GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A proposal to rezone the old Holly Quarry property on Iron Mountain for a future hotel and cog rail access to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park earned a favorable recommendation from the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday.
P&Z voted, 5-0, in support of the plan to rezone the 27-acre former quarry site from its current industrial zoning to the proposed new Iron Mountain Planned Unit Development. The proposal goes before Glenwood Springs City Council for its consideration on June 20.
The Caverns is under contract to buy the former mine property from Pitkin Iron Corp. Caverns Park owner Steve Beckley proposes to eventually build a lodge on the site, with some guest rooms quarried into the side of the mountain, plus a 260-space parking lot.
The site would also accommodate an inclined cog rail to serve as another access to the park, in addition to the existing tram and gravel access road that winds up Traver Trail from Highway 6.
A handful of citizens, including residents of the nearby Oasis Creek neighborhood, spoke at the P&Z hearing Tuesday, expressing concerns about extra traffic and visual impacts from the proposed future development.
A separate development plan would need to be submitted if the rezoning is ultimately approved by city council.
Beckley said the cog rail and proposed hotel are needed to accommodate future growth of the Adventure Park. However, development is not likely to take place right away, he said.
The P&Z recommendation came with a list of suggested conditions, should the rezoning request be approved.
Among them is a suggested requirement to work with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife to limit any blasting and excavation on the site to the period between June and October, in order to protect bighorn sheep that winter in the area.
A traffic study would also be required before the city could consider any improvements to the intersection of Highway 6, Traver Trail and Devereux Road. That could also delay the processing of a future development plan, according to the proposed rezoning conditions.
Other proposed conditions would include development of a soft foot trail to the proposed hotel/cog rail site, a building height limit of 25 feet, rather than 35 feet as spelled out in the city’s commercial zoning standards, weed management and a long-term wildlife mitigation plan.