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The quill of the people: Red Feather Ridge goes to vote

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – An outburst of applause followed the City Council decision Thursday to put the fate of the Red Feather Ridge housing project in the hands of city voters this spring.

After City Council formally approved annexation of the project and adopted the extension of the Urban Growth Boundary, Councilman Larry Emery made a formal motion to hand the final decision to voters.

“I’d like to put it on the ballot for voter input,” he said.



If voters vote against the project, all approvals will be nullified and Red Feather Ridge, as proposed, would be presented again.

A mail-in ballot will be used in the election, tentatively scheduled for mid-June.



Council finished the approval process before putting the question to voters so the ballot question would be a “known quantity,” city attorney Karl Hanlon explained.

Red Feather Ridge, a proposed 149-house project planned for a large tract of land up on the east side of Four Mile Road, consists of a subdivision with open space and park land included.

Council conditionally approved the subdivision at its Jan. 8 meeting by a vote of 4-3. But since that vote, an opposition group called Community Voices for Responsible Growth was formed. The group fought to defeat the denser development at Red Feather Ridge and to strengthen the ideals found in the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

Others from the community who weren’t affiliated with CVRG also spoke.

“I really felt you made an arbitrary, cavalier decision to move the urban growth line on Jan. 8,” said Gerry Vanderbeek. “I hope you can see the rightness and the wisdom of having the UGB.”

red feather: see page 7

red feather: from page 7

Council members who voted for the project reminded the audience that whether Red Feather Ridge passes or not, 58 lots will still be developed, but no parks, cemetery or traffic mitigation would occur. The land already has approval by Garfield County to be developed as 58 two-acre lots.

“We’ve got an opportunity for what I think is a first-class development,” Councilman Don Gillespie said. “If the county develops it, all we get are the impacts.”

Garfield County Commissioner Tresi Houpt spoke against City Council approving the project because the adjacent portion of Four Mile Road is not part of the annexation and because the city lacks a clear plan for developing in a three-mile radius around its borders.

Mayor Don Vanderhoof spoke in favor of the project.

“The city of Glenwood Springs does not need 58 Aspen Glen-type homes on the edge of Glenwood,” he said.


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