West Glenwood’s 480 Donegan project to be annexed, rezoned

The Glenwood Springs City Council approved the annexation and rezoning of nearly 16 acres in West Glenwood for the proposed 480 Donegan project.

The vote capped a monthslong negotiation process with developers R2 Partners that featured several meetings, postponements and a cornucopia of public comment — primarily opposed to the development. City Council approved R2 Partners’ request for annexation and rezoning of a property north of the Glenwood Springs Mall.

“As leaders in this community, I think you need to do what’s best for the community, which is not always popular,” said Barry Rosenberg, R2 Partners co-founder. “There’s a reason your entire professional staff supports this.”

Council voted 4-3 to approve the annexation, with council members Tony Hershey, Paula Stepp and Ingrid Wussow voting against. Mayor Jonathan Godes, Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Willman and council members Shelley Kaup and Steve Davis voted in favor.

Originally pitched as multiple apartment complexes containing more than 400 apartments, R2 Partners responded to community feedback and council with numerous changes to the proposal, presenting a potential housing plan Thursday that could include 272 multi-family residential units, residences, including 40 for-sale townhomes, 13 live-work units and about 220 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Hershey made a motion to deny the annexation and rezoning, which was seconded by Stepp.

“The work the developers have done — I applaud you, but there are a number of things that we need to work on as a city, and we need time to work on it,” Stepp said, explaining she was concerned about future infrastructure costs to the city and increased traffic in West Glenwood. “Even at adding approximately 655 people in this community, that’s still a number of cars on those roadways.”

The motion was defeated 4-3, with Godes, Willman, Kaup and Davis voting against.

Willman said despite making a similar motion to deny in September, he was swayed by the developers’ willingness to further reduce the residential density of the project by about 20% and include a dedication of up to 1 acre of public parkland into the development plans.

Reducing the density of the project also reduced the number of units designated as affordable housing, which is based on a percentage of the total number of units available, Davis said.

“I don’t really, but you guys spend a lot of time up here talking about how we need affordable housing, and our recent surveys have shown us it’s the residents’ No. 1 priority for the city’s growth,” Davis said. “I’m disappointed in the density in this latest proposal. We gave up a lot of affordable housing.”

When presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission, commissioners told R2 Partners they would like to see the housing development either include 10% of the overall residential units rented at rates based off 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or 20% of the units rented at 90% of the AMI.

R2 Partners’ latest presentation included 10% of the units rented at 80% of the AMI and 10% rented at 130% of AMI.

Davis made a motion to approve the annexation on the conditions the developers be allowed to increase the total number of units to 300, provide 2 acres of land for public use — up to 1 acre for a fire station and up to 1 contiguous acre for public parkland — and vesting rights of up to five years. Kaup seconded, and the motion was approved.

“I’m disappointed in you guys,” Wussow said. “This is not your hood. You will not be impacted by the traffic increase. I think when we make decisions like this, we are not putting our residents’ needs first.”

Kaup said Wussow had the opportunity to support the development at a lower density rate but chose not to.

“Even with the reduction of units from the developer, it was not enough to get some of the council members on board,” Kaup said. “So going back up to 300 units provides six more units of affordable housing for our community, and that’s a win for me.”

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at

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