Letter: Oasis is out of scale
Are you aware there is a good chance that a massive residential development is coming to Glenwood Springs? The unprecedented size and density of the Oasis Creek Apartments should concern everyone with a stake in the future of Glenwood Springs. Our City Council is considering granting code variances that will allow the developer to proceed and build structures that are extremely out of scale for our small town.
The proposed development will be located where the Terra Vista motel once stood. The parcel lies at the intersection of Donegan Road and Highway 6 & 24.
Of the 11 variances the developer has applied for, two are especially notable. Currently the maximum building height that can be attained on the property is 35 feet. The developer is asking to build up to 61 feet, or 26 feet higher than the code allows. That is nearly double the height allowed by law. The developer has stated that without the extra stories in height, the project will not be profitable.
The second variance request is just as bad. While asking for more height, and thus more bodies, the developer is asking for a reduction in parking spaces. According to code regulations, he is required to provide 280 parking spaces for the proposed 116 apartments. The developer is requesting a reduction to 185 parking spaces. That’s 95 fewer spaces than code provides. The bordering streets, Highway 6 & 24 and Donegan, are two highly traveled streets that do not accommodate on-street parking.
City staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission have rejected the developer’s variance requests. It now goes to the City Council and, incredibly, there are councilors who would grant the variances and allow the project to proceed.
I don’t share the belief that more is better regarding our quality of life in Glenwood Springs. Stacking people in high rises will not make our town a better place to live. The council should consider what is best for Glenwood Springs and re-examine the “housing crisis.” This project, should it pass, will set negative precedents in our zoning and design codes as well as for unforeseen projects down the road.
If this causes you concern, I urge you to contact your council representative. Better yet, attend the April 21 council meeting.