P&Z approves Roaring Fork Lodge | PostIndependent.com
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P&Z approves Roaring Fork Lodge

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. The Roaring Fork Lodge easily won approval by the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night.P&Z unanimously OK’d the 149,582-square-foot condo/hotel/ conference center proposal, which next goes to City Council for a final decision.The five-story development at 27th Street and Midland Avenue would include 68 hotel rooms, 40 condominiums, a restaurant and a 9,000-square-foot conference center. It has drawn praise from some as a tourist amenity, and criticism from others because of its size.The proposal is allowed by the resort commercial zoning at the property, one of the few parcels in town with that zoning. As a result, the P&Z’s review was limited to more technical development aspects related to open space, landscaping, affordable housing and other requirements.”Probably many years ago nobody anticipated the density of this particular project but it is consistent with the zoning,” said P&Z member Dave Sturges.He said he wished the city were further ahead with its planning for a roundabout at 27th and Midland, and worried about the traffic impacts the public will deal with in that area in the next few years.However, he generally praised developer Terry Claassen’s project.”I would say that the applicant has utilized this space in quite remarkable ways, in a lot of positive ways,” he said.Claassen was allowed to build a project as big as 190,000 square feet on the site but downsized it in response to concerns by neighbors and other city residents.More recently, he also addressed specific concerns by Richard Todd and Bridget Lantz, whose condo is adjacent to the site. Claassen has done away with a planned driveway near the home, adjusted building plans to preserve Todd and Lantz’s direct winter sunlight and view of Mount Sopris, and restricted hours of use of a nearby patio.Todd said he still had some concerns about loss of privacy and what level of screening would be provided by trees. But he said he appreciated the changes that have been made.”To be honest I think they’ve done a good job for us,” he said of Claassen’s development team after P&Z’s decision.Said Claassen, “I think it’s the way the system is supposed to work – a lot of give and take on everyone’s part …”Claassen hopes he can win council approval and start construction later this year.Glenwood residents Antti and Marlis Laursoo sat in on Tuesday’s hearing and praised the plans for a property that is now home to a vacant former racquet club.”They needed to do something with that corner. That corner is an eyesore right now,” Marlis Laursoo said.The city requires that housing developments include an affordable housing component, which Claassen plans to provide by buying an existing fourplex on nearby Hager Lane and selling the units at below-market rates. However, Sturges noted that the Roaring Fork Lodge would generate a number of service worker jobs.”I think it kind of raises the issue of whether there should be some kind of linkage between large commercial developments and the issue of affordable housing,” he said.Carbondale, Aspen and Basalt all require affordable housing components for commercial projects. But last year some Glenwood Springs City Council members balked at pursuing that idea, worrying that it would impede commercial growth and penalize job creation.Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119dwebb@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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