P&Z finds Meadows plan to be mostly on target
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday criticized “a sea of parking” at the newly-unveiled retail development at Glenwood Meadows, which may include a Target store.In general, however, city planning commissioners were impressed with the concept for the 350,000-square-foot retail development, said Andrew McGregor, community development director for the city.Discussions Tuesday focused on parking and the way smaller and larger retail stores would be arranged – two areas where the concept differed from ideas discussed when the 345-acre Glenwood Meadows was annexed and zoned a year ago.Glenwood Meadows developer Robert Macgregor of Aspen has enlisted Miller Weingarten Realty LLC of Englewood to develop the retail area of Glenwood Meadows.On Tuesday, Stewart “Skip” Miller, president of Miller Weingarten, said he expects retail giant Target to be one of two major commercial anchors at Meadows, with a 125,000-square-foot store. Miller is still seeking a supermarket as the other anchor, along with a half dozen medium-sized national retailers.On Wednesday, Miller said he has no written promise from Target, but he feels comfortable with the company’s level of commitment to Glenwood Springs.Crystal River Marketplace developers have also said Target was considering locating in Carbondale.”They have told us very clearly that they are committed to our site,” Miller said of Meadows, “and they can’t do both.”Miller said he expects Target officials to attend city meetings in Glenwood Springs “sooner or later” to discuss the project themselves.Target officials were unavailable for comment.Meanwhile, Macgregor and Miller said Wednesday they were pleased with the initial response they got from the Planning and Zoning Commission. The developers will give a similar presentation to Glenwood Springs City Council on Thursday, Feb. 6.”I felt like we were very well received. We’re excited,” said Miller.”It was a frank exchange, which is the whole point of concept review,” said Macgregor. “People got their issues out on the table.”Planners tend to focus on the negative, but we got a lot of positive encouragement,” he said.”That we have one or two areas on which to reach a compromise is entirely natural,” Macgregor added.”The biggest concern we all shared was that the parking was out of scale with the development,” said Planning Commission Chairman Larry Hon. “They came in with a different idea than what we looked at in the original stages.”Hon said he liked the proposal’s Market Street concept, where stores hug both sides of a street to recreate a downtown feel.”But it also had a huge sea of parking, with no concept of parking structures,” Hon said.The examples presented a year ago called for wrapping the ground level of a large retail store like Target with smaller retail stores.Hon noted that such details weren’t part of the annexation and zoning approval. Now that Miller Weingarten is seeking a major development permit for Glenwood Meadows, it wants to change some of the ideas presented a year ago.Hon and other planning commission members want Miller Weingarten to consider building a parking structure, or at least one level of underground parking below the stores.Miller said it’s unlikely that Target would find a parking structure justified, but agreed to explore the idea.”If Target doesn’t want to do it, fine,” Hon said. “But don’t dismiss it for the entire project.”
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