UGB group does grand job on petition |

UGB group does grand job on petition

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The group opposed to City Council’s approval of Red Feather Ridge has collected nearly 1,000 signatures on a petition opposing the project.

The group, Community Voices for Responsible Growth, circulated the petition to show opposition to council’s Jan. 8 vote to extend the Urban Growth Boundary – a boundary drawn around the city separating dense development from rural.

The group also opposes the annexation of Red Feather Ridge, a 149-house subdivision located on the east side of Four Mile Road, and council’s ability to change the Comprehensive Plan without “broad voter input.”

Council Chambers was filled to capacity Thursday with Community Voices members, but they were asked to save their comments until the next public hearing on Red Feather Ridge so the comments are properly introduced into the record.

“We’re a little distraught,” Community Voices spokesman Michael Larime said. “We have a concern that our voices aren’t being heard. Our objective is to give City Council a graceful way out of this.”

As of Thursday, the group tallied 926 signatures on the petition: 626 city residents and 294 Garfield County residents. If the group attempts to put an initiative on the ballot for an upcoming election, it would need 287 signatures of registered city voters.

City attorney Karl Hanlon, who was officially appointed to that position Thursday after two months as acting city attorney, said council wasn’t trying to shut out the public by delaying comment. They want to be sure proper protocol is followed.

“My job is to help protect the process as much as possible so that a decision is based on facts and is not vulnerable to challenge on procedural grounds,” Hanlon said.

Hanlon also said the next public hearing on Red Feather Ridge, originally scheduled for the next regular council meeting on Feb. 20, may be moved.

“The reason we’re looking at that is to make sure there’s a full opportunity for everyone to be heard and have plenty of time,” he said. “We’re not trying to delay their right to be heard.”

As of Friday, the time and date for the new meeting was not yet determined.

In other business, City Council officially ratified its 2003 goals, although one councilman said they aren’t specific enough.

The main goals include diversifying the city’s economic base, working on the 8th Street extension design, looking at the south bridge connection, increasing employee housing, gaining more education for council, staff and commission members, updating the long-range transportation plan, improving relations with other governments and facilitating the goals of the city boards, committees and commissions.

Some of the main goals include details.

Diversifying the economy includes a pool, multi-purpose sports hill, a kayak park, trail system, tennis courts and theater.

The transportation plan includes preparing for the 2004 repaving project on Grand Avenue, improving Ride Glenwood, working on the relocation of Highway 82 and implementing a new parking plan.

To improve relationships with other governments, the city’s goal is to draw Garfield County, New Castle, Silt and Rifle into the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.

While many goals are on the list, Councilman Dan Richardson said he’d like to see the process of goal setting changed in the future.

“Next time, I’d like to see our goals more tangible and more specific,” he said.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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