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Glenwood airport is under review

A plane prepares to land at Glenwoood Springs Municipal Airport Thursday morning. City officials continue to look for ideas for the future of the small airport on the south side of the city.
Kyle Mills / Post Independent

Glenwood Springs’ airport property scenario planning project took off Thursday when the project’s consultant team delivered its final report.

Gruen Gruen + Associates, the project’s lead consultant, provided a handful of scenarios for the municipal airport property that encompasses approximately 63 acres of city-owned land.

The planning effort began in fall 2018 as a way of comparing different uses for the airport property, which is located on the south end of town.

“We’ve shown for each scenario how much money the city could make or would have to contribute to make those scenarios happen,” said Aaron Gruen, principal of Gruen Gruen + Associates. “We are not recommending a scenario. …They know the city preferences more than we know the preferences, but we’ve given them a way of looking at it so that they can make a decision that is informed.”

“It’s not just about what the residents of south Glenwood want. It’s not just about what the airport users want. As a community we need to decide what the value of that airport is.”Mayor Jonathan Godes

Gruen Gruen + Associates discussed three primary scenarios for the airport property including expanded aviation, a mixed-use village and a residential village.

EXPANDED AVIATION

According to the report, the expanded aviation scenario would allocate 42 acres to aviation and 5 acres to municipal or light industrial use. Additionally, the expanded aviation option would feature 80,000 square feet of new hangar space, new fueling systems and a new airport administration and operations facility on the runway’s west side.

The expanded aviation scenario could still accommodate the city’s long sought after South Bridge project, which would develop an additional connection across the Roaring Fork River via a tunnel beneath the airport’s runway.

MIXED-USE VILLAGE

The mixed-use village envisioned would convert the airport property into 75 percent residential and 25 percent nonresidential use. The mixed-use village plan would include up to 395 residential units on the north side of the property. Additionally, the mixed-use village would incorporate a 2 acre park, 67,000 square feet of light industrial space and 15,000 square feet for retail and commercial space.

Like the expanded aviation scenario, the mixed-use village also would accommodate South Bridge as well as helipads and aviation support facilities for Classic Air Medical.

RESIDENTIAL VILLAGE

Gruen Gruen + Associates outlined two scenarios for the residential village possibility. One of those residential village scenarios placed a greater emphasis on single-family housing units, whereas the second option favored more recreational space. The recreational space would include a 12 acre park near Sopris Elementary equipped with four soccer and baseball fields as well as two basketball courts and trails.

One of the two residential village scenarios did away with aviation uses altogether including the helipad.

“The next thing is we have public meetings and we continue to evolve this question in context with South Bridge, because that is what’s driving this,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said. “It’s not just about what the residents of south Glenwood want. It’s not just about what the airport users want. As a community we need to decide what the value of that airport is.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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