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Glenwood Springs reviewing commercial sign code issues

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The city of Glenwood Springs will review several aspects of its commercial sign code, especially after the city-sponsored Downtown Market was advised this summer it could not put up temporary, off-site signs directing people to the event on Tuesday nights.

“They were told this season that they’re not allowed to put up temporary signs, which were used last year,” said City Council member Shelley Kaup, who brought the issue before council at its Aug. 5 meeting.

As an event that’s partially supported by a city grant, that doesn’t make sense, she said.



“Why don’t we want to encourage people to go there, and tell them how to get there?” she asked.

Councilor Russ Arensman related it to a recent issue that came before the council in which real estate agencies were allowed to erect temporary open house signs.



“It makes sense, especially for a city sponsored event, to have some signs out there,” he said.

Council asked city staff to recommend a reasonable administrative process for such signs to be allowed for community events, that would consider the size and location.

In addition, city planners will look at other aspects of the sign code, including whether sandwich board-style signs should be allowed in commercial areas besides the downtown core.

South Midland Avenue resident Kathy Stahlman addressed council at the Aug. 5 meeting, advising that one of her fellow new business owners in the area, Janene Schwan of Sunshines Coffee Shop/Deli next to the Mountain Market, was advised that such signs are not allowed in that zone district.

“That’s really the only commercial area in that neighborhood. … She didn’t know anything about the sign ordinance and was told to take it down,” said Stahlman, who has an acupuncture and massage business that she’d also like to give more visibility.

“I just think south Glenwood needs to be considered as much as downtown,” she said.

Finally, Mayor Bruce Christensen asked fellow council members to also consider an amendment prohibiting single pole signs, at least in some parts of Glenwood.

He pointed to the new Autozone store on South Glen Avenue/Highway 82 which erected a pole sign that is permissible under the city’s sign code. He compared it to another new Autozone store in Gypsum, which put up a lower-profile, monument style sign.

Council agreed to include it as part of the code review, but advised it could lead to the first full review of the overall sign code since the late 1990s.

“It may be time to think about a comprehensive look at signs in general,” Arensman said. “Maybe we need to look at each one of the [zone] districts and figure out what’s acceptable.”

As for the pole-style signs, Glenwood Caverns and Adventure Park owner Steve Beckley, who was in attendance at the Aug. 5 meeting, suggested that the taller signs may be necessary in West Glenwood in order to catch the attention of passing motorists on Interstate 70.

Recently, the city denied a variance request from the Glenwood Springs Mall that would have allowed an inset panel announcing the movie listings for the newly reopened Movies in the Mall theater. That and other issues could also come up again in a broader review of the city’s sign code.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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