Red Feather Ridge reincarnation includes offer of cemetery space |

Red Feather Ridge reincarnation includes offer of cemetery space

Greg MassStaff Writer

Red Feather Ridge developers are hoping added incentives will convince Glenwood Springs city officials to approve the 149-lot housing project. So, for the second time this year, developers will take the first step in the city’s planning process. Developer Guy Harrell of the Oklahoma City-based MidFirst Bank said the enticements include:-Land for a new cemetery.The biggest change from the project’s last incarnation is 17 acres of land that formerly was offered as passive open space. In the new submittal, that land would be put aside for a new municipal cemetery.Rosebud Cemetery, located in south Glenwood Springs, is nearing capacity, prompting City Council to search for an appropriate area to establish a new cemetery. Harrell said experts told him the 17 acres MidFirst is offering for a new cemetery could fill the city’s burial needs for more than 50 years. -Building the affordable housing units. Harrell said the bank would hire contractors to build the affordable housing units. The bank also would offer longterm loans to potential homebuyers. “We’ll do that at some favorable rate,” Harrell said. To jump-start the city’s affordable housing program, Harrell said, all 23 affordable housing units would be built in the first two phases of the project.-Engineering the cemetery and park.The bank offered to pay the engineering costs of the cemetery and new park. “Let’s bring it all together and master plan this whole thing,” he said.Also, $100,000 formerly offered as seed money for a park is now guaranteed. That money could be used for grant seed money or, if such a grant is denied, it can be used directly for park improvements. -Transportation money.During the last application, $400,000 was offered for transportation improvements. This time, however, MidFirst is adding a $75,000 advance on transportation impact fees.The fees normally would be paid $2,500 at a time as building permits are obtained by homebuilders, but the bank agreed to pre-pay the first 30 fees so the city can use the money for immediate improvements. “What can we do that really can make an immediate impact?” Harrell asked of the city’s transportation needs.He suggested the money could be used for a stoplight at 27th Street and Midland Avenue, but said it would be completely up to city leaders. -School impact feesAnother issue that came up at the last round of hearings was school impact fees. Harrell said the bank would pay whatever is mandated, no questions asked. “It’s there, we’ll pay it, let’s not argue any more,” he said. Harrell’s presentation on Red Feather Ridge will be heard by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission tonight. It is listed as item No. 6 on the agenda. The proposed subdivision is located about a half-mile up Four Mile Road on the east side.The project was approved by the city Planning and Zoning Commission in June, but City Council rejected the proposal in a 4-3 vote in August. The main issue before council was – and again will be – whether to extend the city’s Urban Growth Boundary, a line created in 1994 that roughly surrounds the city and delineates dense development from sparse. But even if the UGB is extended, the question remains whether the city should annex the land. The three City Council members who indicated they would vote in favor of the proposal said 23 affordable housing units, parkland and other financial incentives would make Red Feather Ridge a worthwhile addition to the city.Those who voiced opposition to the project said it would cause a major increase in traffic on Four Mile Road and nearby intersections, could pose long-term costs to the city and could lead to dense growth in an area that is now characterized by pastoral fields and old farmhouses. Harrell has said the bank’s main motivation for reapplying for annexation is financial. But he said he’s been contacted by local residents who urged him to bring the project back, mostly for its affordable housing. If the development is annexed, the city would have control over it. If not, the project will be developed as a 58-lot subdivision in Garfield County. Those 58 lots were already approved by Garfield County. Harrell said MidFirst Bank would rather divide the 132-acre property up into 149 smaller lots because they would be easier to sell and the bank would lose less money. MidFirst acquired the troubled subdivision in a foreclosure action. Also on the agenda:-The planning commission will consider a request for a minor subdivision in Oasis Creek. The applicant, James Sybert, is looking for the adjustment of a common lot line between 813 and 815 Traver Trail. -The commission will consider a request for a minor development for 14 self-storage units requested by applicant Dennis Brown for 3114 Grand Ave. The Planning and Zoning Commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. tonight in the Glenwood Springs City Hall’s City Council Chambers, 101 W. 8th St.

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