Low-income housing plan goes before Glenwood P&Z Commission | PostIndependent.com

Low-income housing plan goes before Glenwood P&Z Commission

Some apartments would be rented for as little as $531 a month in a 120-unit Glenwood Meadows residential development to be considered by the city Planning & Zoning Commission tonight.Eighty-four of the rental units would be made available as low-income housing.Glenwood Springs planning department is backing the plan in principle.The proposed project presents an important opportunity to provide much-needed housing to a significant component of the community who is presently underserved in Glenwood, city community development director Andrew McGregor wrote in a report to P&Z.It also would be beneficial in meeting the housing needs of workers to be employed in the 405,000-square-foot Glenwood Meadows commercial component, he wrote.However, city planning staff is proposing that P&Z postpone making a decision on the housing proposal until the city has answers to a range of concerns. These include soil stability, drainage, parks and open space needs, snow storage and other considerations.Glenwood Meadows, LLC, is proposing a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Seventy percent would be income-restricted, limited in some cases to residents earning below 40 percent of the area median income, and in other cases to those earning below 60 percent of the median.Under those restrictions, some of the rents would be $531 a month, and others would be $860 a month.The restrictions qualify the project for federal and state housing finance assistance. They would remain in effect for 15 years.The apartments would be built in six buildings covering about seven acres.Altogether, the annexation and development agreement for Glenwood Meadows authorizes up to 475 residential units on 58 acres above the developments commercial zone. Up to 300 of those units can be apartments.The development approval for the first phase of commercial development also requires 20 residential units to be integrated into the mixed-use development along Wulfsohn Road.City planners have raised a range of issues for P&Z to consider tonight in connection with the project. Some of them are: geotechnical/soils: The site on Red Mountain is an alluvial fan made up of topsoil, stones and boulders about 75 to 100 feet in depth, and highly prone to consolidation. City planners want the projects geotechnical report changed to reflect the current, modified site design. Engineers are recommending that building foundations be supported on steel piles driven into underlying river terrace deposits. drainage/stormwater: The planning department wants the drainage report/plan revised to be consistent with the Glenwood Meadows master drainage plan and demonstrate that drainage structures viably would connect to downstream infrastructure. erosion control: Planners are concerned about the amount of unregulated stormwater discharges and dust that have accompanied initial work at Glenwood Meadows and hope to address it in the new project. parks/open space: Planning staff opposes the proposals request to be exempted from a requirement to build a one-acre park.Staff feels a project with 300 to 400 potential residents deserves a true park … McGregor wrote.Some other concerns include improving pedestrian access and modifying the plan to comply with city requirements that seek to prevent light pollution.During a conceptual review of the project by City Council early this year, developers had indicated they might seek to be allowed to provide fewer than the 288 parking spaces the city requires for a project of this size. However, they now plan to build 289 spaces. But the developers are asking for a waiver of a requirement to incorporate two-thirds of the parking spaces into the buildings footprints.Some City Council members would like to see developers incorporate tuck-under parking, so cars are parked beneath the buildings rather than out in the open. But Glenwood Meadows developer Robert Macgregor has said that can add $15,000 in cost per housing unit, and would make it a deal-breaker.Developers also are seeking waivers of development fees for utilities, schools and building permits.

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