Glenwood Springs council OKs rezoning of former church property
Ryan Summerlin September 24, 2013
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A piece of property in West Glenwood that had been set aside a dozen years ago for a future church, is now rezoned for limited multi-family residential development.
Glenwood Springs City Council on Thursday unanimously approved the rezoning of the 88,396-square-foot parcel at Donegan Road and Gamba Drive, removing a “church-only” restriction in the original zoning and placing the city’s R/2 limited multi-family zoning on the parcel.
The Colorado District for the Church of the Nazarene has owned the parcel since 2001 when the surrounding 12.9-acre West Glenwood Estates was annexed into the city of Glenwood Springs with plans for a new residential subdivision.
While the 13-lot subdivision proceeded to be developed, the church site has remained vacant and now serves as a temporary emergency turn-around for the subdivision. It is also used for a large detention pond, according to city planner Jill Peterson.
A buyer by the name of Don Markley represented to council that he was prepared to close on the church property, pending City Council’s action on the rezoning request.
“We plan to close [Friday], and already have an architect and engineers ready to move forward,” he said.
Markley had originally asked for the underlying R/3 zoning to remain, without the church use restriction. That would have allowed for higher-density development of the parcel.
He later agreed with neighboring homeowners, however, and earned a favorable recommendation from the city’s planning and zoning commission in August for the lower-density R/2 zoning.
Some neighbors said they still have safety concerns around development of the parcel related to the emergency access it now provides. Traffic and parking congestion from development of the site are also a concern, they said at the Thursday meeting.
City Council members suggested those concerns can be addressed at the time a formal development plan comes before the planning and zoning commission and council for review.
“I can support the rezoning, and we’ll see where the development goes,” Councilman Todd Leahy said. “That’s a good time to address some of these issues that have been raised [by neighbors].”
Peterson indicated that city planning staff will also evaluate a drainage plan and emergency access at that time as well.
Council OKs code changes
Also before the Glenwood Council on Thursday was the first round of city land-use code revisions, which were requested by council last year about this time.
Council gave the initial OK for a set of changes to the application review process, lengthening the time frame for applicants to meet certain deadlines. The changes will come back to the council in ordinance form for final consideration next month.
Additional land-use code revisions are still under review by city planning staff and the planning and zoning commission.
Also coming back before council at its Oct. 3 meeting will be a formal request to include bed and breakfast lodges as a special use, subject to public hearing, in all residential zone districts in Glenwood Springs, and as a permitted use in three of the city’s commercial zone districts.
Currently, B&Bs are only allowed as a permitted use in two residential zones and as a special use in a third zone. The changes would not apply to planned unit development neighborhoods that disallow commercial lodging, including Cardiff Glen, Glenwood Park, Oasis Creek and Glenwood Highlands.