Developer to city: Take or leave Red Feather Ridge plan
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – If voters shoot down Red Feather Ridge in a special election in June, there will be no more proposals for the city to consider, developer Guy Harrell said.
The proposed project, which would be located up Four Mile Road on the east side, is already approved by Garfield County to be developed as 58 two-acre lots – one lot being the fire station now under construction – and Harrell said that rather than coming up with another proposal for denser development if voters rejected his plan, he would develop within the county.
“We’ve been through 12 public hearings over 20 months,” he said. “This thing has been studied to death.”
Harrell represents MidFirst Bank of Oklahoma City, which inherited the troubled project after former developer Lester Colodny filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on the bank’s loan. Harrell wants to develop the land more densely because, he said, the local housing market is in need of lower-priced homes.
The plan for Red Feather Ridge calls for 149 lots and it includes open space, park land and space for a new city cemetery.
Council approved the annexation of the property and an extension of the city’s Urban Growth Boundary in a 4-3 vote last Thursday.
Then, in recognition of the opposition group Community Voices for Responsible Growth and the group’s petition with more than 1,000 signatures, council voted to refer the final decision to city voters. The petition was drafted to challenge any change to the city’s Comprehensive Plan without voter input and it opposes the annexation of Red Feather Ridge.
CVRG has been fighting to defeat what it calls urban-style development at Red Feather Ridge and to strengthen the ideals in the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
City Council members decided Thursday that if city voters shoot down the Red Feather Ridge annexation in June, all Red Feather Ridge approvals would be nullified – including the extension of the Urban Growth Boundary – and the project, as proposed, would be squelched.
But Harrell hasn’t given up on the project yet.
“Believe it or not, there are a number of enthusiastic supporters,” he said. “I think they all see the benefits.”
The project is aimed at giving regular working people a chance to buy a single-family home, Harrell said.
“Here’s an opportunity to get some moderately priced housing,” he said. “It’s the American Dream to own a single-family home with a white picket fence, isn’t it?”
Harrell plans to mobilize people who support the project and start a committee aimed at gaining voter support in the city.
Glenwood Springs Mayor Don Vanderhoof, who strongly supports the project for its affordable housing components and other benefits for the city, said he won’t campaign as the mayor, but will consider getting involved as a city resident.
“I will stay out of it as a City Council person,” he said. “As a private citizen, I can get involved in something like this.”
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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