Berthod Motors planning new auto sales lot |

Berthod Motors planning new auto sales lot

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Berthod Motors is eyeing an expansion of its automobile dealership operations along South Grand Avenue onto the old Knotty Pine cabins property at the 27th Street intersection.

The Knotty Pine property was purchased by the Gerbaz family, owners of Berthod Motors, a couple of years ago.

It is proposed to house the Jeep portion of the business, and will allow expansion of that line to include Chrysler, Dodge and Ram products as well, according to Don Gerbaz, vice president and general manager of Berthod Motors.

Berthod’s GMC-Buick dealership would remain at the current location farther south on Grand Avenue, he said.

“We’ve been working at this for about a year and a half now,” Gerbaz said. “It’s a good time now to be looking at [expansion], with building costs down. And Chrysler is pretty good with our plans.”

Under a development plan before Glenwood Springs City Council for conceptual review at its meeting Thursday, Berthod is proposing a new 21,016-square-foot building on the 109,778-square-foot lot.

The site currently contains 11 log cabins, a modular home and several trailer homes, which have been used as rentals in recent years.

The property was previously run as a lodge, and for several years was owned by Gould Construction, which used the units for employee housing.

The new Berthod building is to include offices, a showroom, parts department, wash bay and nine service bays. There would also be 130 parking spaces for auto display, as well as customer and employee parking.

A second development phase would include another 54-space parking area where a brick house and garage are now located, at the southeast corner of the site.

The development plan was previously before City Council for conceptual review in April 2010. However, since more than six months have lapsed and a few changes have been made to the proposal, it’s back for another look, city planner Gretchen Ricehill wrote in her staff report for Thursday’s meeting.

Once a formal development application is submitted, the project will eventually require a full review by the city’s planning and zoning commission and City Council.

One question before council will be whether to require the dealership to provide approximately 1,800 square feet of land to the city to accommodate a traffic signal island and right turn lane at the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and 27th Street.

“The reasoning was that the city had future plans to close the 23rd Street access to Highway 82,” Ricehill explains in her memo.

Currently, large delivery trucks are not allowed to turn right onto 27th Street at that location, and must use the 23rd Street intersection instead.

“If the 23rd Street intersection were closed, a right turn lane at 27th and South Grand would vastly improve turning movements for these large trucks,” Ricehill offered.

However, it remains uncertain if the city will indeed close the 23rd Street access onto Highway 82, she said.

Several variance requests would also be included with the development application related to landscaping, a retaining wall and parking.

Other issues open for discussion include building height and design, parking lot lighting, signage and access, including a plan for street cuts and driveway access on both Grand Avenue and 27th Street.

“The city engineer indicated to the applicant that he was not comfortable with the new dealership having direct access onto 27th Street” as well as Grand Avenue, Ricehill notes in her report.

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