14-story flagpole soars in Avon
AVON – You can see it from Highway 6 and Interstate 70. You can see its 150-foot-tall purple, metal body from a mile away.On Thursday, workers were still building the new flagpole – about 14 stories high – that now stands in the middle of the parking lot between Wal-Mart and The Home Depot at the Village at Avon.Dave McHugh, who discovered the new addition when he went shopping at Wal-Mart on Wednesday, called it an “eyesore.””It looks like a monolith. I can’t see any justification for it,” said McHugh, 30, of Eagle-Vail. “I can’t believe they’re getting away with it. I don’t know what they’re trying to do, have the biggest flag in Colorado?”
The new flagpole, which will be dedicated on July 3, was originally going to be even taller, at 205 feet high, said Valerie Ball of Traer Creek LLC, the developers of the Village at Avon and the two box stores. “After consulting with governmental officials, we found that a flagpole of that height would require flashing lights on the top approximately 3 feet in height,” Ball said. “Traer Creek felt that the lights would impact local residents and opted for a smaller flagpole. Our architects recommended that a 150-foot flagpole would be in keeping with the landscape.”And the American flag that will fly from it will be in proportion to the flagpole, at 20 feet tall by 38 feet long, Ball said.”The flag and pole honor our country and armed forces both here and overseas, and will be an inspiring sight for citizens traveling to and from Avon,” Ball said.Although it wasn’t responsible for the approval of the flagpole, the town of Avon Community Development department fielded several calls on Thursday from people concerned about it. And locals also shared their views at the Wal-Mart parking lot on Thursday. Vandaye Malow said she didn’t have a problem with the flagpole.
“It doesn’t matter to me how high it is,” said Malow, 40, of Gypsum.Although she can see the flagpole from her house in Eagle-Vail, Jen Lowry said that as long as an American flag is raised, she is OK with the pole.”I would be worried if it would be for a Home Depot flag,” said Lowry, 78. “But it’s for an American flag. And these days, with what’s going on, we should keep the flag in mind.”Mark Hob, 45, of Eagle-Vail, disagreed.”It’s terrible, too big and the wrong color,” he said, raising his head to see the top of the pole.
The project was approved by design review board for the Village at Avon and not Avon’s planning and zoning commission, which reviews just about everything else built in the town, said Avon town Manager Larry Brooks. The Village at Avon, the largest retail development in Eagle County, is scheduled to have 650,000 square feet of retail and 2,400 square feet of homes. The developers got their own design review board – or DRB – as part of a 1998 annexation and development agreement with Avon, Brooks said.”We don’t get to decide what goes on (at the Village at Avon),” Brooks said. “Although a member of the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission sits on that DRB board.” McHugh, who lives close to Wal-Mart, said he is disappointed with the developer of the stores. “Although they weren’t done in the mountain theme, I thought Wal-Mart and Home Depot had been tastefully done,” McHugh said. “But a tree can’t hide this flagpole.”
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