Ring the changes: New look for ‘The Border’ | PostIndependent.com

Ring the changes: New look for ‘The Border’

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The local Taco Bell franchise is due for its first makeover since opening 26 years ago, in the form of a new, modern building at the corner of Grand Avenue and 20th Street in Glenwood Springs.Franchise owner Fred Turner and local architect Chuck Brenner won a favorable recommendation for the plan from the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday.The development proposal, including a request for some minor design and sign code variances, now goes to City Council on Feb. 17.The plan calls for tearing down the original building, but using the existing foundation to build a new 2,020-square-foot structure. The design would be similar to newer Taco Bell buildings around the country.A significant change in vehicle access to the property is also being proposed. The existing primary access off of Grand Avenue is to be closed, and drivers will be directed to a revamped entrance/exit and drive-thru access on 20th Street, near the back of the lot.”The drive-thru lane will still be located on the north side of the building, but it will also extend in front of the building, with an exit from the drive-thru into the parking area,” according to the redevelopment proposal. “All traffic will enter and exit the site via the 20th Street curb cut at the northeast corner of the site.”City Council had a conceptual review of the plans in November 2010, and made several recommendations that P&Z included in its conditions of approval, including:• Using a lower-profile, monument-style sign instead of a pole sign, such as the one that now exists on the site.• Extra landscaping at the corner of Grand and 20th.• Visual elements in the parking and circulation area to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians.• Modifying corporate branding as necessary to comply with city’s commercial design standards.Council members also observed that closing the Grand Avenue access will be better for both Taco Bell customers and passing motorists, but that maintaining pedestrian access to the restaurant from Grand Avenue is important.Design code variances mostly relate to site restrictions due to the lot’s small size, including a requested modification of landscaping requirements and parking space distance from windows and doors.The planning commission did recommend approval of a variance from city design requirements calling for three architectural elements to break up the south-facing building facade. A sign code variance, seeking a lighted menu board and main sign to be slightly larger than outlined in the code, were also recommended for approval.Once approved, construction of the new Taco Bell building is expected to take about three months, according to Turner.jstroud@postindependent.com

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