Business Monday: Multi-family housing development in the works near West Glenwood Mall

Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission considers annexation for proposed project

Plans to develop an empty field near the Glenwood Mall into a multimillion dollar planned unit development district were announced during Tuesday night’s Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

The plan has been met with intense opposition in the West Glenwood neighborhood from residents who say the development is out of scale and will create safety issues.

The commission will continue discussions on whether to annex a 15.8-acre parcel into municipal city limits and to rezone 12.3 acres into a PUD district and another 3.5 acres to a commercial district on a parcel behind the Glenwood Mall.

The motion to continue the discussion passed unanimously during the meeting, which lasted a little past 10 p.m.

A screen shot from Tuesday night’s presentation to the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission.

On the 12 acres, developers plan to construct 360 residential rental units across a variety of housing types, including town houses, single residential units and affordable housing units.

A 2,000-square-foot restaurant and 12,000 square feet of clubhouse and open space also are included in the plans.

There would be 625 parking spaces in all, which includes garage parking and proposed on-street parking adjacent to the development site. That averages out to about 1.7 parking spaces per rental unit.

A traffic study estimated that 2,200 vehicles would drive through Donegan Road per week day, according to Senior City Planner Trent Hyatt.

“One of the major discussions is how that interacts with school traffic. What you’ll hear from the traffic engineer is that they have different peak hours,” Hyatt said.

The developers are expected to pay for the costs of any sidewalk and infrastructure improvements, Hyatt said, adding that the city would be responsible for long-term maintenance of those improvements.

“That’s pretty standard with an annexation,” Hyatt said.

Others working on the development include architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht, Kimley Horn, Sopris Engineering and Garfield and Hecht attorneys.

Hyatt said the city expects the county to require transfer of ownership of applicable road right of ways to make the improvements.

A screen shot from Tuesday night’s presentation to the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission.

The Diemoz family of Glenwood Springs owns the land, which has long been zoned for commercial use. John Diemoz said the land has never been in an open space designation, conservation easement nor been designated for park space. Diemoz said his family will pay Garfield County $72,000 in commercial property taxes in April, arguing that those in opposition are wrong to expect that the land be developed into a park.

The development would be managed by R2 Partners.

Diemoz said his grandparents purchased the land in 1960 as an investment property.

“We are long-term thinkers and long-term holders, which is one of the reasons Diemozes wanted to work with us,” said Barry Rosenberg, a managing member of R2 Partners.

“We have developed a sense of community within our developments. We’re creating a pretty dynamically amenitized community built around strong outdoor spaces but also creating very diversified housing types. Even though it’s not a direct classification, affordable housing … also adds another dimension.”

Public comments were all in opposition to the project. Most of those who spoke in opposition were concerned with safety and traffic flow in the event of a wildfire, citing how past wildfire evacuations snarled traffic in the area.

The commission will take up the discussion again during April’s planning and zoning meeting.