PetrehnEdwardsVail, Colorado


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