County Commissioners – Failing us Taxpayers, Again?

by – We don’t have a short memory

Just about 4 years ago the Eagle County Commissioners gave their support and endorsement to a Housing+Commercial Project in Edwards known as ‘The West End’ – these 5+ (still empty) acres located North along Rte. 6 just behind the Gas House.

The project went Bust, then became Bank Owned in spite of the Commissioners enthusiastic support.  The sign on this property (today) along Rte. 6 still advertises it For Sale.  Click on the photo below to enlarge it.

We live in complicated economic times here in Eagle County.

This past week we learned that our County Commissioners have given their initial approval (at sketch) for another new/proposed development in Wolcott, known today as the ‘Wolcott Community Plan’. (Click Here) The WCP has both a Residential and Commercial component – similarly the West End has a mix of Residential and Commercial too.

The ECT very much approves of the idea and effort of creating new Private Sector Jobs in Eagle County.

Meanwhile, questions abound.  We all know the Daily Fishwrap isn’t up to the task of thinking/asking and getting answers to these Community questions so the ECT will leave it up to our November 2012 County Commissioner Candidates (2 of the 3 Commissioner seats are up in 2012) to do that!  The ECT will be happy to publish what they have learned.

1 – Why is Wolcott being approved (at least initially) for development if we can’t/aren’t developing Edward’s (already approved) West End Project – that presumably still has their vested development rights our Commissioners granted a few years ago?

2 – What makes Wolcott so (ripe?) for development, when at the same time the West End in Edwards, languishes…and is still For Sale?  What does Wolcott know that Edwards doesn’t know?  And vise versa for that matter.

3 – Ditto, what Market Demand is in Wolcott that is not in Edwards, just 5 miles down the same Rte. 6 they are both on? – Again, we live in complicated times.

4 – Why are the folks from the Eagle Valley Land Trust running around (like chickens missing what?) trying to convince us all “what a great job” they’re doing “saving land” when our County has (Eagle’s) Eagle River Station, additionally Eagles proposed Haymeadow Housing development and now the ‘Wolcott Community Plan’ all up for approval in different jurisdictions.  Combined this is hundreds and hundreds of Acres of vacant land (dare we say…Open Space?) today.  Are our County Commissioners considering “the big picture” in Eagle County?  What have our Commissioners (learned?) from their past Development approval mistakes?  Anything?

The ECT doesn’t have all the answers, however we do know what some of our Community’s questions are – that need to be asked and answered before our County Commissioners approve another development – that history has shown – may or may not ever happen…

Keep one more thing in mind.  A Commissioner approval for a Development guarantees nothing.  Most Developers are not self-financed which means their Bankers likely have the greatest say – on if a Development ever gets built.  Construction Financing and written commitments from so called ‘anchor stores’ is all part of this complicated Development Equation.  Bankers, we all know don’t like risk.

The ECT looks forward to creating new Private Sector jobs…just as quickly as the Bankers are willing to fund the Developments that create them.

Why isn’t anyone associated with the Daily Fishwrap asking any of these Community Development questions?


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