Valley View debris flow plan concerns city |

Valley View debris flow plan concerns city

Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission members are worried about redirecting debris flow from 19th Street onto St. Stephen’s School grounds.

Valley View Hospital expansion designers have proposed changing the debris flow path, and presented the overall project to the planning commission Tuesday evening.

As part of the plan, a large debris basin will be built behind the hospital to catch water, debris and mud as it spills down the mountainside. The problem is, if there is a 100-year flood, some of the muck will overflow the basin and flow down the street.

But it’s not the fact that mud and debris would flow onto the street, but which street would take the flow that had commissioners troubled.

In the hospital’s current configuration, a 100-year storm would cause debris to flow by the hospital and down 19th Street. But if the debris basin is installed, that flow – while it would be slowed somewhat – would be diverted north of the hospital across Blake Avenue toward St. Stephen’s School on Hyland Park Drive.

“As it is now, mud would go down 19th Street, blocking the entrance to the emergency center,” said Sam DiCarlo, who was hired by the hospital to help plan the expansion. “We’re not trying to say this is a 100 percent solve-it-all for Valley View Hospital or Glenwood Springs, but what we are saying is this would enable the hospital to stay functioning and not increase the mud flow. In fact, there should be a decrease.”

DiCarlo works for Hart, Freeland and Roberts Architects out of Brentwood, Tenn.

City engineer Larry Thompson only recently received the debris flow plan, so he asked the commission for more time to review it before giving them his opinion.

Community Development Director Andrew McGregor reminded the planning commission that the hospital is not responsible for solving the mud flow problems.

Other aspects of the hospital expansion reviewed by the planning commission included an expanded parking area east of Palmer Avenue, as well as the construction of a new power substation.

The decision on whether to recommend approval for the hospital’s overall development was continued until a later meeting.

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