City Council approves preannexation |

City Council approves preannexation

A proposed housing development on Four-Mile Road would include public access to trails and open space, and $900,000 in contributions to the city of Glenwood Springs for road improvements.Glenwood Springs City Council on Thursday approved a preannexation agreement with the developers of the Reserve at Elk Meadows. The development of up to 200 homes is planned for the Martino and Bershenyi ranches, which total about 1,600 acres.Developers plan to preserve some 1,000 acres of an upper meadow as publicly accessible open space. Landscape architect Ron Liston said trails on the property also would be open to all, including a path that would be a continuation of one on the Four-Mile Ranch subdivision adjacent to the proposed development.He said public parking also would be available on the development to access its trails.The developers say the project’s open space and trails should reduce the need of residents there to use Glenwood Springs parks. As a result, their agreement with the city calls for paying $1,875 per lot in park fees to the city, well below the city’s full requirement.Liston said that instead, developers want to focus their resources on traffic mitigation. They had proposed contributing $750,000 for the city to use for improvements to the 27th Street/Midland Avenue intersection, and other south Glenwood transportation needs identified recently by council.However, at council member Dave Johnson’s urging, developers also agreed to commit $150,000 toward eventual upgrading of the intersection of Midland and Four-Mile Road.Mayor Bruce Christensen said that while he’d rather not see the ranches developed, he believes the developers are trying to proceed in a sensitive fashion and benefit the public as well. He said he’s particularly pleased to see plans for public access along Four-Mile Creek.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.comAlso ThursdayIn other action Thursday, City Council:• agreed to a request by Steve Smith of the Campaign to Save Roan Plateau to support the city of Rifle’s comments calling for protection of the plateau, including keeping drilling rigs off public lands on the plateau top. That position is in keeping with council’s previous position on the issue. However, Joe O’Donnell, who represented council in discussions with the Bureau of Land Management prior to its release of this week’s final plan, urged council to hold off on any action until it has time to review the plan. Garfield County Commissioner John Martin made the same request. The BLM’s final plan calls for a staged approach to drilling on top, limiting development to 1 percent of the acreage at a time.• agreed to provide development fee waivers for affordable housing provided by two local developers. The city requires developers to price 15 percent of their projects according to affordable housing guidelines, and authorizes fee waivers for such homes to be provided at council’s discretion. Byron Vinger and Peter Waller requested the waivers for their respective projects on Center Drive in West Glenwood and the Overlin Drive area near downtown. Council had been reluctant to grant the waivers until recently, when it voted 4-3 to do so for a Bennett Avenue project, deciding that if it is requiring developers to make affordable housing concessions it should do its part for the cause as well. Some on council previously have raised concerns about subsidizing developers and costing the city revenues.• denied, in a 3-3 tie vote, to lease to Vanessa Smith a city-owned right of way necessary to expand her Kozy Kids Preschool to accommodate 12 children, up from eight. Some council members said the expansion would meet an urgent need for more local day care, but others agreed with city staff that more traffic would create a safety hazard because the business operates out of a home on Grand Avenue. However, council agreed to reconsider the matter at its next meeting because Dave Merritt was absent Thursday, and could cast the tie-breaking vote.

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