Guest column: Fact checking letter opposing West Glenwood Pasture Development
A letter to the editor on July 16, 2021, from one of the leading opponents to the proposed development in West Glenwood deserves a fact check — just like the news does during elections. The letter writer first states that, “We the residents of West Glenwood are not against the Diemoz family selling their property.” Fact: The West Glenwood Pasture Group’s slogan from the very beginning has been “West Glenwood — Where open space still has a place.”
The second paragraph of the letter states that there will be five-story buildings and that “our fire department cannot fight a fire in a building of this height.”
Fact: There are no five-story buildings in the proposed development. In a May 25, 2021, memo from fire chief Gary Tillotson to the Planning & Zoning Commission, it states, “Once appropriate water mains and hydrants have been constructed as needed, the fire department will be able to provide adequate fire suppression to the proposed development.” The memo also states “Additional property taxes generated from this development will help fund the construction of the new fire station.”
Paragraph three of the July 16 letter covers the proposed increase in traffic in the roundabout at Interstate 70 and Midland Avenue. What if some of those commuters could actually live in Glenwood Springs and not have to drive from downvalley?
The fourth paragraph states that Mr. Rosenberg has “decided that he would rather pay a fine in lieu of providing green space and dedicated land for schools, which is required.” Fact: All developers are given an option of either providing park land or paying a fee (not a fine).
Paragraph five refers to the shortage of housing in the Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Valley. The letter’s author states that Mr. Rosenberg is not being up front about the stated shortage of 2,000 rental units in Glenwood Springs. The author claims that the “study area” spans from “Aspen to Glenwood, Edwards to Parachute.” Fact: In the April 19, 2021, memo to the Planning & Zoning Commission from the Glenwood Springs Housing Commission it states, “The Regional Housing Study completed in 2019 estimated Glenwood Springs housing shortfall at roughly 2,000 units in 2017, which was also predicted to remain relatively the same through the year 2027.”
The final paragraph of the July 16 letter compares the West Glenwood land to the Jackson’s conservation easement south of Glenwood Springs. Fact: Comparing a 140-acre working ranch (zoned agricultural) along the Roaring Fork River to a 12.3-acre commercially zoned parcel in West Glenwood surrounded by a mall, a car dealership, a mail handling facility converted to a school and residences, is comparing apples to oranges, or maybe onions.
Lastly, if anyone wants to question the Diemoz legacy, they just need to drive through Glenwood Canyon and see the scenic views. Floyd Diemoz was a leader in getting I-70 constructed in a manner that left the canyon’s beauty preserved. He was also integral in the development of Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort.
Moving forward, let’s all remember that “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.”
Vreneli Diemoz is a long time native of the Roaring Fork Valley.
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