Draft Glenwood Springs development code rewrite ready for comment | PostIndependent.com

Draft Glenwood Springs development code rewrite ready for comment

A redraft of Glenwood Springs’ rules and regulations guiding land-use development that has been going on for the past 14 months is now ready for public comments.

The city this week released the final draft of the new development code, incorporating comments from City Council members, interested parties and the public, as consultants have worked to streamline the existing land-use processes.

In conjunction with that document, the city has also released a final draft of proposed new engineering standards for public review and comment.

Several key changes would impact when and how city residents can weigh in on certain development proposals, and whether final decisions would be made by administrative staff, the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission or City Council.

As proposed, residential development of three or fewer dwelling units would be left up to city planning staff to decide, developments of four to 10 units would be a P&Z decision, and anything larger than that or involving a chunk of land greater than 10 acres would have to go to council.

Likewise, a commercial development of less than 10,000 square feet of floor area could be decided by staff, anything between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet would be a P&Z decision, and anything greater than 20,000 square feet or involving sites of 10 acres or more would go to council.

Similar thresholds are proposed for mixed-use developments, according to the draft plan.

City Council and P&Z members reviewed the documents at a joint work session on Thursday in advance of formal public hearing before the two bodies this spring.

“One of the biggest complaints of the current development review process is that the city requires ‘too much, too soon,’” according to a staff/consultants memo serving to guide the discussion. “The new code creates a construction plan review procedure, which allows a developer to submit engineered drawings and technical information after receiving approval of a site/architectural plan and before applying for a building permit.

“The intent is to allow the developer to first obtain an entitlement before investing in fully engineered construction-level drawings,” according to the memo.

On the table for discussion and further council direction Thursday were issues related on off-street parking and building heights, especially as it relates to encouraging affordable workforce housing. Other open questions revolve around open space requirements, hillside preservation rules and historic preservation standards.

A public hearing on the draft development code rewrite is slated before P&Z on March 27, in advance of a first reading of an ordinance adopting the new code that is anticipated to be presented to City Council on April 19.

Earlier this month, the city also released a final draft of the proposed new engineering standards for review and commentary. The updated document is intended to remove design standards from the municipal code that pertain to public infrastructure design and construction.

Public comments on the engineering standards are being taken until Feb. 26 by the city’s engineering department.