Density to be discussed at Village at Crystal River hearing |

Density to be discussed at Village at Crystal River hearing

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Issues related to density will be the main topic of discussion when the Carbondale Planning and Zoning Commission continues its public hearing on the Village at Crystal River development proposal tonight.It will be the fourth meeting with P&Z for a planned unit development (PUD) rezoning proposal that has not generated much in the way of public input so far.During the previous three meetings P&Z members have said they support the rezoning and general site layout, at least in concept.The 24-acre development site, located on the west side of Highway 133 and north of Main Street, is where the controversial Crystal River Marketplace was previously proposed. That plan called for a 230,000 square-foot commercial development with a 125,000 square foot “big box” retailer. The plan was shot down in a public referendum election in July of 2003. The new plan proposed by property owner/developer Rich Schierburg of Peregrine Group Development would include a total of about 125,000 square feet of commercial space. The largest single space would be a 60,000 square-foot grocery store on the north end of the property.The PUD would also include about 16,000 square feet of office space, and upwards of 300 multi-family residential units, including townhouses, condominiums, apartments and employee housing.Density issues related to the residential portions of the project, situated along Main Street and in the middle portion of the property, will take up most of the discussion when the hearing resumes tonight. P&Z will also accept public comments.”The amount and location of residential dwelling units within this property may be one of, if not the most important consideration for this project,” Carbondale Community Development Director Doug Dotson writes in his staff report. “The applicant has stated that, ‘it is not possible to guarantee the commercial uses will go here with 300 units nearby, but can guarantee that they will not go here if there is no residential.'”Current zoning on the site would allow for about 20-25 percent of the total square footage to be residential. Earlier indications from Schierburg before the formal application was submitted suggested the project could include about 160 residential units. “Given the scope of review and project size, the commission might consider continuing the public hearing to a future meeting,” Dotson suggested in his report.Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave., and will be broadcast live on local Cable TV Channel 12.

Meanwhile, the Carbondale Board of Trustees on Tuesday night considered revisions to the proposed Overlook Neighborhood PUD and took public comments.The hearing was then continued to a special meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 19, dedicated entirely to working through the details of the proposal and closer to a decision either to approve or deny the project.Trustees were generally favorable to several revisions to the Overlook plan offered by owner/developer John Foulkrod of C’dale LLC.Project planners responded to trustee concerns about the amount of open space in the original proposal by eliminating 10 residential units in favor of a 1.2-acre public park. Although the change drops the total number of units to 145 on about 12 acres, some trustees and especially citizens still said the project is too dense.”This is a great looking project … it would look good in Loveland or Grand Junction, but it doesn’t fit Carbondale,” Russ Criswell, a former town trustee, said of the plan to redevelop the former Mine Services industrial site north of downtown.The revised plan also asks that a proposed 50-room hotel site included in the plan be designated as such until the final phase of development.If a hotel is not built by then, developers are asking that the site be allowed to accommodate either 25 additional multi-family units as a special use subject to review, or possibly 25 units of “senior housing” as a permitted use without extensive review.An affordable housing plan that would include four deed-restricted units built on town-owned property is expected to be a major topic of discussion when the hearing resumes Aug. 19. Developers are also asking that they be held to the 15 percent affordable housing mitigation requirement in place at the time the application was submitted, instead of the more recent 20 percent

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