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Carbondale board to chew on dueling development regs

Building size caps are off the table in Carbondale, but side dishes called Option A and Option B remain on the menu.Carbondale’s Board of Trustees is expected to start chewing on Option A and Option B tonight, as part of its ongoing review of Mountain Folks for Global Justice’s proposed zoning amendments.Option A is the preferred choice of Mountain Folks. It calls for a major development review process and developer-funded studies for projects as small as 10,000 square feet, depending on zone district.Option B was drafted by town staff at the request of the trustees. Option B keeps much of Option A intact, but deletes several provisions, including square-foot triggers for a major development review process.Here is how Option A and Option B stack up to each other, according to staff memos on file at Town Hall.-Option A calls for developer studies (or impact assessment reports) if a proposed project is 10,000 square feet or larger in the NC zone district (commercial neighborhood) and C/T zone (commercial transitional); 15,000 square feet or larger in the PCC zone (planned community commercial); or 20,000 square feet or more in the A district (accommodations), HCC district (historic commercial core), or CRW (the Crystal River Marketplace property on Highway 133).Option B deletes triggers for developer studies based on square footage, but gives town staff discretion to decide when studies are needed. Developers could appeal a staff decision to the Board of Trustees.-Option A calls for developers to “provide background market and financial feasibility which justifies the project.”Option B deletes this provision.-In reference to solid waste and emergency services, Option A includes requirements for developers to describe the quantity and composition of solid waste generated by projects, describe the method of on-site storage and collections, and evaluate impacts to area landfills and recycling stations.Under “emergency services,” developers must consult with the police department and identify added costs to police.Option B deletes the above requirements.-In Option A for residential projects, the developer must evaluate impacts on the school system at all levels, identify the projected number of students by housing type based on Roaring Fork RE-1 School District data, and analyze the school district’s ability to absorb the additional enrollment. That analysis would include impacts on class size and building needs that may be related to a proposed project.Option B removes those requirements.Option B also deletes an Option A provision calling for developers to mitigate impacts to the police department. It also deletes a provision whereby the school district “has the ability to request phasing of residential projects to lessen impacts on the school system or to ensure that adequate physical facilities are in place to serve assumed student population.”-Option A calls for developers to “evaluate the type and number of jobs to be created including general estimates of types of jobs and related wages. Address whether those employees working in the project will be (able) to live in that immediate area.”Option B deletes the second sentence.-Option A calls for developers to assess the local housing market (ownership or rental) to determine the ability of employees to live within 10 miles of municipal boundaries.Option B deletes this provision.-Option A calls for adverse impacts to the HCC zone district (downtown) to be limited or mitigated. Also, the Planning and Zoning Commission or the Board of Trustees would have the right to ask for mitigation if “substantial harm” to the HCC district is determined.Option B deletes these provisions.-Option A calls for a four-step major development review process beginning with a pre-application meeting with the developer, followed by a trustee review in which the applicant can appeal staff requirements, and public hearings before the planning commission and trustees.Option B deletes the first trustee review, but still allows for applicant appeal of staff requirements.Option A and Option B are what remains from a Mountain Folks for Global Justice-inspired discussion that dates to March 2001. Last week, the trustees voted 4-3 to remove building size limits from discussion.The original Option A called for a 60,000-square-foot cap on buildings in the HCC and CRW and A zone districts, a 35,000-square-foot cap in the PCC district, and a 30,000-square-foot cap in the NC and CT district.Carbondale hired an outside land use planner to research and draft the Mountain Folks zone text amendments after massive protests of the 366,000-square-foot Crystal River Marketplace last year. A loosely organized group, Mountain Folks started forming in 1999, following the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle. Its members have said they support local business ventures rather than national chains such as Wal-Mart.


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