Tree Farm is not affordable

Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Eagle County commissioners.

Big development proposals are back in our small midvalley corridor.

Do you know if the people talking in favor of the Tree Farm project in El Jebel are for it or are being paid to be there? You do know the people against it are speaking from the heart and have been for the past 10 years.

You do know that your own Roaring Fork Planning Commission, Basalt and Pitkin County have all asked you to turn this proposal down? Do you know that the community has been asking the developer to meet with them for over a decade to fashion a project we can support?

Have the developers heard us? Have you?

You do know their proposal still represents the bare minimum 25 percent ratio required for affordable housing. The other 75 percent — free-market housing — we still don’t want. There are other affordable options that don’t carry these costs.

You don’t know if the traffic is really bad or people are just saying it is. You don’t know because you don’t live here.

You do know that adding another 340 houses to the midvalley will increase the need for schools, fire protection and libraries and lower the likelihood that you’ll know who you’re standing behind in the market checkout line. If you lived here.

You don’t know if the developer will sue you for voting down the project or if the community will sue you for voting in favor of it. You do know that commissioners and all land decision-making bodies are granted great deference by the courts.

You don’t know whether approving this project will increase your chances of getting re-elected or decrease them. You do know that voters in the Roaring Fork Valley typically make or break close elections in Eagle County.

You don’t know what to do. You might try jettisoning the consultants and stop offloading tasks onto county staff and come and spend some time here to find out for yourself.

Are you listening? We don’t want to be another Vail/Eagle.

Jill Soffer, Steve Elder, Lynn Nichols, Henrietta Oliver, Emily Ransford, Cathy Click, Janet and David Boyle, Ross and Megan Douglass