Letter: Value of Midland proposal
The extent of misinformation and exaggerations that have been spoken and written regarding the Midland Avenue Lofts development proposed by Craig Helm is amazing.
Glenwood has identified housing as a No. 1 issue for many years. To continue to deny viable housing projects that are close to the job concentration only pushes housing downvalley, which substantially increases the traffic problem. You cannot hope to alleviate traffic by pushing your housing to New Castle and beyond.
Mr. Helm had previously approached the city with a proposal that met the current annexation agreement that has been in place since 1978, long before many of the neighboring houses were constructed. This annexation agreement was written to allow for higher density housing that the wise city council of that day knew was going to be needed. The denial of that proposal was without clear direction or justification.
Mr. Helm has now attempted to revise the project in such a manner as to meet what appeared to be the council’s greatest concern, housing cost. Mr. Helm’s new proposal not only reduces the housing cost but he also minimizes the building footprint and visual impact to the neighborhood.
As far as walkability, this development is an approximate 22-minute walk or an 8-minute bike ride to Valley View Hospital (the largest employment base in Glenwood). Bottom line is that you will be hard pressed to find a closer spot to downtown that can accommodate multiple-family housing.
I respect that the neighbors don’t want the project. But their preference that it remain undeveloped is self-serving and does not consider the city’s needs.
I implore that City Council consider the greater need of all of Glenwood Springs as members review this project and not fall prey to the pressures of the select few and vocal neighbors. The slippery slope that the city has gone down is to deny projects based on personal agendas without regard to the city’s best interest. This leads to the situation where everyone’s personal property rights become threatened and the council no longer represents the entire population of Glenwood Springs.