Council may lift development moratorium |

Council may lift development moratorium

A development moratorium in south Glenwood Springs is scheduled to come up for review in early July, possibly with an eye toward lifting it.The moratorium, imposed in February, is tentatively scheduled to be reconsidered by City Council on July 6. City manager Jeff Hecksel is still considering what recommendation to make to council about the moratorium’s future. However, the city has made considerable progress on the projects he had wanted to see accomplished during the development timeout.Those projects include planning to meet future sewage treatment demands citywide, and current and future street needs in south Glenwood.”I’m in a better position to feel like the city has addressed some serious issues than I was before,” Hecksel said.Mayor Bruce Christensen said he expects that council will seriously consider lifting the moratorium July 6.Diane and Chris Steuben were impacted by the moratorium, which affected plans to build a 21-home subdivision on land they own at Midland Avenue and the Old Cardiff Bridge Road.”We’re 100 percent behind the moratorium being lifted,” Diane Steuben said. “We think it harms development in the city. We think it harms the economy in the city and it certainly harmed us.”City Council adopted the moratorium partly out of concerns that traffic already is a problem in south Glenwood. Traffic experts say the intersections of 27th Street at Midland Avenue and South Grand Avenue are inadequate at current vehicle volume.The moratorium also was imposed to give the city time to complete a citywide sewage plan, including adopting a timeline and financial strategy for dealing with sewage capacity needs and the eventual relocation of the city sewage plant to West Glenwood.Meanwhile, the city is facing the prospect of a 189-home subdivision being built at the Reserve at Elk Meadows, a development proposed for ranch land up Four-Mile Road, just outside city limits.The city has agreed to provide sewer service if the development goes forward, in exchange for the developers entering into a preannexation agreement that would address the project’s impacts on the city.The city also recently met with Garfield County commissioners, who expressed a willingness to consider playing a role in funding the Midland Avenue intersection upgrades. The city has begun tentatively considering a roundabout for the 27th Street intersection and a traffic light at South Grand, at a combined cost of roughly $1 million, but a time frame and funding plan for the intersections have yet to be determined.City officials also have gotten assurance from two county commissioners that they consider the county a partner with the city in pursuing the possibility of extending Midland to a new south bridge over the Roaring Fork River. That would provide a new connection to Highway 82 from the south side of town.”I think the council did a tremendously great job, as did the board of commissioners, in sitting down and talking about some pretty important issues,” Hecksel said.Steuben said the moratorium unfairly singled out south Glenwood.”The traffic problems that the moratorium is addressing are citywide, not just limited to the south side,” she said.Council will be considering whether to lift the moratorium after six months or let it continue for a full year.”The longer it goes on, the more people it affects, the building industry in particular,” Steuben said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext.

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