Council to reconsider waiver of a 1980 Glenwood Springs General Improvement Tax
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” City council is considering whether or not to remove a parking ordinance waiver created in the early 1980s, as part of the General Improvement District, amid concerns of increased demand for downtown parking.
The General Improvement District (GID) was created in 1980 as a special downtown tax district in order to pay back the bond that funded the downtown parking lot behind the White River National Forest Building on Ninth Street, to accommodate downtown visitors and business employees.
Glenwood City Manager Jeff Hecksel stated in a memo to city council that, “The municipal code states that the district is exempt from parking requirements as set in the development code.”
The district exists to enhance parking and for beautification within the boundaries of the district, which includes ten complete and four partial city blocks between Seventh Street and Eleventh Street between Pitkin and Bennett Avenues.
The tax being levied for the district was approved in conjunction with a bond issuance to acquire the land for parking. While the debt was repaid a number of years ago, the property tax mill levy has continued.
Currently, the 2.253 mills equals about $42,000 annually. In the past five years those proceeds have been used for beautification projects downtown such as cleanup operations, holiday lighting, flowers and landscaping, and banners and bird netting.
A parking requirement waiver for new developments was added five months after the tax district was approved by voters in 1980. Today, with this parking waiver, developments within the district are not required to provide sufficient parking for their business, according to Mayor Bruce Christensen.
According to Christensen, council would like to keep the GID and remove the parking waiver from the district, which would require new developments to include sufficient parking.
“Council thought that the GID had value in regard to the cleanup of downtown that it’s paid for,” Christensen said. “But we did ask staff to come back with recommendations for change with regard to the parking waiver.”
While, there is a connection between the parking exemption and the imposition of the GID tax levy, according to Hecksel, there is no documented connection between the two.
Christensen said that it would be easy to remove the parking waiver while keeping the GID, but that council just wanted more information of the impacts of removing it.
The council will further discuss the issue at a future City Council meeting.
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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