Letter: New City Council members should build a sustainable community

Here is why we support Jennifer Vanian for City Council. Land use issues facing Glenwood Springs will reset the footprint for the next 100 years. Many believe the river confluence area is an opportunity for high density development while many others sense danger. The confluence is a riparian area, not a corridor for development. It is a peninsula needing to be reclaimed and protected from degradation because of its important ecological functions. The outgoing City Council has tossed three redevelopment concepts into the air: the confluence redevelopment, the Sixth Street corridor master plan, and the Seventh Street redevelopment. Now, they have added two more balls, making it five balls in the air if you include the airport redevelopment idea and the Glenwood Springs Mall urban renewal area.

It is especially troubling that the city is seeking a master developer for redevelopment of the confluence. Their idea is essentially how to maximize the development yield of approximately 12.2 acres of public land at the confluence of the Colorado and the Roaring Fork rivers. Yet, there is no voter approval. Somehow, City Council thinks we are ready for a master contractor developer to take over publicly-owned property and transform it into high density housing. There is little respect being shown for the site’s natural beauty or the realities of parking and other infrastructure needed.

Now along comes the Glenwood Springs Mall urban renewal area and talk of the airport property. The need to grow to maintain vitality in Glenwood is challenged by a lack of flat land. This fact compels us to look very seriously at opportunities for infill and redevelopment of the Glenwood Springs Mall Area. It is a flat area comprising approximately 35 to 40 acres providing convenient transportation connectivity.

Seeking a partner to collaborate with the city to develop the confluence area is not what should be happening. This whole thing needs to be reviewed by new City Council members willing to understand the pressures of climate change and the need to build a sustainable community.

David and Carol Hauter,

Glenwood Springs

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