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Debris flow basin first for Meadows

Greg Masse

The Glenwood Springs City Council gave first reading approval to annexation of the charred Glenwood Meadows property Thursday.

The vote gives developer Robert Macgregor the green light to move forward in producing detailed plans for the commercial and residential project.

The Coal Seam Fire burned much of the Meadows and the slopes of Red Mountain above the property on June 8. So Macgregor and city officials have discussed fast-tracking construction of a debris flow basin to stop mudslides that could skid down the mountain when the rains finally come.

“Our aim is to hurry up and get this thing done and protect what’s already there,” Macgregor said Friday.

The first reading of the annexation was approved by council 5-1 at its meeting Thursday. Councilman Dan Richardson was the lone dissenter.

“You are going to develop this project, right?” Richardson asked Macgregor. “You’re not going to sell it?”

Macgregor assured council he would stay on and said Friday he took it as a backhanded compliment that Richardson wants him on the project so much.

“I really should have said, `You’re not getting rid of me that easily, Dan,'” he said.

During the meeting, city officials also stressed the importance of getting the debris flow structure built as soon as possible.

“There’s an awful lot of property we need to protect. We cannot afford for Midland to be cut off from a mudslide,” Councilman Don Gillespie said.

Mayor Don Vanderhoof said he was gratified with the way the Meadows development team handled the situation.

“I am very pleased with the cooperation between the city and Meadows in making this a better project. Preliminary plans are under way to increase the scope of the debris flow basins in such a way that it will be a big plus to the city, and Meadows as well,” he said.

The fire changed the development plans in another way. Instead of building the debris flow basin below the line of scrub brush that existed prior to the fire, developers are now looking at moving that basin upwards, which would catch the debris sooner and provide more useable open space between it and the development.

“There was some discussion about moving it up the hill,” Macgregor said. “That is now possible because you don’t have to tear through a bunch of scrub oak.”

The move would allow the basin to be shorter in linear feet, but it would also need to be deeper, he said.

Now that the annexation proceedings are well on their way to completion, Macgregor said it’s time to focus his attention on drawing up site-specific plans for the project. Once complete, those plans must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and then by City Council.

“Everything gets looked at again. It’s a pretty thorough process,” he said.

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in spring of 2003, he said.


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