New development plan for Flying M property by Riverview School goes to Garfield Planning Commission
Housing for teachers at the adjacent Riverview School, dedicated units for qualified local workers and a group hospice home are among the selling points of a new plan for the Flying M Ranch south of Glenwood Springs.
Earlier plans for 228 residential units, including several tiny homes, were withdrawn after a series of contentious hearings in 2019 punctuated by neighborhood opposition centered around traffic and density.
But developer Dunrene Group, Eastbank, LLC, led by longtime valley real estate developer Robert Macgregor, is back with a new plan for 150 townhomes and eight single-family homesites on the 33.4-acre tract of land situated below the K-8 Riverview School and directly across the Roaring Fork River from the Westbank subdivision and Ironbridge Golf Course.
The plan goes before the Garfield County Planning Commission Wednesday night for a planned unit development rezoning hearing.
In the new application, the proponents argue the housing density is appropriate for a piece of land located in the “transition” zone between Glenwood Springs’ urban growth boundary and the more rural parts of Garfield County.
Developers also quote liberally from the 2019 Greater Roaring Fork Valley Housing Study, completed after the earlier plan was withdrawn, as well as other studies pointing to a need for more housing stock as a way to bring more affordability to the market.
County land-use code requires 10% of the units in the new development be deed-restricted to maintain affordability.
To sweeten the pot, the project specifically proposes to:
- Dedicate 12 deed-restricted townhomes for Riverview teachers;
- Set aside four deed-restricted townhomes for area workers qualified through the Garfield County Housing Authority;
- Build 10 worker dwelling units in the commercial and industrial parcel that’s part of the larger development; and,
- Include accessory dwelling units (ADUs) with the eight home sites in the planned single-family residential zone.
The project also proposes a 12-bed group hospice home, working in conjunction with Hospice of the Valley to build what would be the only designated in-patient palliative care program in the Roaring Fork Valley, according to the plan before the county.
The site was home to a former gravel pit that operated during the 1980s and ’90s. Part of the land was purchased by the Roaring Fork School District prior to the construction of the Riverview School, which came as part of a 2015 bond issue. The FedEx distribution facility is also located near the County Road 154 intersection with Colorado Highway 82.
Traffic impacts at that intersection and along 154 Road were a key concern during the 2019 hearings on the previous plan. Since then, however, improvements have included the completion of the new “Safe Routes to School” path from the Westbank area to the school.
“Traffic impacts were one of the most challenging issues in past reviews on this property, and should be thoroughly addressed through updated and detailed traffic studies, analyses and recommendations for improvements,” county planning staff notes in documents before the Planning Commission for its review.
The Planning Commission will provide a recommendation to the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners, which will also hold a public hearing and decide on the plan.
The Wednesday Planning Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 108 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs. The public can also participate and comment via Zoom.
Post Independent interim Managing Editor and senior reporter John Stroud can be reached at email@example.com or at 970-384-9160.
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