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Library, parking concept plans before council

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – City Council gets its first look tonight at conceptual plans for a new downtown library and a public parking garage; two projects for which the city has been an active planning partner.The Garfield County Library District is proposing a 28,000 square-foot, two-story building with underground parking at the southwest corner of Eighth Street and Cooper Avenue.The property was purchased earlier this year by the city of Glenwood Springs. Since then, the city has been negotiating with the library district, Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and the Downtown Development Authority to plan for a shared library facility at the site. Ownership of the property is to be transferred to the library district.CMC, which is moving its central services operations into an adjacent building at Eighth and Grand Avenue, is working with the library district to occupy and possibly own at least part of the 14,000 square-foot second story of the new library building.The proposed development of the site would also include a 6,000 square-foot public plaza to the south of the library building, and a 63-space underground private parking garage for CMC.It’s anticipated at this point that the parking garage would be open to the public after weekday business hours and on weekends and holidays.Meanwhile, the city is separately proposing to build a two-level, 139-space parking structure one block to the south, at Ninth Street and Cooper, where an existing 70-space public parking lot is located.Both projects are before city council for conceptual review after having been reviewed and commented on by the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission, prior to formal development applications being submitted.A separate public information meeting on the new library and associated projects is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library, 413 Ninth Street.The projects would each require design variances related to the Downtown Design Standards contained in the city’s C/2-Core Commercial zone district codes.Council members will likely address issues related to site layout, building design and traffic circulation in and out of parking areas for both projects.P&Z members offered several comments at their Oct. 25 meeting, which are included in the packet for tonight’s city council meeting.A related resolution authorizing the city to seek competitive proposals for the parking structure is also on the table for council’s consideration tonight.Other items up for discussion and possible action at the meeting tonight include:• Adoption of the proposed 2012 municipal budget.• A request by the city Parks and Recreation Commission to establish a financial planning task force that would look into setting up a public/private partnership to build a performing arts center at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.• A proposed amendment to the municipal code allowing short-term vacation rentals in residential zone districts.• A proposed ordinance to change the city’s electric utility pooling agreement with the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) to become a bulk power participant.• The 2012 Garfield Clean Energy inter-governmental agreement.The Glenwood Springs City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight in the council chambers at City Hall, 101 W. Eighth St.jstroud@postindependent.com


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