Swanson developers should take citizens’ suggestions | PostIndependent.com

Swanson developers should take citizens’ suggestions

A landmark ranch owned by the Bershenyi family is now headed for development. While it’s sad to see yet another ranch go down the subdivision path, in this case, the developers, Westminster Swanson Land Partners of Lake Forest, Ill., appear to be saying all the right things about how they’ll handle the 1,600-acre ranch.Richard Swanson, of Westminster Swanson, has said, “We’re taking very, very careful steps.”Swanson comes into an atmosphere on Four Mile Road that may not be entirely welcoming to developers. Just a few years ago, the ambitious Red Feather Ridge development a few miles down the road was defeated when Glenwood Springs voters rejected an annexation plan. A local citizens group led the opposition to that plan. Wisely, Swanson is talking to the same group.What he heard were suggestions to cluster those homes on smaller lots and protect the majority of the property as open space.The developers should hold to that suggestion.But a more compelling and critical issue than open space is traffic congestion that 270 homes will cause on narrow Four Mile Road.The developers at the Red Feather Ridge site did make some improvements to the road lower down, including the addition of retaining walls, road widening and water drainage. And they were willing to contribute toward a roundabout at the base of Four Mile Road, a project the city and county have wrangled over for years.Swanson et al. need to take a lesson from their predecessor on Four Mile and get on board with transportation improvements as well.A few words are also in order for Glenwood Springs’ recycling effort. It appears from the problems encountered at the recycling center while the manager was away a few weeks ago that it is suffering from a case of popularity. People want to use it and when they find it closed they leave their recycling items at the gates, creating a clean-up nightmare.The community should show its support by volunteering at the center to help keep it orderly and perhaps keep it open longer.The community should show its support by volunteering at the center to help keep it orderly and perhaps keep it open longer.

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