Letter: North landing needs trees, grass
May 17, 2018
I was saddened to read the PI article reporting that the Glenwood Springs City Council rejected the "North Landing" proposals submitted through the city's Request for Proposal (RFP) process. This is a classic case of a flawed process producing a flawed result.
The RFP asked those submitting a proposal to submit their "vision" for this site, but did not ask for project financing or backing. There were some interesting ideas submitted, and the Council seemed entranced by one of them.
Now, the mayor seems disappointed when he says: "the response really wasn't for development but was just more for design." What did you expect, Mr. Mayor? This is exactly what the RFP asked for.
CDOT is required to plant trees and grass on the North Landing as part of the bridge construction project. Now, the City Council is having second thoughts about this as the trees may eventually have to be removed and the grass may turn the site into a de facto gathering area. Oh, the horror!
The utilities, including the main gas line, that were moved as part of the bridge construction project, run smack through the middle of this site. So, moving trees will be the least of the problem if anything substantial is ever built on this site.
Everyone knew that this site needed attention four years ago when the final bridge design was completed, yet we still have no plan for making this an attractive, engaging space.
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Groups aligned with and funded by the city developed a concept for a park on the North Landing site almost two years ago. The city does not like this idea because: the city would have to build and maintain it; there is a pot shop next door; and homeless people may hang out there. Instead, they want to hand this space over to a private party to build they know not what, but also make it a public space. Only in the fantasy world of city government does this make sense.
We should let CDOT plant trees and grass now as otherwise we will be left with a barren, weedy vacant lot for another four years or more.
Glenwood business owner