Glenwood Springs’ comprehensive plan update team to host virtual open house in February
City budgets about $238,000 for update
Glenwood Springs is seeking the public’s help to update the city’s comprehensive plan throughout 2022, Public Information Officer Bryana Starbuck said.
“We urge the community to participate in this with us,” Starbuck said, explaining people can provide feedback on the comprehensive plan website VisionGlenwood.com. “Ultimately, the final update will rely heavily on the feedback and input of the community.”
Required by Colorado statute, comprehensive plans are guiding documents for local governments, which can guide policy decisions on topics such as affordable housing, growth, development, climate considerations and economic resiliency.
Feedback is also open to people outside city limits. The plan update could include guidelines for some city decisions impacting resources and residents within a 3-mile radius of Glenwood Springs, so Starbuck encouraged people who live in the greater Glenwood area to also engage with the process.
“It’s not a regulatory document — it’s advisory in nature,” Senior Planner Trent Hyatt said. “Comp plans generally take a look into the future of a city for a predetermined amount of time — typically 20 years. And, they are intended to guide policies over that timeframe.”
Updating the plan allows a municipality’s officials to ensure the guidance doesn’t become antiquated, but Colorado doesn’t have strict stipulations on when such plans should be updated, Hyatt said.
Glenwood Springs created a land-use plan in 1996, which acted as a precursor to the city’s first comprehensive plan in 1998. Hyatt said city staff update the plan about once a decade, with the last update occurring in 2011.
The plans are created based on outside and inhouse research into several factors affecting a municipality, including population growth, infrastructure and public outreach, he explained.
To help with the current update, Glenwood Springs budgeted about $238,000 and contracted Denver-based design firms Cushing Terrell and Fehr & Peers, Basalt-based Connect One Design and Leland Consulting Group, of Portland, Oregon.
“Cushing Terrell is the lead consultant, and they are part of a team that includes transportation engineers, an economist from Leland Consulting and public outreach specialists,” Hyatt said. “These are professionals that do comprehensive plans across the country and bring that level of knowledge to the table. As an outside group, they bring a fresh, unbiased approach to the city.”
In addition to the consultants, the city formed a steering committee composed of business leaders, members from the city’s various boards and commissions as well as community stakeholders, he said.
“They’re the initial sounding board for updating the plan,” Hyatt said. “The steering committee will provide comments and recommendations for updates, but the official governing body of the update will be the Planning and Zoning Commission.”
Once approved by planning and zoning, the update is slated to appear before the City Council for final implementation. The proposed update timeline could put the item on the council’s agenda this fall, Hyatt said.
Because public input is key to updating the plan, the city has three outreach events scheduled in 2022, with the first slated for Feb. 9. Starbuck said the city would like to conduct as many outreach meetings in person as possible, but because of current COVID-19 concerns, the Feb. 9 event will likely be a virtual open house, she said.
Go to VisionGlenwood.com for more information about attending the Feb. 9 meeting and the comprehensive plan update in general.
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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