Fields developer pushes for two exceptions to traffic requirements

Apr 18, 2016

Looking out on where The Fields is proposed.
Credit Elise Thatcher

An overloaded traffic light is one of the biggest hurdles for backers of an El Jebel development proposal, but another traffic-related fee may also prove to be an obstacle.

If approved, the subdivision would have around a hundred homes and duplexes, with 25 percent of them as county-mandated affordable housing units. The developer would have to pay about a $500,000 in what’s called road impact fees, in addition to fixing an intersection on Highway 82.

Keith Ehlers is a spokesman for the developer. He tried to convince Eagle County Commissioners last week that the mandatory fees should go specifically towards the already required improvements to the Valley Road intersection.

“We’ve got a memo from our attorney,” said Commissioner Jill Ryan, “that says that road impact fees cannot be waived for improvements which are required for access to the development. [That’s] part of our land use regulations.”

Commissioners and Assistant County Attorney Beth Oliver eventually agreed to talk with the developer in more detail about the matter.

Earlier this year, Ehlers told Aspen Public Radio that the developer was looking at paying the usual fees, on top of what they will have to spend on fixing the Highway 82 intersection. After Tuesday’s meeting, Ehlers said he and his partners might consider paying both the fees and the fix if county commissioners didn’t accept the first proposal.

The developer is also requesting to pay for only part of the intersection fix, instead of the entire $3.5 to 4 million price tag.