Fate of W. Glenwood development project
A proposal for a massive commercial and residential development in Glenwood Springs suffered a blow earlier this week, just days before its fate will be decided by the Glenwood Springs City Council.
Developer Robert Macgregor is seeking annexation and zoning approvals from the City Council in his effort to successfully build his Glenwood Meadows project. His plans call for 772 dwellings (or more with affordable housing provisions), 1.2 million square feet of office and retail space, five ballfields, 160 acres of open space, a school site and a park-and-ride. The project would be built on the 350-acre Wulfsohn Ranch in West Glenwood.
Macgregor’s proposal earlier received a thumbs-down from the Glenwood Springs Planning Commission. And this week city development director Andrew McGregor also recommended denial of the project, although he suggested the council separate out the acceptable parts of the proposal in case Macgregor wants to submit a new application in the future.
His staff recommendation comes as city officials prepare for important public hearings this week on the controversial development.
The hearings are set for 6:30 to 11 p.m. today and Thursday. Because big audiences are expected, both hearings will be held at the Garfield County Courthouse, 109 Eighth St., Room 301.
Plans call for the Glenwood Meadows team and city staff to make presentations and take questions from City Council members on Wednesday evening.
Public comment will be taken Thursday evening. It’s uncertain whether council members will reach a decision Thursday or continue the matter to another meeting date.
In his report, development director McGregor notes that the planning commission “was quick to recognize the myriad of benefits that are contained in the application,” and “acknowledged that the proposal fulfills many of the goals and ideas espoused in the comprehensive plan.”
But after wrestling with mounds of details during seven meetings, Planning Commission members concluded that the project is too big, would make traffic problems worse and would wreck the small-town character of Glenwood Springs.
The seven-member City Council has two options after this week’s meetings: uphold the Planning Commission’s recommendation and deny the project, or overturn the recommendation and approve it.
If the council votes to approve it, members will likely add a list of conditions modifying the proposal.
In its earlier work, the Planning Commission drafted 68 conditions, and Macgregor has agreed to all of them.
“We were well on our way,” he said of the Planning Commission’s work in shaping a project that would better suit Glenwood Springs.
But in his staff report, Andrew McGregor cautioned the City Council against approving the project with such a big list of conditions.
He said the Planning Commission ultimately rejected that option as “too cumbersome and overwhelming.”
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