Glenwood rejects driving range proposal |

Glenwood rejects driving range proposal

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – City Council on Thursday rejected the lone proposal it had received to build a golf driving range on city-owned land near the Glenwood Springs Community Center.

City staff will continue to work with the proponent, Glenwood Springs resident Stephen VanDyke, to see if he is still interested in pursuing the possibility in the future. For now, though, the idea is on the back burner.

City manager Jeff Hecksel and parks and recreation director Tom Barnes recommended against accepting the deal, which came in response to a formal request for proposals issued by the city last spring. VanDyke’s was the only proposal submitted.

A proposal for the city to financially participate in the project, as well as conflicts with other current and potential uses in the area south of the community center, rendered the driving range plan premature, Hecksel and Barnes noted in a staff report.

One is the location of the community garden at the northeast corner of the city’s land, for which City Council extended a lease for another two years at Thursday’s meeting.

While it may be possible for a golf center and community garden to share the site, the staff report noted that VanDyke’s proposal did not anticipate the garden being located there when it was drawn up.

Other uses being explored for parts of the site include possible development of a performing arts and events venue. The Garfield County Public Library has also expressed interest in using part of the site, if efforts to build the new Glenwood Springs library downtown do not pan out.

The city was also to provide a public subsidy to help with start-up costs for the driving range.

“While the city has a policy in place to share sales tax receipts to offset the cost of required city fees and public improvements, it does not have a policy to help pay for private development costs,” city staff also noted in its report.

However, the report continued, “The developer of a golf center on this site would be eligible for the city’s economic incentive rebate.”

VanDyke’s proposal had asked for roughly $103,000 from the city to help get the project off the ground, plus “in kind” contributions of $87,000.

VanDyke had said the venture would not be possible without financial support from the city.

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