Garfield County planners hear Cattle Creek requests tonight |

Garfield County planners hear Cattle Creek requests tonight

Two separate proposals involving the long-debated development of a large chunk of land located west of Highway 82 at Cattle Creek between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale go before the Garfield County Planning Commission tonight.

First off, the commission is slated to hear a controversial request to rezone 43 acres fronting the highway just south of the old Sopris restaurant from residential to suburban-scale commercial.

City of Glenwood Springs and town of Carbondale elected officials have both asked the county to deny the new zoning, saying it would open the door to major commercial development with little control over what that might be.

Such development is also likely to result in sales tax leakage away from the established municipalities, they argue, and would not constitute a “logical and orderly development pattern” as called for in the county comprehensive plan.

The zoning proposal is being put forward by a subsidiary of the same company, Carbondale Investments LLC, that also is seeking changes tonight to its previously approved River Edge residential development.

That plan, approved in 2011, now calls for 366 residential units, including 55 deed-restricted affordable housing units, on 116 acres situated directly across the Rio Grande Trail from the proposed commercial site.

One amendment calls for reducing the overall number of units to 362. But the bigger request has to do with moving the main access from directly across Highway 82 from the Cattle Creek intersection, as approved by the county in 2011, about a quarter mile north to a point that would provide access to both the residential and commercial parcels.

As proposed, the new “Terrace Parkway” would provide access to both developments via a single road involving a new Rio Grande Trail underpass, instead of a grade-separated crossing as anticipated with the Cattle Creek access.

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, which oversees the trail and former railroad corridor, has expressed concerns that the crossing meet standards of the corridor’s railbanked legal status.

The Colorado Department of Transportation, and Garfield County commissioners who are proceeding with major improvements on the east side of the Cattle Creek intersection with Highway 82, have both expressed safety concerns around the new access plans.

The Planning Commission will ultimately be making recommendations to the county commissioners on the two matters before it tonight.

And earlier concern for Carbondale when the commercial rezoning was first proposed last year was that City Market may be eyeing the site as an option to building a new grocery store in Carbondale.

City Market now has an application before Carbondale planners for a new store on the vacant Crystal River Marketplace property on Highway 133 in town limits. That plan is to be heard by the Carbondale Planning and Zoning Commission on Jan. 21.

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