Carbondale planning and zoning commission reviews City Market proposal
The process to approve a new City Market in Carbondale has begun inching forward with the town’s planning and zoning commission reviewing the proposal. The commission heard an outline on Thursday and decided to set aside a second meeting to discuss it further.
Planning commission chair Gavin Brooke said he and the commission were excited at the prospect of bringing the new grocery store to town and approved of the applicant’s presentation.
The application involves subdividing a 23-acre parcel on the northwest corner of Highway 133 and Main Street. The new configuration would be five different lots — only three of which would be used for the proposed City Market development. Those three lots total a little over 8 acres.
Crystal River Marketplace LLC, owner of the property, plans to hold on to the remaining lots for unspecified future development.
Adjacent to the “Carbondale Market” to the north would be a 9,600-square-foot connected retail building that could be built after the grocery store. It’s unclear what kind of businesses would be located there.
The existing City Market building is about 44,000 square feet, and the new building would be about 60,000 square feet. Planning commissioners noted that it would be about the same size as El Jebel’s City Market.
A fueling station is also proposed alongside the grocery store, though that addition would require a special use permit.
Likewise, a drive-through pharmacy proposed for the building’s south side would require a conditional use permit, but that kind of permit needs only town staff approval.
Architect Mark Breetz said the supermarket would be one of greenest grocery stores in the Kroger chain, the nation’s largest grocery company. The Carbondale store would be energy efficient and feature amenities including an electric car charging station. The whole building is designed with a Colorado mountain look, using items like local stone for the job, he said.
Access to Highway 133 topped the planning commission’s concerns about the proposal. Traffic problems could ensue as the existing City Market building will presumably become occupied, effectively doubling the vehicle load on Highway 133, said Brooke.
Long-term plans for the development might include a new roundabout at Industry Way and Highway 133 to make it easier for drivers to re-enter the highway from the new City Market parking lot.
The board questioned whether some of the development’s internal roads should be public or maintained privately by the applicant. And Brooke was concerned that all the developments — the City Market and whatever may come of the two remaining lots, should be interconnected by road so drivers don’t have to get back on the highway to move between them.
Planning Commissioner Marina Skiles asked the developer to consider the project’s compatibility with Carbondale’s comprehensive plan. Commissioners added that the comprehensive plan is a “guiding” rather than “regulatory” document.
Carbondale is set to overhaul its comprehensive plan by approving a Unified Development Code. And while the timing of the City Market proposal won’t put it squarely under the town’s new UDC, the developer has had plenty of time to know that it’s coming, said Brooke.
Should the planning commission decide upon a recommendation for the proposal during its Feb. 4 meeting, the project application would then move on to the Carbondale Board of Trustees for final review.
Considering the scope of the project, Senior Planner Janet Buck anticipates that trustees would spend multiple meetings before reaching a decision.
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