Council to review Glenwood’s development codes
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – City Council members are ready to delve into one of their primary goals for the next two years, looking at ways to streamline the city’s development review process.
Tonight’s Glenwood Springs City Council meeting agenda includes a discussion of possible strategies to better facilitate or expedite the time it takes to get a land-use project through city reviews.
Some council members, in hopes of finding ways to stimulate the economy and create jobs, have expressed concern about the time and the expense for developers to pursue their projects.
The city’s land-use entitlement process outlined in the municipal code is “front-loaded” in the sense that a lot of detail work, such as preliminary architecture, engineering, traffic studies and lighting plans, is required upfront.
That does lead to significant upfront expense, Glenwood Springs Community Development Director Andrew McGregor explained in a memo to council for tonight’s meeting.
“The reward for the expense … is that the review period is quite quick, especially when compared with other jurisdictions both locally and nationally,” he wrote.
The process can bog down when an applicant bases a plan on any number of variances from code requirements, McGregor also pointed out.
“If a project’s design is wholly premised on a variance for, say, a setback, and that variance is not granted, then the entire application fails,” he wrote in the memo.
Among the suggested options for streamlining the process may be to develop a set of uniform engineering standards, allow for more administrative approvals, reduce the number of required submittals in the process, eliminate the conceptual review requirement, and reconsider some of the city’s special use reviews.
Also on tonight’s City Council agenda is an appeal of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s denial of a sign code variance for the Glenwood Springs Mall. The variance would allow for the new Ross Dress for Less store, which is currently under construction, to have its name on the main mall sign along Highway 6.
Council will also take up its discussion of a proposed amendment to allow for short-term vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods.
Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Glenwood Springs City Hall, 101 W. Eighth St.
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