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Two housing projects head to Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission

Between two separate proposed developments, over 100 housing units will go before the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs, LLC has a proposal on the table to construct a three-story, mixed-use building just east of Iron Mountain Hot Springs and immediately south of Interstate 70.

The approximately 28,500 square foot building (9,500 square feet per floor) would house Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol (CSP) offices on the first floor and 19 residential units spread across the top two floors.

According to the proposal, of the 19 residential units, 15 would be deed-restricted and four free market.

“They have to be used for any employee that works in the 81601 zip code,” Steve Beckley, Iron Mountain Hot Springs owner, said of the deed-restricted units. “We are going to be renting substantially lower … if our employees don’t use them they will be opened up to other people in the city.”

Currently, Iron Mountain Hot Springs does not offer employee housing but does have workers that commute from as far as Grand Junction.

“It’s walking distance to the park, downtown, the hot springs, the caverns – it’s a great location,” Beckley said.

A public notice sign mentioning the application to the City of Glenwood Springs for the minor subdivision and minor site plan to construct and condominumize a 3 story mixed use building with 19 residential units and a landscaping variance.

According to Beckley, of the 19 units, 16 will be two-bed, two-bath units and three will be one-bed, one-bath units.

“An employee will have a bedroom, a bathroom and share a common living area and a kitchen,” Beckley said.

Per the city’s municipal code, the project will need to provide 63 parking spaces.

Additionally, should the planning and zoning commission approve the proposal, Beckley envisioned an April 2020 ground-breaking date and believed construction would last for roughly a year.

Upon completion CDOT will own the bottom floor and Iron Mountain Hot Springs, LLC will own the top two floors.

The Lofts Phase III

Tuesday evening’s agenda also includes a separate development proposal from Realty Capital Management, LLC to construct a 51.5-foot-tall, multi-family apartment building in the Glenwood Meadows.

Located on the north side of Wulfsohn Road between East Meadows Drive and Market Street, the 89-unit apartment building would be considered phase III of the Lofts at Red Mountain.

Phase I included 88 residential units and 5,808 square feet of commercial space. Additionally, the currently under construction phase II, once completed will offer 97 residential units.

According to phase III’s proposal, the four-story building would house three floors of residential units and a lower level garage.

Phase III of the free-market apartment project amounts to over 86,000 square feet spread across all four levels.

Per the city’s municipal code, phase III of the Lofts at Red Mountain must provide 152 parking spaces.

However, Realty Capital Management, LLC has requested a parking reduction to 107 spaces, citing the site’s proximity to public transportation, structured lower level parking and bicycle space.

According to the proposal “phase III includes only one-bedroom and efficiency units.”

Tuesday’s Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission meeting will occur in city hall (101 W. Eighth St.) at 6 p.m. in council chambers.

The planning and zoning commission serves as the deciding body for residential developments between 9 and 24 units, like that being proposed by Iron Mountain Hot Springs, LLC.

However, for proposals consisting of 25 or more dwelling units, like phase III of the Lofts at Red Mountain, the planning and zoning commission serves as the recommending body to city council, which makes the final determination.


Toussaint column: Practicing a taxing form of gratitude

In 2018, a fellow worker opined to me that all taxes — and all government — should be abolished. I found his remark a bit paradoxical since, at the time, we were both serving as election workers paid by Garfield County.

Continuing to ruminate on that comment, I’ve become convinced that three life experiences have proved to me the folly of such an extreme libertarian view: living in big cities, traveling in third-world countries, and struggling through a major natural disaster.

Because I traveled to Ghana in 1972, I have an inkling of what un-governed life might be like. Several machine-gun-toting, khaki-clad, Akan-speaking thugs pulled my tourist group over at a roadblock. They never identified themselves. Perhaps they were connected with the coup that overthrew Kofi Busia a month earlier? I never found out why they grilled our driver and tore apart our luggage. Squatting in broiling sun beside a rutted roadside for hours, I had ample time to think about the impossibility of contacting our own government. The coup had cut off all phone service, radio and TV broadcasts. We whiteys could have just disappeared. …

My experience following San Francisco’s 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake was similarly eye opening. When phone service, gas and electric, traffic lights and airports all shut down, the economic engines of any megalopolis quickly stall out. When roads and bridges are disabled, when food and medicine can’t be delivered, crisis looms just days away.

While I don’t like paying sales, property or income taxes, I do appreciate civilized infrastructure.

Like several friends, I have experienced health crises that prompted trips to CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus near Denver. That requires either an I-70 trip or a medivac helicopter. Since Uncle Sam picked up 90 percent of the tab for our interstate highways and since he also pays the air traffic controllers, it’s our tax dollars at work either way.

While I’m thinking about Anschutz — which got $553.5 million in federal grants last year — I’d also like to thank Colorado for its public schools. I got a fine education, from kindergarten through two BAs from CU Boulder. I do wish Colorado would do a better job now in investing in our shared future. Despite one of the nation’s best economies, we rank a sorry 42nd in student funding and a shameful 46th in teacher pay.

I’m really fond of our national parks and the U.S. Forest Service; I wish we hired enough rangers to truly care for our public lands. I was appalled to learn how much damage was done when they were off the payroll during government shutdowns.

I’m also happy to pay for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. If you use broadcast or Internet weather forecasts, you get that information courtesy of NOAA’s National Weather Service. If you eat fish, go boating or venture into hurricane country, you’re benefiting from NOAA’s work in fisheries and oceanic conditions. In 1900, when a hurricane killed nearly 12,000 people in Galveston, they had no warning. Today, thanks to NOAA’s satellite systems and dual-polarization radar, we get three to five days warning of major storms.

While thinking about weather, I’d like to tip my hat to Colorado’s highway department. You can’t spend much time in the mountains without experiencing the rush of gratitude that comes from seeing the blue and yellow lights of a CDOT snowplow flashing through a whiteout.

I’m also happy to support the federal Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration and the EPA. I’d guess that conservatives who want to abolish these public health agencies never spent much time in West Africa. There, taking a drink of water, purchasing food or eating dinner out can prove to be a death-defying act.

What’s more, due to international air travel, diseases like SARS, Ebola and West Nile virus can arrive from such under-governed places in mere hours. When they arrive, who you gonna call?

And what if you’ve gotta flee?

Few in this valley will soon forget the Lake Christine Fire. Ultimately, our safety arrived in the form of public servants from more than 38 tax-supported agencies: local towns, counties, police, firefighters from 28 states, EMTs, the Forest Service, the BLM — even the Roaring Fork School District, which sheltered evacuees.

Come April, I might upload my taxes on the internet, a convenience invented by the Defense Department and supported by federal grants until it became commercially viable.

More likely, I’ll choose to hand my 1040 over to Marty at the Carbondale post office. Much as I appreciate FedEx and UPS, I wouldn’t care to entrust my private financial data to an anonymous, profit-driven concern. I trust Marty far more. He’s no faceless bureaucrat employed by the US Postal Service. I know him. What’s more, I know where he lives!

Nicolette Toussaint lives in Carbondale. Her column appears monthly in the Post Independent and at postindependent.com.