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Glenwood council again delay Riparian setback decision

Council hung up on edits to ordinance wording

Glenwood Springs Post Independent news graphic

City Council made little progress on a riparian setback ordinance Thursday night.

Councilors got caught up in language tweaks and the percent of allowable disturbance within the riparian setback and voted to continue the discussion to the Sept. 3 council meeting. 

Councilor Tony Hershey opened Thursday’s discussion with a motion to approve the ordinance with a list of edits.

Mayor Jonathan Godes clarified that Hershey was moving to pass the ordinance with 50% allowable disturbance, which was what was written in the original draft.

Councilor Steve Davis seconded the motion if the percent allowable disturbance was changed to 33%, to which Hershey agreed. Councilor Charlie Willman said he would also support that change.

Councilor Shelley Kaup pointed out that council voted by majority at the Aug. 6 council meeting to change the percent disturbance from 50% to 20%.

“Are we revisiting that tonight?” she asked. “I’d almost rather take a vote on the ordinance that we asked council attorney to bring back to us for consideration tonight.”

That version of the ordinance included edits from Willman and the change in percent disturbance from 50% to 20%, as agreed upon at the Aug. 6 council meeting.

The new edits caused hesitation among some councilors.

“I have no idea what Councilman Hershey is suggesting until I see it in writing. … We need to have it before us and not delivered verbally. I would have no idea what I would be voting on,” Councilor Rick Voorhees said. 

Willman made further suggested edits to the ordinance that were delivered to councilors at 5:30 p.m., city attorney Karl Hanlon said, shortly before the 6:15 p.m. meeting start. 

That made for three versions of edits to look at: the updated version of the original draft reflecting edits discussed at the previous meeting; Willman’s further edits delivered shortly before the current meeting; and Hershey’s edits read aloud during the current meeting.

Hanlon offered to prepare a document with all of the edits for councilors to review, prompting Willman to move to continue the discussion until the Sept. 3 meeting, which Kaup seconded.

Godes was opposed to continuing the discussion because he said he got a call from a constituent unhappy with the ordinance who threatened to bulldoze his whole riparian area to get grandfathered status. 

“I think there’s urgency to pass this now before he can procure said bulldozer,” Godes said, moving, if the motion to continue did not pass, to pass the original draft ordinance before any edits or changes to percent disturbance were made.

Further tweaks could be made on second reading, he said.

Kaup withdrew her second to Willman’s motion, saying she preferred Godes’ new suggestion. 

Hershey then seconded Willman’s motion.

The motion to continue passed 4-3, with Godes, Kaup and Voorhees opposed.

cwertheim@postindependent.com


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