City council shares thoughts on townhome plans
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. One of the bigger issues raised about plans for a 57-unit townhome development just north of Wal-Mart is traffic.David Rippy said at Thursday night’s Glenwood Springs City Council meeting he’s had several meetings with neighboring property owners and city staff.”The overwhelming issue (neighbors) had was traffic,” he said.City staff preferred an option to extend two lanes from 26th Street through the development to Blake Avenue, Rippy said, due to concerns about access for emergency vehicles and the city’s overall traffic circulation. The townhomes would go on both sides of Palmer Avenue.”I would much prefer the street to go straight through,” said council member Chris McGovern. “It’s much better to have the connectivity.”Another option proposed is a roundabout inside the townhome site with a one-way road connecting south from 26th Street. Rippy said this could prevent traffic from heading north and mitigate neighbors’ concerns about increased traffic. But it could become a contentious point for the proposal.”The city staff is pretty much as opposed to that configuration as the neighborhood is in favor of it,” he said.The plans call for 18 accessory dwelling units (ADUs) incorporated into the individually owned townhomes. Rippy described the accessory units as self-contained walk-out basements underneath the townhomes. He said people could rent the ADUs to help offset their mortgage payments, and that the ADUs would help meet the demand for housing. Eight of the townhomes would be designated as affordable units, as per code, he added, and two or more would be handicapped-accessible. The townhomes would be staggered horizontally with some vertical separation between roof lines, and they would vary in color to break up the mass of the units, Rippy said.Plans would deed the city about 103 acres of land. Most of it would be unusable due to its slope, but the plans call for a park to the east of the townhome site.There was also some concern about density in the site Rippy described as the highest density residential zoning.Mayor Bruce Christensen said he would be opposed to the ADUs, which would increase the site’s density by about 31 percent. He said the plan’s density could be reduced slightly to help maintain the quality of the existing neighborhood nearby.”Spend lots of time on the traffic flow because those neighborhood streets aren’t designed for that and look at reducing the density slightly,” he said.McGovern said, “It all comes back down to the fact that if we want to build places that people can buy, we’re going to have to do a better job of allowing density in some neighborhoods.”Council member Kris Chadwick agreed the two-lane option should be used for more connectivity and that there is a need for the density, although she said she was shocked at hearing the estimated sale price of $400,000.”Probably none of us like this kind of density,” she said. “But it’s kind of a fact of life.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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