Sign variance granted for new Glenwood Urgent Care facility |

Sign variance granted for new Glenwood Urgent Care facility

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – City Council agreed Thursday to grant a sign variance for a new medical facility in West Glenwood that’s intended to provide an alternative to the hospital ER for treatment of minor medical emergencies.Former Valley View Hospital emergency room doctor Jeff Wuerker recently opened Colorado’s Urgent Care in the Midland Center, located at 120 Midland Ave., just south of the Interstate 70 West Glenwood exit.Wuerker and his wife, Lisa, requested a variance from the city’s sign code to place a 57 square-foot sign on the back side of the building where the business is located that would be visible from the Midland Avenue bridge area.They were before City Council seeking a reversal of a city Planning and Zoning Commission decision in August to deny the request.”We are in the business of helping people who are sick or injured, or maybe need stitches, by providing a safe, affordable alternative to the ER,” Lisa Wuerker said. “We do consider ourselves a public service.”She said they didn’t realize a sign on the rear of the building would not be allowed when they chose to locate in the Midland Center.The location is ideal because of its easy access off I-70. However, without some way for people to pinpoint where they need to go it can be hard to find, she said.”We feel it’s necessary to have this visibility from the rear for the service we provide,” she said.City planner Jill Peterson explained that, according to the master sign plan for the Midland Center, each business is allowed one sign over the main entrance. Urgent Care’s entrance is on the Midland Avenue side of the building, but also has a balcony on the back side where the additional sign will go.The size of the sign was one of the issues in P&Z denial of the variance request, Peterson said. Planning staff had recommended that City Council uphold P&Z’s denial.Council, on a 5-2 vote, agreed to allow the variance, but with a couple of conditions. Mayor Bruce Christensen broke from his usual stance against sign code variances to support the request. He asked, however, that the proposed design with red letters on a white background be modified and use stand-alone letters instead.His proposal was added as a condition for granting the variance, along with an agreement that the sign be removed if the business moves or closes.Council members Matt Steckler and Leo McKinney opposed the variance.”This is a valuable business to have in town, but I don’t think the sign adds a lot of value,” Steckler said. He also worried about setting a precedent for other nearby businesses to request similar

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