P&Z recommends denial of Oasis apts
A plan to build a 116-unit apartment complex along Highway 6 & 24 at the former Terra Vista Motel site has been rejected by the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission, but is still on track for City Council to consider.
P&Z, after a second meeting to review the proposal Tuesday night, voted to recommend that Council deny the project as a whole, along with several requested zoning and design variances.
Among them were requests to allow the two four-story buildings to exceed 60 feet in height, more than 25 feet above the maximum allowed by city code, and to reduce the on-site parking from the 2.2 spaces per apartment required under the code to 1.59 spaces/unit.
“We will go to council, and the owners are very committed to try to do everything they can to build quality housing that meets the worker force needs,” Ron Liston of the Land Design Partnership said of the developers, which includes members of the Richardson family that also owns the Antlers Best Western in Glenwood Springs.
“We will continue to make our case for what we think is appropriate,” Liston said.
City Council is scheduled to hear the proposal at its regular April 21 meeting.
The plan calls for 116 apartments to be spread between two four-story buildings at the 3.7-acre site that was formerly home to the Terra Vista and the Bayou restaurant.
Fifty-six of the apartments would be one bedroom, and the remaining 60 would have two bedrooms, according to the proposal.
Some planning commissioners indicated they could support a variance to exceed the height requirement, depending on the building design and architectural features.
But the panel was unanimous in voting down the parking variance, citing city planning staff’s concerns about potential spillover parking into surrounding neighborhoods.
The proposed reduction in parking “is insufficient to ensure that parking for the development will occur within the confines of the site, without impacting surrounding properties or adjacent streets,” city planner Jill Peterson wrote in her staff report recommending denial of the project.
Developers have said the variances are needed because of the difficult nature of the site, with its steep slope from Donegan Road on the upper end and Highway 6 & 24 below, where the main entrance would be located. The proposed building height fits the natural grade of the property, Liston said during the P&Z hearings.
City staff, however, maintains the site is not all that different from other properties along that stretch.
“The applicant did not demonstrate that there exists a hardship to warrant the added height … and the approval of the variance would impair the intent of the city’s zoning standards, which are in place to provide assurance to property owners that density and building height conserve the character of the city,” Peterson wrote in the staff recommendation.