Glenwood City Council upholds planning and zoning commission’s denial of ANB Bank project
Councilors Tony Hershey, Paula Stepp, Rick Voorhees, Charlie Willman and Mayor Jonathan Godes voted to uphold the planning and zoning commission's findings. Mayor Pro Tem Shelley Kaup did not support the motion and councilor Steve Davis recused himself from the discussion and vote.
ANB Bank’s Grand Avenue plans could once again be a matter for the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider.
Thursday night at its regularly scheduled meeting the Glenwood Springs City Council upheld the planning and zoning commission’s previous denial of ANB Bank’s proposal to construct a new bank building downtown.
In July, the planning and zoning commission unanimously denied ANB Bank’s proposal to construct a 9,428 square foot building in the 900 block of Grand Avenue downtown.
The planning and zoning commission, at its July 23 meeting, did not believe ANB Bank’s proposal supported diverse economic development, tourism or small town character.
However, Balcomb & Green partner Chad Lee, who has assisted ANB Bank with its appeal process, pushed back Thursday at the planning and zoning commission’s findings.
“Our customers and employees will add vibrancy and pedestrian traffic to and from the downtown core,” Lee said before the council. “This is on Ninth Street. They’ll provide customers for the retail and restaurants downtown.”
“It’s a community bank. It’s not a mega bank,” added Lee. “This will assist in preserving our small town character and again increasing the vibrancy and commercial success of downtown.”
Currently, two circa-1915 buildings reside on the property ANB Bank purchased in October 2018. Additionally, those WWI-era buildings located at 910 Grand Ave. house seven businesses including: KC’s Wing House, Tesseract Comics & Games, Jewels & Gems, Bellini’s Fashion, CPA Services Pro, Inc., Glenwood Spa N Nails and Glenwood Escape Room.
ANB Bank plans to demolish those buildings to make room for its new, two-story facility.
“ANB Bank worked closely with city officials in the early stages of our proposed project. We received positive feedback from the city when our plan was initially disclosed,” said Randy Diers community bank president.
ANB Bank did make ‘substantial’ revisions to the design it originally proposed to the planning and zoning commission including altering the facility’s entrance to Grand Avenue.
Ahead of taking public comment, Mayor Jonathan Godes requested that those wishing to speak focus on information only relevant to the bank complying with the city’s development code, per the appeal process.
“We are not here to consider whether the proposed building can or should be a bank. The use of the building as a bank is not an issue city council will address tonight,” said Godes. “If we hear a public comment that focuses on the fact that the building is intended to be a bank we will ask you to move on to a topic relating to whether the plan complies with the development code.”
Cheryl Guay said she has done business in downtown Glenwood Springs for 35 years and that ANB’s plans would require the demolition of her current store.
“I own Jewels & Gems, one of the businesses that will be demolished,” she said. “I hear all day long in my store… ‘Why do we need another bank downtown?’”
Another longtime community member, Floyd Diemoz, however thought the council should allow ANB Bank to move downtown.
“I have been a customer of the bank for 30 years,” Diemoz said. “I just totally agree with the relocation. I agree because I consider them to be a very good citizen of our community. It’s that simple.”
ANB Bank may take its new proposal back to the planning and zoning commission at a later date.
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