GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A new residential development in West Glenwood would be geared toward buyers age 55 and older, in anticipation of a growing senior population locally.
Glenwood Springs City Council last week got its first look at conceptual plans for 11 new houses, including five duplex buildings and one single-family house, to be built on a little more than 2 acres in the existing 13-lot West Glenwood Estates Subdivision.
The subdivision is located just north of Donegan Road on Gamba Drive, near the intersection with Soccer Field Road.
In September, City Council agreed to rezone the undeveloped part of the subdivision, which was originally set aside in 2001 for a church.
The new owner of the former church parcel, Glenwood Springs resident Don Markley, said he intends to submit formal plans in January for an “independent living” senior housing development.
“The whole thing will be restricted to buyers 55 and older,” Markley said in a telephone interview on Friday, adding the houses will be sold on the free market to qualified buyers based on the age restriction.
“The center of activity will be at the back of the houses, so it will all be tied together,” Markley said, explaining that the common area behind the units will serve as a central gathering place for residents.
“We plan to have a croquet court, horseshoe pits, bocce ball, those kinds of things,” he said.
The houses themselves will have wider-than-normal stairways and doorways, and each house will have a two-car garage, he said.
“All those things that seniors need that a regular house doesn’t provide,” Markley said. “There’s nothing like it in town, so our niche is quite different.”
Markley said he hopes to break ground on the project in the spring.
Earlier this year, the city OK’d plans for a combination assisted-living and nursing-home facility in the south Glenwood area.
Construction has not yet begun on the planned Stoney River assisted and independent living home and memory care facility, which was approved for the former Sunlight Racquet Club site at 27th Street and Midland Avenue.
That facility is to include 34 assisted living units for residents needing some level of daily care, plus 22 one- and two-bedroom independent living units and a central dining room. The separate memory care unit is to have 24 rooms for elderly residents needing extra supervision due to memory loss.
Future plans call for a nursing home and rehabilitation facility on the site as well.
City Councilman Dave Sturges applauded Markley’s proposal as well, noting recent data from the state demographer’s office that predict Garfield County’s senior citizen population will more than double over the next decade.
The new West Glenwood development would include a new one-way private road from Gamba Drive to access to the new units in the subdivision.
A separate homeowners association would serve the senior residents and be in charge of maintaining the common areas, as well as contribute to the ongoing maintenance of Gamba Drive.