Carbondale board to weigh pros, cons of CRMP proposal
Carbondale trustees will get a look tonight at possible reasons to approve or deny the controversial Crystal River Marketplace.Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig doesn’t expect the Board of Trustees to act on the development proposal until later this month or next year.”The meeting for Dec. 17 already has an enormous agenda,” Hassig said. “So we may find ourselves in a meeting on Dec. 19 in order to reach a conclusion. But I’ve been wrong before.”Crystal River Marketplace is the 255,000-square-foot commercial project proposed for Highway 133 that has been in and out of Carbondale’s review process for more than two years. Recently, trustees asked town planner Mark Chain to draft for their consideration conditions of approval and reasons for denial.Points in favor of approval include:-The applicant has increased his offer to $2.8 million for funding to improve Highway 133. His previous offer was $2.6 million, while the town sought a contribution of $3 million. “Staff believes this proposal is an acceptable compromise.”-The town and applicant will equally share the costs of designing the Highway 133 improvements. The total cost is estimated at $350,000.Points arguing for denial include:-Traffic congestion and automobile safety issues cannot be adequately addressed, so the project “is not served by a street system providing safe and convenient access.”-Crystal River Marketplace does not meet most citizens’ views on growth, as outlined in the Carbondale Comprehensive Plan Community Profile Survey. “Growth attitudes of the community show that 40.3 percent of the community wants to `grow’ slowly, 9.6 percent of the community wishes that the growth rate remain the same and 10.5 percent of the community would prefer the growth rate to decline,” the memo says.-The project does not meet the town’s comprehensive plan goals, including the encouragement of a transportation system for Carbondale and the surrounding area that “emphasizes modes other than the automobile.”Eric Gross, an attorney for Crystal River Marketplace developer Brian Huster, was not available for comment.Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. The public comment portion of the review process ended last week.
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.