Rock fence revisited | PostIndependent.com

Rock fence revisited

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” As a matter of coincidence rather than by design, Hager Lane homeowner Ron Dickman on Thursday will ” for the second time ” ask the Glenwood Springs City Council for permission to build a rockfall mitgation fence.

The timing of the request is somewhat ironic because Dickman’s house sustained heavy damage from a huge boulder that rolled down the side of Red Mountain, crashed through a wall and into his living room. The rock landed in Dickman’s house at 1:30 a.m. on April 6.

A second boulder, about six feet long and four feet wide, came to rest in the southwest room, which is Dickman’s office.

Nobody was hurt.

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Dickman’s last application to subdivide his lot and erect a rockfall mitigation structure above the two lots was declined by the Glenwood Springs City Council in a 4-3 vote on Feb. 5.

He since revamped his request, and it was already set for consideration Thursday by City Council when the rockfall occurred.

If approved, the rockfall structure would be built above Midland Avenue on property owned by the city. At the Feb. 5 meeting, City Council approved everything but the license to encroach, a document that permits a resident to build such a structure on city property.

Since the rockfall, Dickman’s application has changed somewhat. Reacting to advice from geological engineers, the proposed rockfall fence, if approved, would be moved.

“We feel that the fence would be more effective if moved 20 feet to the south of the current proposed location,” Dickman wrote in an April 9 letter to the city’s planning department. “It would remain 60 feet in length, but it would begin 20 feet to the south of the proposed location.”

City engineer Larry Thompson wrote a memo supporting construction of the fence, and included some updated suggestions after studying the rockfall.

He agrees that the fence should be built farther to the south, and said the rockfall fence could also protect motorists on Midland Avenue.

“Some level of hazard exists for the traveling public when roads pass through rockfall hazard zones,” he wrote. “When private parties propose rockfall protection features that would also provide some reduction of risk to the traveling public, I believe that these circumstances should weigh in favor of approving such an application,” Thompson wrote.

Also on the agenda, City Council will:

– Consider another request for a rockfall mitigation fence by Jason Neuman at 3331 and 3333 Hager Lane.

– Award two street project bids. One is a crack seal project and the other is a chip-and-seal project.

– Consider 2004 discretionary fund allocations.

– Consider amendments to the Glenwood Meadows annexation agreement.

– Consider whether to pass an ordinance that would allow city residents to vote on a new property tax to be levied within the Downtown Development Authority district. Revenues could be used for DDA operations and staff. The tax would expire after 25 years.

– Consider another ordinance authorizing $20 million in revenue bonds for the DDA. The bond would only be issued if the DDA gets its tax increment financing funding source, which is presently in litigation. The money could go toward a new downtown parking structure, a downtown performing arts center and street construction work in the downtown district.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

gmasse@postindependent.com


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