CARBONDALE — State highway engineers are poised to carve out some pieces of the existing City Market parking lot at the Carbondale Square shopping center, to make room for a new roundabout and other improvements at the intersection of Highway 133 and Main Street as part of a $7 million highway widening and improvements project.
As proposed, and without adjustments to the existing land use approvals for the property, the highway project might have meant the loss of an undetermined number of parking spaces around the outer perimeter of the lot, alongside both the highway and Main Street.
But the town government is working with the property owners to minimize the pain in terms of the loss of any parking spaces, and according to Town Manager Jay Harrington the work has paid off.
“I don’t think they’re losing any parking spaces,” Harrington said Tuesday. “The intent is to allow them to keep their current configuration and operations when CDOT is finished with the property.”
Planner Janet Buck, agreeing with Harrington, said the only potential loss of parking spaces may be in the southeast corner, near Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, because of a need to redesign the entry lane off Highway 133 into the parking lot.
“It is important to ensure that the Carbondale Square property remains as a functioning retail property,” Buck wrote in a staff memo.
As outlined in documents and a diagram submitted to the Carbondale Planning and Zoning Commission, for consideration at the P&Z meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has made plans to acquire parts of the Carbondale Square property from the east, along the highway, and the north, along Main Street, and to use some other portions of the property for construction staging during the highway project.
The town, however, is considering a plan to modify the Planned Unit Development approvals for the nearly 5-acre Carbondale Square commercial property, which is owned by the Carbondale Square LLC.
The original PUD was approved in 1976 and then amended in 1996, resulting in current setbacks of 15 feet from the north and east property lines.
The modifications being considered include shrinking the setbacks from the property lines along the two thoroughfares, as well as some “open space” and landscape requirements.
“Staff is sympathetic to the property owner’s desire to ensure that the property remains in compliance with the PUD,” stated the staff memo in the P&Z packet for the meeting.
“Most of the parking spaces along the easterly side [Highway 133] of the property would certainly be out of compliance,” the memo continued, although the Main Street side would not be similarly affected.
To accommodate the CDOT as well as Carbondale Square LLC, the town’s planning staff is recommending to the board of trustees that the setback along Highway 133 be reduced to zero, and the setback along the Main Street side be cut to 10 feet, along with other minor changes.
The P&Z meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave., and the public is invited to attend.