by Eagle County Commissioner and Candidate – Jon Stavney
ECT, thanks for the opportunity to reply to the story, and question. I know as well as anyone after 15 years in the construction business, starting as a framing carpenter, then as a project manager who worked with hundreds of different subcontractors over the years just how much things have changed in the valley.
It is a nice slight of hand for the ECT to blame the 2,400 foreclosures, and families having to relocate, and . . . the increased divorce rate (!?!), not on the many excesses at all levels of the marketplace during the years leading up to the 2008 financial collapse,
but on county regulations. There is a lot to be frustrated and even angry about as to what caused our financial collapse, next to none of it has to do with any local policies. Misleading pathos is not the right way to approach this question.
That said, I believe the Housing Guidelines need to be adjusted downward. They were unrealistic at the peak of the market and are very unrealistic right now. That process is already underway.
As for the “green” ECO build guidelines– they risk being obsolete, as much of what they encourage were already best practice for good builders, and are becoming absorbed in new building codes. Pulling permits can be done on-line now and has never been easier. Many builders actually get reduced permit costs for exceeding the ECO checklist.
What stands out, and where most of the funds come in, is from large second homes that are penalized for Exterior Energy consumption by square footage. Most of these projects are not impeded by this extra cost. Those funds go to support a variety of projects around the valley, many of which are performed by small businesses like Active Energies. Projects funded over the years include a solar array at the Minturn Saloon, energy efficient upgrades on WECMRD Fieldhouse, the Walking Mountains Science Center, and Habitat homes at Fox Hollow. It has also funded many individual solar rebates on projects by the Clean Energy Collaborative, a small business in Basalt, not to mention a groundbreaking micro-hydro project my Mike Bair on the Fryingpan River.
This policy too should be reviewed, as all policy should, not because it costs construction jobs– that is clearly a falsehood, but because the redistributive nature of the program–penalizing wasteful projects to fund other efficient projects (like a cap and trade program), may or may not be the right thing to continue doing.
ECT Note: Last week the ECT reported that the currently proposed highly complicated Edwards/Homestead Open Space purchase was embroiled in a Lawsuit. Know this ECT readers: It was the combined actions of the folks from the Eagle Valley Land Trust, County Commissioners, and the Homestead Owners Association (et al) that precipitated (preceded) the filing of this Lawsuit.
Insomniacs can (Click Here
) to download the PDF of the original public record Case Filing – it’s 216 pages long.