Council picks Kenyon to be next Grand Junction mayor

With new members sworn in, board takes up land-use issues

Bennett Boeschenstein takes the oath of office for the Grand Junction City Council from Stephanie Tuin, Grand Junction city clerk, Monday at City Hall. Appointed council member Laura Luke and newly elected council member and Jim Doody also took the oath of office, as did council member Sam Susuras.

Grand Junction City Councilman Tom Kenyon was named mayor of the city by his colleagues Monday night.

Fellow council members Jim Doody, Bill Pitts and Sam Susuras voted to make Kenyon the mayor, while council members Bennett Boeschenstein, Teresa Coons and Laura Luke voted to keep one-term mayor Coons as head of the council. Kenyon’s vote for himself broke the tie.

Pitts was named mayor pro-tem with a unanimous council vote.

After Kenyon and Pitts each took an oath of office, the council voted unanimously to pay $167,366 in sewer, water tap, traffic, utility undergrounding and drainage fees for a multi-family development at 2823 North Ave. and 497 and 491 28 1/4 Road. The city will essentially pay itself by transferring money from city general fund reserves to a city enterprise fund for the fees.

The 48-unit development, called Peppermill Lofts, is being developed by Bruce Milyard. Council members said they approved of the city paying fees for the project because Peppermill Lofts is being built as affordable housing in an area with a shortage of apartments. The project is expected to break ground in June or July, according to Ted Ciavonne, president of design firm Ciavonne, Roberts & Associates.

“It’s an exciting process and a good step forward for North Avenue renovations,” Kenyon said.

Later in the meeting, council members blocked a rezoning request for 2674 F Road. The landowner had requested a change from residential zoning to mixed use zoning that would allow a building one to three stories high to be built on the property.

Testimony from several neighbors living north of Patterson Road between Seventh and 12th streets persuaded council members to oppose the idea. Neighbors said they worried adding traffic in and out of a three-story business would become a hazard for drivers as well as pedestrians and that re-zoning the property mixed use would open a Pandora’s box of land use possibilities that would go through administrative review instead of council review for approval.

The property is in a section of land slated in the city’s comprehensive plan for mixed use opportunities in the future, but Kenyon and Doody said not every piece of land is going to fit that mold.

“I think we can come up with a common sense solution and stay in the comprehensive plan,” Luke said.


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