Decision on tramway is still up in the air |

Decision on tramway is still up in the air

The Glenwood Springs planning board’s recommendation on whether to allow a tramway on Iron Mountain is still up in the air.

The Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission considered a request Tuesday for a major development permit for an aerial tramway to carry people up the mountain to the Glenwood Caverns entrance.

The request includes a tramway base station, a hotel and commercial building, and zoning variances for building heights.

After discussing the issues, the hearing was continued until next Tuesday. The planning commission will hold a special meeting on the development in an effort to keep it on a fast track.

Applicant Chuck Peterson, a tramway engineer, said most of the issues were resolved at the meeting.

“It came down to just a few issues about drainage and parking,” Peterson said.

Peterson and his partner, Steve Beckley, owner of Glenwood Caverns, have formed the Glenwood Tramway Co. to pursue the project. Steve and April Carver, owners of the Hotel Denver, plan to build the hotel complex.

City planning staffers are worried the proposal doesn’t include enough parking spaces.

“We’re as concerned about parking as they are,” Peterson said. “It’s critical to the success of the project.”

As for the drainage, there was concern that water could pool up on the parking lot during a storm, further reducing parking spaces and creating drainage problems.

Planning commission members also discussed visibility of the tram station high on Iron Mountain.

“From certain sections of town, it will be on the skyline,” Peterson said.

But Peterson insists the tram will be a great amenity for the city. It will allow the Glenwood Caverns to stay open year-round.

“We’re all local people who are going to do the project right,” he said.

He also said the tram company will offer $50 annual passes for tram rides and cave tours.

Planning Commissioner Dave Johnson said the meeting was continued as the hour approached 11 p.m.

Planning commissioners wanted adequate time to put together conditions of approval and give the project the focused attention it deserves.

“Hopefully there’s some give and take between the applicant and staff,” Johnson said.

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