Planning and zoning commission to continue deliberating development plans near West Glenwood Mall at May meeting
The Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission will continue deliberating the approval of a planned unit development district application near the West Glenwood Mall due to resident concerns about population density and building heights.
The project plans involve constructing 360 rental units at 214 Center Drive, which is currently a vacant lot. It also includes multiple infrastructure upgrades within the area.
The current owner of the parcel is the Diemoz family, who own the company under the company Glenwood Partnership LLLP.
R2 Partners, the developer for the project, will purchase the parcel from Glenwood Partnership LLLP.
The official applicant is listed as 214 Center Drive, LLC, which is an official affiliate of R2 Partners.
Barry Rosenberg, principle of R2 Partners based in Colorado and Ohio, addressed concerns brought forth during a March 23 meeting about the need for single family housing rather than apartment complexes in Glenwood Springs.
Rosenberg said Glenwood Springs has a 2,000 housing unit deficiency which is expected to worsen with time.
Rather than single-family homes, Rosenberg argued that allowing density in the city is the only way to solve the housing crisis.
The plans also include creating a bike and pedestrian path beyond the development property that connects to Mel Ray Road and the soccer fields, which would provide a safe path for kids to walk to and from school.
Stormwater improvements and reworking the interchange at Donegan Road and U.S. Highway 6 are planned in an effort to improve traffic flow.
Impact fees from the project are estimated to be $3.5 million, which would go to the city, school district and park land improvements.
“Current water infrastructure is already in place to support this project,” Rosenberg added, which was confirmed by Glenwood Springs Public Works Director Matt Langhorst.
No water rights from the city would be used for irrigation, Rosenberg added.
Rental costs are expected to range between $1,200 to $1,600 for studio and one bedroom units.
Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson, who said the West Glenwood fire station is obsolete and undersized, which presents a major safety risk, highlighted one major caveat.
Commissioner Marco Dehm cited the fire station issue as part of his decision to continue the discussion rather than approve the PUD.
Dehm also echoed the concerns of neighboring residents to the proposed development about the need for a fire evacuation plan.
“I understand it could be a timely thing, it could be done quickly, but I would love to see what the agencies come up with,” Dehm said. “Also the fire department is a huge concern. We are already obsolete. We don’t even have trucks that can handle this kind of stuff from what I understand.”
Dehm said the developers have done a great job with the plan and design, noting that the multi-housing development could potentially fit the site and look good for West Glenwood Springs.
“I also do believe that we need to do every development thing we do with respect to what’s going on. And we have to do it right,” Dehm said.
Dehm suggested that the developers look at a lower density and set aside land that could be used as a new fire station site.
“If we move forward with this we’re going to follow our code and do what we can to supply for housing as much as possible,” Dehm said. “We just have to make sure you can fit it where you guys want to fit it.”
Rosenberg noted how the development plans align with the city’s comprehensive plan that was created in 2011, specifically plans to transition the space between the mall and the single family homes with rental units. The building plans call for a gradual increase in structure heights towards the mall.
“If you look at what we’re proposing, along with keeping the character of Donegan Road, this is as good as anything you’d see as far as creating that transition,” Rosenberg said.
“Our entire team will be working on a number of takeaways from the meeting,” Rosenberg told the Post Independent on Thursday.
“We appreciate the thorough review and feedback from the commission and the community; we will be prepared to respond at the next meeting in a month,” Rosenberg said.
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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