Council votes 4-3 to deny Meadows retail application |

Council votes 4-3 to deny Meadows retail application

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Glenwood Springs City Council denied an application for a development at the Glenwood Meadows that would have been 100 percent retail.The application included an 88,000-square-foot retail building, a parking lot and a small restaurant on the 10-acre plot of undeveloped land between the Community Center and existing Meadows development. A major clothing store and major electronics goods store were likely choices for the retail building.”This application does not meet the intent of the (annexation agreement), and 100 percent retail is not acceptable,” said council member Kris Chadwick.A contentious point was a variance request that called for 100 percent retail use while an annexation agreement requires there to be a maximum of 25 percent retail in the lot.”There was a very strong desire by the community to have mixed use,” council member Dave Merritt said.But retail could bring more sales tax revenue to the city that could be used to fund other projects.Council Member Chris McGovern said retail has provided many amenities and benefits to the community, and that Glenwood Springs is fortunate to be a retail hub.”It’s retail that has provided all of those things, and yet now we hear, ‘Retail, oh that’s awful,'” she said. “I would hate to see in a few years that our retail in Glenwood Springs is slipping because a major clothing and a major electronics store didn’t locate here because of a decision that we made.”Mayor Bruce Christensen said the city could use the resources the retail development would generate wisely. The proposal isn’t changing the entire plan for Meadows, and other uses probably won’t work out in the near future, he added.”Lot 10 isn’t going to have a hotel,” he said. “Let’s use it for something that generates revenue so we can use it wisely.”The council ultimately voted 4-3 Thursday night to deny the application, finding it didn’t meet the intent of the original annexation agreement. Christensen, McGovern and Council Member Joe O’Donnell voted against denial.Russ Arensman, who’s running for an uncontested council seat, said despite developers’ assertions, there does seem to be a demand for hospitality in the city, and the market does seem to be able to support mixed use development.”I honestly believe we can do a great deal better, and we don’t have to sell our souls for sales tax revenue,” he said.Steve Shoflick, of Miller Weingarten Realty, said there has been a lot of progress made on the application since the Planning and Zoning Commission denied it. He asked the council to continue the matter so that city staff could review it, respond and for the application to be improved.He said potential projects like development in Eagle and the Willits development would draw shoppers away. More retail would add energy to the area and increase the vitality of other businesses, he added.”Building this project as a retail development continues to solidify Glenwood Springs as the retail hub in this region,” he said. “Income provides an excellent means for the city to support important initiatives such as housing.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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