Developer withdraws Highway 82 commercial rezoning request |

Developer withdraws Highway 82 commercial rezoning request

A controversial request to rezone 43 acres along Highway 82 north of Cattle Creek from suburban residential to commercial general that had been set to go before the Garfield County Planning Commission this week has been withdrawn.

Mike Cerbo, site development coordinator for Denver-based Galloway Planning, Architecture and Engineering, informed county planning officials Friday that the application is being pulled. Reached by the Post Independent Friday afternoon, Cerbo said the application may be resubmitted at some point in the future, but gave no time line.

The rezoning proposal by Garfield County Commercial Investments LLC had met with opposition from the Carbondale Board of Trustees and the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission over concerns that it could draw retail establishments away from the town.

In its April 3 letter of opposition, the town pointed out that the county Comprehensive Plan discourages commercial development in unincorporated areas that would impact sales tax revenues for neighboring municipalities.

In particular, town trustees during a late March discussion expressed concerns that the development could change the City Market grocery store chain’s plans to eventually build a new store serving the Carbondale-area market.

City Market has been working with town officials in recent years to build a new, larger store on vacant commercial property north of Main Street and west of Highway 133 in Carbondale, where town voters have turned down two large-scale commercial developments over the past 12 years.

The unincorporated Garfield County property in question sits between Highway 82 and the Rio Grande Trail, adjacent to the larger River Edge residential development site that is owned by the same investors and which has been approved for 366 houses.

That project has been stalled over the developer’s change of thinking regarding the location of the main entrance to the new residential neighborhood. The 2011 development approvals called for the main entrance to be at the Cattle Creek intersection, but developers have been looking at a potential alternative entrance off Highway 82 to the north through the property that was proposed for rezoning.

A separate application seeking an amendment to the residential development and moving the entrance is also still being reviewed by county planning staff, but has not yet been set for hearing.

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