Grauer: Much too much in midvalley |

Grauer: Much too much in midvalley

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

A proposed 134 residences crammed into 19 acres, called The Fields in El Jebel, should be denied, lest it serve as a precedent binding Eagle County commissioners to approve The Fields Jr., from Basalt to the county line.

Next to inflation and vertiginous housing costs, the most pressing issue in the Roaring Fork Valley is the accumulating traffic, congestion, and air pollution threatening the quality of life and health of man and beast.

The cause is increasing density, where it should not be, in the currently low-density areas between the urban centers — the opposite of smart growth.

The Roaring Fork Planning Commission issued its flawed master plan endorsing this damaging, contrarian approach. It requires a dump truck of salt, leavened with smart growth.

By using a 24-hour count, the county Planning Department was able to raise the level of service on the Highway 82 and El Jebel Road intersection up to a level “D.”

“You can’t tell people, oh, you’ll avoid traffic at 2 a.m.,” said Eagle County Commissioner Jeanie McQueeney” at a meeting. 

Commissioners should make the level of service public, hour by hour, for what already is a major highway choke point.

With Eagle County falling so far behind the eight ball providing affordable housing in the midvalley, it needs to play catch up. The affordable housing should be 60% to 40% free-market.

Most of all, the commissioners need to scientifically survey citizens in the Roaring Fork Valley on levels of desired development. Such a poll has not to my knowledge been done. Basalt has periodically polled. The over 100 area residents who filled the county meeting rooms for several times and who, by 9 to 1 called for a denial, should be a clue.

Bernard Grauer