Carbondale board takes first look at new City Market plan
Carbondale trustees took their first bite into a proposal for a new City Market store Wednesday following the planning commission’s unanimous recommendation to approve the development.
Traffic and pedestrian access topped trustees’ list of concerns over the proposal for the new grocery store.
The new City Market would be built across Main Street from the current City Market location, putting the store at the northwest corner of Highway 133 and Main Street.
Just north of the grocery store would be a retail building, but the owner doesn’t yet know what kind of tenant it would hold.
Carl Schmidtlein, of Galloway Planning, said the grocery store would be about 60,000 square feet — similar to a recently built City Market in Grand Junction. Carbondale’s current City Market is about 44,000 square feet.
The retail building immediately to the north would be about 9,600 square feet.
The proposal also includes a fueling station, which would require a special use permit, on the property’s southeast corner along Highway 133.
Two access ways into the parking lot would come off of the highway — at Nieslanik Avenue and another between Nieslanik Avenue and the Main Street roundabout.
Because of concerns over traffic trying to exit the parking lot and turn left onto Highway 133, both will be “three-quarter movement” accesses that won’t allow a left turn onto the highway.
A driver trying to leave City Market and head out of town on Highway 82 would have to turn south and turn around through the roundabout.
The current City Market’s access onto the highway, just south of the roundabout, already bars left turns out of the parking lot, but some trustees said drivers often ignore the rule.
Trustees wanted a crosswalk across Highway 133 somewhere north of Main Street so pedestrians aren’t restricted only to the roundabout to cross.
A weakness in the application is traffic management, said Trustee Allyn Harvey, who agreed that a crosswalk was necessary — otherwise people are likely to try and jaywalk across the highway.
Trustee Pam Zentmyer was concerned that pushing all that traffic into the roundabout would make it a busier place to cross for pedestrians, who otherwise won’t have another place nearby to cross the highway.
In longer term plans, another roundabout is planned for Industry Way, which borders a parcel just north of the proposed City Market but that the owner doesn’t have plans to develop.
The property is actually five parcels adjacent to each other, but only three of them would be used for the City Market.
Trustees and planning commissioners have also said they want the parcels to have internal road connections, keeping drivers from driving back onto the highway to get from one parcel to the next.
The project could also mean a new Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus stop in the area, though the location of that bus stop is unclear. The board and planning staff wanted to see the bus stop on Hendrick Drive, but Mayor Stacey Bernot said RFTA would want it to be on the highway so they don’t lose time.
Bernot was concerned that a bus stop on the highway would hinder traffic. Putting in an additional stop might also mean the town will have to forgo its RFTA bus stop at the pool or recreation center, she said.
Through working with the planning commission, the whole building was pushed slightly toward the east, eliminating some parking spaces but making more room for trees and “Pabst Way” that would run behind the store.
Likewise, the back of the building was redesigned with more 360-degree appeal after prompting from planning commissioners, said Mark Breetz, the project’s architect.
An outdoor rest area was initially planned for the north end of the retail building, but pushing the whole building to the east also allowed for a second outdoor gather place on the southeast corner of the retail building.
Local art would also be displayed in an area at the southeast corner of Nieslanik Avenue and Highway 133, said Schmidtlein.
In an attempt to deviate from the image of a big box store and give the structure a mountain style, the building will include local stone, heavy timber and a lot more windows and open design than is typical for a grocery store, said Breetz.
The new City Market is to be one of the greenest grocery stores in the Kroger chain, built with numerous systems to conserve energy, Breetz told planning commissioners in past meetings.
The property would have 35 bike parking spaces at the front of the buildings, including six bike lockers anticipated for employees. The parking lot south of the grocery store would include an electric car charging station.
Around the building the developer would plant “native and adaptive vegetation,” said Schmidtlein.
Inside, the grocery store will feature local food with signs describing the farms where the produce and other food came from — showing this City Market as a “Colorado grown store,” said Breetz.
Trustees continued the public hearing on the City Market proposal until their March 2 meeting.
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