Will it be Glenwood `Muddos’ soon?
If the Coal Seam fire means any changes for a huge development planned for Wulfsohn Ranch, the city of Glenwood Springs doesn’t know about it yet.
The area targeted for the Glenwood Meadows was burned over during Saturday’s blaze.
Neither Glenwood Meadows developer Robert Macgregor nor his Glenwood attorney, Tom Hartert, could be reached for comment on what impact the fire might have on their development.
But from the city’s perspective, “As far as we know, nothing has changed,” said Shaunna Mozingo, administrative assistant for the city’s community development department. “They haven’t contacted us for anything. Their approval stills stands. It’s not like something we’ve jumped on right away, and they haven’t contacted us.”
That’s not to say the situation regarding the development couldn’t change in the future, “but we haven’t had time to deal with it” this week, said Mozingo.
Glenwood Meadows was approved by City Council in February. As originally proposed, the controversial project was twice the size of the project finally approved 6-1.
The development divides the 345-acre Wulfsohn Ranch into 72 acres for commercial, office and hotel uses, 55 acres for residential neighborhoods and 215 acres for open space and parks. The zoning will allow 490,000 square feet of commercial and office space and 475 apartments, townhouses and single-family homes.
City Manager Mike Copp said he doesn’t think the fire has changed anything regarding the development, from the city’s point of view.
But Glenwood Meadows could face new challenges in at least two different respects.
Its singed landscape and the national coverage of the fires, which also threatened the Glenwood Springs Mall, could make it more difficult to attract new retailers to the town.
And there are increased concerns about mud and debris flows coming down Red Mountain, denuded of vegetation by the fire and made more vulnerable to rainstorms.
The Wulfsohn Ranch area already was considered particularly prone to mud and debris flow problems.
Copp said the debris flow mitigations being required of Glenwood Meadows are similar to those already in place for the city Community Center and Municipal Operations Center sites.
“We’re going to see how good our engineers are up there,” he said of the consultants who designed the detention and deflection mechanisms that were installed in hopes of protecting those buildings.
Reseeding and revegetation of Red Mountain is expected to occur, probably with the federal government leading that effort. On Thursday, the city had an insurance adjuster out to its sites, where some new landscaping will be required in damaged areas. Copp had no initial estimates on the cost of the damages incurred.
“We’ll be looking at FEMA for some of those costs,” Copp said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has promised to reimburse 75 percent of the costs connected to the Coal Seam fire.
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