Carbondale deals with biggest ever commercial development | PostIndependent.com
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Carbondale deals with biggest ever commercial development

Lynn Burton

Crystal River Marketplace, if approved, would be Carbondale’s biggest commercial project in history, by a long shot. The proposal includes:-A total of 252,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, on 23.7 acres on the west side of Highway 133 between Delores Way and Main Street.-A major anchor tenant covering 125,000 square feet, a smaller one at 58,000 square feet, plus five other retail outlets, gasoline pumps, and an unspecified building pad.-Approximately 1,100 parking spaces, with about half the property covered in asphalt.-A pair of detention basins for stormwater runoff.-Three access points off Highway 133, and two off Main Street.That information and more is included in the land use application filed by Del Mar, Calif., developer Brian Huster. It is available at Town Hall.The property is zoned PCC (Planned Community Commercial) and CRW (Commercial/Retail/ Wholesale). At present, Carbondale’s Planning and Zoning Commission is reviewing Huster’s preliminary plat. After that, it goes to the Board of Trustees for final plat approval.Crystal River Marketplace’s buildings will be located in six areas. The major anchor store is at the south end of the property, with its back to Main Street, across from Crystal Plaza.There’s a large parking lot north of the major anchor’s entrance. The other primary area for development is opposite the major anchor at the north end of the property.There, a building footprint shows a 103,000-square-foot structure with four retail store areas, ranging in size from 20,000 to 58,000 square feet. This building backs the property’s west side. Another large parking lot is at the front entrance along Highway 133.A 12-pump service station is located at the far north end of the property. A lot for a 9,000-square-foot retail store is located on Highway 133 about midway between Delores Way and Main Street. A 4,000-square-foot building pad is located northwest of this lot, along the main entrance to the shopping center.The last building site, covering 10,000 square feet, is located just off Main Street, between the major anchor and the highway.The main entrance from Highway 133 is aligned with Nieslanik Avenue, which runs north of J&S Hardware. The entrance is a two-lane boulevard, with a left turn that leads to the biggest parking lot, and a right turn that leads to a smaller one. There are also two limited-access points on the highway.

Landscaping buffers are located along Highway 133 and on Main Street, along both sides of the main entrance and in the parking lots.Trees and plants include:-Deciduous canopy trees, such as Patmore ash, summit ash, lanceleaf cottonwood, Russian golden willow and black elder (2 1/2 inch caliper).-Evergreens (6 to 8 foot).-Deciduous ornamental trees (1 1/2 inch caliper and 8 foot).-Evergreen shrubs.-Deciduous shrubs, including alpine currant, Bailey red twig dogwood and three leaf sumac.-Ornamental grasses, including feather reed grass.-Perennials, including moonshine yarrow and Rocky Mountain penstemon.

Much of the Crystal River Marketplace application is given over to traffic impacts, with a focus on Highway 133.The firm Felsburg Holt & Ullevig was hired to draft a traffic impact study.The study says Crystal River Marketplace has the potential to generate approximately 15,160 vehicle trips per day, with approximately 440 trips in the morning peak hour, and 1,406 trips during the afternoon peak hour.A traffic signal at the intersection of Nieslanik Avenue and Highway 133 will be warranted when the marketplace is built out.The study recommends several other improvements to Highway 133, including:-A 260-foot northbound left turn lane at the Nieslanik Avenue intersection, and a 285-foot southbound lane.-A 145-foot southbound to westbound right turn lane at the intersection of Highway 133 and Industrial Place.-A stop sign at Main Street and Hendrick Drive for one of the Main Street access points.In the long run, the study concludes, Highway 133 should be a four-lane, median-divided facility.

The property is flat, and has been used as pasture for years. The application calls for two storm-drainage systems, one draining to a southern basin and another draining to a northern basin.A total of eight dry wells are proposed in each detention basin to dissipate collected storm water. A total of 174,000 cubic feet of storage can be contained in each of the two detention basins.

The developer is asking for variances from Carbondale’s landscaping code and lighting code.The PCC zone district calls for 20 percent landscaping, while the CRW zone district calls for 10 percent. The town defines landscaping as trees, shrubs and grassy areas, not an impervious surface such as a parking lot.The Crystal River Marketplace application, which straddles both zone districts, calls for less than 20 percent landscaping in the PCC zone district, but the developer says that taken as a whole, the entire project will be 16 percent landscaped.”We are providing 169,000 square feet of landscaped area, well in excess of the required 140,436 square feet,” the application says.For the lighting code variance, the developer is asking for taller poles and higher wattage than the code allows.Carbondale’s Planning and Zoning Commission continues its Crystal River Marketplace review at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, at Town Hall.


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