Glenwood Springs City Council mostly likes proposed Chevy dealership, Kum & Go |

Glenwood Springs City Council mostly likes proposed Chevy dealership, Kum & Go

John ColsonPost Independent staffGlenwood Springs, Colorado CO

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Members of the City Council here got their first look on Thursday night at two proposed new businesses, and they generally liked what they saw.”Glenwood Springs has had a Chevy dealership since the market was created,” noted councilman Steve Bershenyi, remarking that he felt the plans for a new local Chevrolet dealership were something he could support.But the council members also had a few suggestions for the developers of Mountain Chevrolet in West Glenwood, and the Kum&Go on South Glen Avenue.

Council members reviewed the building design, parking and landscaping plans for a new Chevy dealership, on Highway 6 just east of an existing 7-Eleven store, in a lot formerly occupied by the Vista Auto Group.According to Bruce McClennon, an architect working for Mountain Automotive owner Michael Payne of Denver, the planning at this point calls for the use of solar technology and renewable materials in construction of the building.A special canopy for an outside sale area, he said, is to be a solar collector that will provide power for recharging Chevy Volt electric cars.In recognition of the alpine landscape, he said, the colors of the building are meant to blend in with the surrounding terrain and buildings.There are numerous trees planned for the large parking area behind the dealership, McClennon said.But the company is trying to figure out how to make enough room for the delivery of semi-loads of cars while still complying with the city’s interest in trees and shrubbery as a counterbalance to the expanse of asphalt that typifies most car lots.”I don’t like lots and lots of open space pavement,” commented councilman Leo McKinney, “so the trees are a very, very important part of this project.”During this discussion, Mayor Matt Steckler pointed out that the car lot is adjacent to baseball fields, which could pose a problem.”My son hits lots of foul balls,” the mayor said. “They go there [where the dealership’s rear lot is to be]. They will hit your cars.”After the laughter died down, McClennon agreed that trees around the perimeter of the lot might accomplish compliance with the city’s landscaping regulations and protect the cars from flying baseballs.

Development representative Phil Hoey told the council that the corporation is hoping to use existing access points for its convenience store and gas station, which drew murmurs of agreement from the council table.And, he said, current plans call for elimination of the three-foot retaining wall along the sidewalk fronting the old Subaru dealership where the store will go.He described plans to widen the sidewalk and install landscaping along the front of the property to separate the store and gas pumps from the sidewalk and Highway 82.But when local engineer Deric Walter described a tiered, or stepped series of retaining walls with landscaping at the back of the property, where the hillside rises 18 feet to the level of Blake Avenue, Hoey ran into resistance.Several members of the council suggested the back part of the lot should not be taken up with a tiered arrangement and landscaping.Councilman Dave Sturges, noting that the city is hoping make the South Glen Avenue area more attractive to pedestrians, suggested that “we may have to look at these things a little bit differently.”Mayor Steckler agreed, saying there is a need for “some kind of buffer between the sidewalk and the highway,” which would be possible if the building were moved to the east somewhat, toward Blake Avenue.At that point councilman Mike Gamba suggested eliminating the tiered and landscaped area in the back, and simply erecting a vertical retaining wall, thereby leaving more potential room in the front.”I’d much rather have the landscaping out front,” said councilman Todd Leahy.Both projects now move to the formal application

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