Council approves comprehensive growth plan

The Grand Junction City Council adopted the comprehensive plan, which took two and a half years to develop, at a meeting Wednesday night.

The plan details how the city plans to handle transportation, land use and utility system growth as the community grows over the next 25 years. Councilman Gregg Palmer, who suggested the idea for a comprehensive plan along with then-Councilman Jim Spehar five years ago, said he was pleased to see the plan adopted, but suggested adding a paragraph to the executive summary that would emphasize the city’s commitment to a clean Colorado River front.

The amendment, which was the only part of the plan changed at the meeting, was adopted unanimously.

The plan also was adopted unanimously.

An hour of public comments featured people happy to see the plan enacted and those with concerns about heavier housing density on Orchard Mesa and in the Appleton area than current zoning allows. Two people even used the word “ghettos” when expressing what they were worried their neighborhoods would turn into with more houses.

Councilwoman Linda Romer Todd said the plan does not endorse overnight changes and will change areas only as more housing is needed.

“There’s nothing concrete about where these colors are,” Todd said, referring to the colors on maps indicating varying housing densities.

Councilwoman Teresa Coons said the plan encourages higher housing densities in some areas in order to usher in developments of housing types that aren’t plentiful in the city but are in demand, such as townhomes and apartments.

Wednesday’s City Council meeting also included the adoption of an ordinance for the Seventh Street Historic District. The ordinance states that all applications for changing land use in the district, which stretches from Hill Avenue to Grand Avenue, will go before the City Council and change the zoning in the area from planned development to planned residential development.

Sharon Snyder, a resident of the historic district, said neighbors there did not get to provide enough input to city leaders while the ordinance was being developed. She said “historical preservation has been written out of the entire ordinance.”

“This is as bad as it can get for historical preservation in the city,” Snyder said.

Councilman Tom Kenyon said he would welcome input from neighbors in the district and wants the council to discuss at a workshop the possibility of the city and the residents jointly working on design standards for buildings in the neighborhood.


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