New West Glenwood Springs firehouse among housing development plan concessions
Neighbors weigh in against annexation, development plans for pasture site; Council to decide Aug. 5
A contract to purchase the Glenwood Springs Mall property by would-be West Glenwood pasture developers R2 Partners has produced another concession aimed at convincing the city to approve its annexation and development plans.
A presentation of the annexation and zoning plans before Glenwood Springs City Council Thursday night included the donation of a 1-acre site to build a future new West Glenwood fire station.
In addition, R2 Partners would pay for 20% of the cost to build the new firehouse — part of the developer’s efforts to address emergency response due to the threat of wildfires impacting the West Glenwood neighborhoods.
“Right now, the city has an outdated fire station in West Glenwood, and we have agreed to provide property to build a new one,” R2 Managing Partner Barry Rosenberg said during his presentation to council. “We will also be providing important funds to be able to build the fire station.”
Previously, Rosenberg had offered a $40,000 donation to the city to plan for emergency evacuation and egress out of West Glenwood in the event of a fire or other emergency.
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With the mall property will also come the opportunity to create a direct access from the proposed 480 Donegan Road development to U.S. Highway 6 & 24, he said.
The developers now have sights not only on a 332-unit mixed residential and commercial project on the 15.8-acre pasture owned by the Diemoz family, but the adjacent mall property.
City Council is first considering annexation of the property and zoning, while a formal development plan would follow. After hearing staff and developer presentations and about 90 minutes of public comments Thursday, the public hearing was continued to the regular Aug. 5 council meeting.
Despite the developer’s concessions, though, including a previously announced reduction in the number of overall residential units by 56, neighbors lined up one after one to voice opposition to the development as planned.
Their concerns range from traffic, access and emergency evacuation issues to the overall density, lack of open space, building heights, parking and water availability.
Petitions with some 1,500 signatures opposing the annexation and development plans were also submitted to City Council.
“This project just does not fit in West Glenwood, and goes against all of the tenets of the Glenwood Springs Comprehensive Plan,” said West Glenwood resident Michael Hoban. “Just the density of this project is overwhelming.”
Another area resident, Marc Adler, who was a member of City Council in the late 1980s and early 1990s, questioned Rosenberg’s estimate of about 600 new residents occupying the housing portion of the development.
“You’re not going to have less than two people per unit there,” he said.
Added another West Glenwood resident, Kirby Wynn, “The true infrastructure needs for this are not being addressed. You need to require the developers to pony up for investments in infrastructure.”
Developers have offered to make improvements to the east intersection of U.S. Highway 6 and Donegan Road, including turn lanes, to help with traffic flow in the area, as well as various road and pedestrian improvements to Center Drive and Storm King Road.
Another former City Council member, Kathryn Taggart (formerly Trauger), spoke in favor of the annexation and development plan, saying it meets the city’s desperate need for more housing stock in order to bring costs down for the people who work in and around Glenwood Springs.
“As much housing as we’ve built, we still need more,” she said.
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or email@example.com.
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