Sign variance paves way for new store at Glenwood Springs Mall |

Sign variance paves way for new store at Glenwood Springs Mall

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A sign code variance granted by Glenwood Springs City Council Thursday night is one small step that could make a big business impact in Glenwood Springs, council members agreed.Council voted 7-0 to overturn an earlier city Planning and Zoning Commission decision to deny the variance related to the main Glenwood Springs Mall entrance sign off Highway 6 & 24 in West Glenwood.The council decision will allow a sign for the new Ross Dress for Less store that’s under construction in the mall space formerly occupied by Bealls to be placed on the main sign, announcing the store as one of the mall’s anchor tenants. “I know this may seem like a small issue, but it is one way we can set the tone for a more business-friendly climate here,” said City Councilman Todd Leahy. “This is the culture or environment we need to have for businesses to succeed in this town.”Leahy was one of three council members elected earlier this year on a platform of creating a more business-friendly environment in Glenwood Springs.But it was a message, at least in this one instance, that resonated with the entire council.”Individual situations can sometimes cause you to change earlier positions that you may have had,” Councilman Leo McKinney said. “I can’t remember ever overriding a P&Z decision; however, I do think this is a compelling case.”And, added Councilman Dave Sturges, “This is a small gesture to address what has been perceived as an issue as far as our city being welcoming to businesses.”The planned Ross sign, which would be placed below the main mall sign and a separate Movies in the Mall sign listing the current movies that are showing, would technically be in violation of the city’s sign code.Several variances have already been granted for the larger sign, because of some unique situations at the mall, city planner A’Lissa Gerum said.One variance consideration was that the placement of the Ross sign at the main entrance might give the new store an unfair advantage over the other businesses.However, the mall manager and several business managers at the mall said at the Thursday council meeting that they view it differently.”We’re always having people come up and ask, ‘When’s Ross opening, when’s Ross opening?'” said Jason Garcia, an employee at the K-mart store, also located in the mall.”Everybody is excited about Ross coming,” said Travis Burkholder, manager at Movies in the Mall. “We think the sign is a great idea, and will bring a lot of the smaller businesses in the mall a lot more business.”No members of the public spoke against the variance request.Meanwhile, the mall recently completed its own modifications in the 23,700-square-foot space to be used by Ross, mall manager Sonya Davis said.”We turned the space over to them in October, and they’re doing their own work before the store can open,” she said.Davis said a March 2012 opening for the new Ross store is planned.Ross corporate officials could not be reached Friday for comment on other details about the new store.Ross Dress for Less is a bargain clothing store based out of California. It has locations in 29 states, including several in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas and one in Grand

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