Garfield County commissioners want city to address traffic concerns when considering West Glenwood pasture annexation
Developer reduces number of units, includes some for purchase
Garfield County staff provided an impact analysis on the proposed annexation of 15 acres in West Glenwood Springs during Monday’s county commissioners meeting, highlighting concerns about additional traffic congestion.
Wyatt Keesbery, Garfield County Road and Bridge director, said that he would like to see the city annex and take ownership of Donegan Road, Storm King Road and Mel Ray Road, the three roadways that surround the proposed development site.
“I think this would be a great opportunity for the city of Glenwood Springs to take on all of West Glenwood,” Keesbery said.
“Right now there’s very limited use — basically just West Glenwood uses those roads.”
Keesbery said the number of additional trips that would come with the tenants of the new residential development would exacerbate traffic congestion in the area.
“That’s going to cause nothing but issues, bigger issues than we already have,” Keesbery said.
“My recommendation is that they at least take in Mel Ray, Storm King and Donegan at minimum.”
Meanwhile, developers of the proposed multi-use plan where housing would be constructed in a pasture north of the Glenwood Springs Mall have downsized the number of units from 360 to 279 apartments.
That’s according to Barry Rosenberg, principal of R2 Partners.
Rosenberg presented updated plan information to the Garfield Board of County Commissioners Monday afternoon.
R2 Partners is the developer for the project and also announced Monday that it is under contract to purchase the adjacent mall property.
While providing additional information on the project, Rosenberg said they have also changed plans to include 40 units as for-sale rather than rental products.
“We’ve reduced the overall density of the project,” Rosenberg said.
The current project now includes 279 apartments, 40 units to be sold as townhomes and 13 live/work units.
Commissioner Mike Samson said the decision that will come before Glenwood Springs City Council is a tough one.
“I’ve got to be totally honest: I’m thankful I’m not making the last decision on this one,” Samson said.
“I would implore the city of Glenwood to really study this one. Is it my understanding that the city of Glenwood (Planning and Zoning Commission) unanimously said don’t do this? That’s interesting.”
Samson said he’s in agreement with county staff’s concerns, especially the increased traffic volumes in a currently quiet, low-density neighborhood.
“If I lived on those streets, I’d be concerned about that traffic,” Samson said.
“If you’re bent on doing this project, you’re going to have to ask a lot of the developers to make those roads what they’re going to have to be or you’re going to have a nightmare.”
Board Chairman John Martin said he protects the rights of the property owners to do what they want with their property, but the staff’s traffic congestion concerns that were outlined in the impact should be taken into consideration.
Commissioner Tom Jankovsky echoed Martin’s comments, saying that he respects the property owner’s rights.
The commissioners cannot decide whether the city chooses to annex or deny the annexation of the 15 acres.
During its May meeting, the Glenwood Springs P&Z voted 4-0 to recommend denial of both the annexation and rezoning the parcel as a residential planned unit development, citing conflicts between the developer’s project plans and the city’s current comprehensive plan.
The Glenwood Springs City Council will consider the annexation and rezoning requests for the 15 acres during a special meeting on July 29.
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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