On August 6th, 2020, residents of West Glenwood were given pre-evacuation warnings as a wildfire had just broken out nearby. Although the fire was contained in a couple of hours, the surface streets were soon gridlocked, remaining so for six hours or more, as residents attempted to get home, collect kids and pets and evacuate via I-70. Fresh in our minds, as we sat in our stationary vehicles, were the images of people burning to death while attempting to flee the "Camp Fire" of late 2018, on foot after flames overtook their cars.
Around a month prior the West Glenwood community learned of a dense multi-family housing development proposed for the near 16-acre parcel behind the Glenwood Springs Mall. Originally 413 units were proposed, which would have increased the roughly 3,000 population in West Glenwood by 1,000.
Residents immediately opposed the proposal of 480 Donegan as a threat to their safety, pointing out the blackened hillsides as stark reminders of wildfires of recent memory. Despite compelling arguments for why this development is wrong for the neighborhood, wrong for the city and wrong for this moment in time, as well as denial from Planning and Zoning and concerns raised by County Commissioners Samson and Martin, City Council approved the annexation of the land for that purpose on November 4th, 2021.
Left with mounting a campaign for repeal as its only option, Glenwood Springs Citizens for Sensible Development collected over 900 signatures, three times the amount needed. We learned as we canvassed the City that other neighborhoods also experienced having similar concerns ignored and overridden by a City Council that recklessly justifies ill-considered development by the undisputed need for affordable housing. Elected representatives repeatedly bypass the experience and local knowledge of residents, choosing to believe the glib promises of developers to provide solutions.
This election campaign to repeal the annexation is urgent because it is the only way to prevent an emergency situation from being made worse before adequate remedies can be implemented. Real solutions need planning, design, funding, and building out. We invite all Glenwood Springs citizens to join us in this greater endeavor, but first, we must prevent the compounding of existing dangers by increasing a population already under threat by 20%.
Vote YES to repeal this annexation and join us to help our representatives make better decisions for our city!