Glenwood Springs P&Z turns down ANB Bank’s downtown plan | AspenTimes.com

Glenwood Springs P&Z turns down ANB Bank’s downtown plan

Matthew Bennett
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Pedestrians pass in front of the existing building in the 900 block of Grand Avenue, where new property owner ANB Bank had plans for a new bank building.
John Stroud / Post Independent

Glenwood Springs’ Planning and Zoning Commission, after a lengthy and well-attended public hearing Tuesday night, unanimously denied ANB Bank’s proposal to move into the 900 block of the city’s downtown core.

“Our bank is considered a retail use,” Bob Mattucci, who oversees real estate for ANB Bank, said before the seven P&Z commissioners.

“We sell money,” he said.

ANB Bank, which has more than 30 locations spread across Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming, presented plans to operate out of a new 9,428-square-foot, two-story facility along Grand Avenue between the White River National Forest headquarters and Vicki Lee Green Realtors.

ANB, which could appeal the decision to City Council, has plans to demolish the two existing, adjoined structures that date back to 1917 and currently house seven small businesses under lease.

Those businesses include: KC’s Wing House & Sports Bar, Jewels & Gems, Bellini’s Fashion, Glenwood Spa and Nails, Tesseract Comics and Games, CPA Services Pro and the Glenwood Escape Room.

One of those affected owners, Cheryl Guay of Jewels & Gems, who has done business in Glenwood Springs for the past 35 years, questioned the direction the city was going as it pertained to development.

“I think like the other people that this is totally wrong. Why do we have eight banks in downtown Glenwood on Grand Avenue?” Guay asked. “It seems like the downtown is going away, and I have a friend that said, ‘Maybe we should change the name to Bankwood (Springs).’”

Laura Speck, who owns the Silver Bead across the street at 927 Grand Ave., could not believe ANB Bank was possibly going to move in across from her store, which has done business in town for going on 17 years.

“Never in a million years did anybody see this coming,” Speck said of ANB’s proposal. “This is devastating to our town. … (People) don’t want a bank to come down and ruin the potential of this beautiful town that we live in.”

Numerous members of the public commented against ANB’s proposal during the meeting. Not a single member of the public commented in favor of it.

However, the P&Z’s hands were tied, as the seven commissioners had to vet the proposal not as a bank but rather how it fit into the city’s development code. Commissioner Tim Malloy pointed out that many of the bank’s design elements did not fit the downtown’s character.

“This is basically a knockoff building that you can build anywhere in the country; the applicant as much as told us that,” Malloy explained ahead of the commissioners’ vote. “Again, I think this proposal fails miserably.”

“We are bound by code to a huge degree … whether we like the project or not,” Commissioner Sumner Schachter added. “However, there is also I believe an understated ethical obligation to look after the welfare of the community.”

Ultimately, P&Z denied the request. However, ANB in all likelihood will appeal its case to City Council, as allowed under the city’s land-use code.

ANB’s Mattucci declined comment following the meeting.

mabennett@postindependent.com


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