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Crystal River Marketplace narrowly approved by P&Z

Lynn Burton

Carbondale’s planning and zoning commission approved Crystal River Marketplace 3-2 Tuesday, but not without 39 conditions that include a provision that gives the town veto power over the largest tenants.”I think we drove a pretty hard bargain,” said P&Z member Carol Farris, who voted for the approval.Ed Cortez voted against it, in part because the primary Highway 133 entrance is at Nieslanik Avenue rather than to the north at Industry Place.”I (also) wasn’t satisfied with the site plan,” Cortez said.The 252,000-square-foot Crystal River Marketplace now goes to the board of trustees for final plat approval.Crystal River Marketplace is proposed by California developer Brian Huster, and if approved will cover 23.7 acres on the west side of Highway 133 between Delores Way and Main Street.The site plan calls for a 125,000-square-foot anchor tenant that backs up to Main Street at the shopping center’s south end, plus other building sites that range from 4,000 to 103,000 square feet.The conditions of approval addressed 10 areas of concern, including traffic impacts to Highway 133 and how upgrades to it will be funded, plus architectural controls and more.One condition is brought on because the town of Carbondale will partner with the developer to fund upgrades to Highway 133 and the Roaring Fork River Bridge.To help ensure the shopping center attracts the kind of tenants that can generate sales taxes needed to pay for the upgrades, the condition states: “The town shall have the right to review and approve any tenant/owner, which occupies more than 20,000 square feet of space within the development in order to assure the town that the sales tax revenue stream on which fiscal impacts have been predicted are likely to be realized.”Other conditions include:-The developer will be obligated to reacquire property and improvements from any tenant/owner that occupies more than 20,000 square feet on the property and ceases to do business on the site.-Vested rights shall be for not more than three years.-As part of the Highway 133 agreement, any improvements that are constructed that have direct physical benefit to other properties may be recaptured by Crystal River Marketplace or credited against its traffic improvement fee.-The primary architectural material will be brick. Masonry block or other approved materials may be used as accents.-Materials for other buildings within the development shall be complementary to the two large anchor stores.-On the south side of the anchor store that backs up to Main Street, three “back painted” windows will be created; two trellis structures will be added for architectural interest; a wall constructed of primary building materials will be used to screen the loading dock from Main Street; and street lighting along the Main Street frontage will be identical to the street lights used for the downtown streetscape project.-All on-site landscaping will be irrigated with non-potable water from the Rockford Ditch.The P&Z also recommended the trustees approve variances from the lighting ordinance, open space requirement and height restrictions on the north side of the major anchor.Cortez said the town staff was “very thorough” in drafting the conditions of approval, “but too many issues are still open.”He also predicted the tenant approval provision will be a hot topic when the trustees review the project, and so will the Highway 133 entrance and treatment of the anchor tenant’s south-facing wall.Farris said the developer has “more than bent over backward” to work with the town.Eric Gross, an attorney for the developer, was not available for comment. Developer Brian Huster has declined to talk to the press.


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