Holgate subdivision gets the nod in Carbondale
Post Independent staff
CARBONDALE — The Holgate subdivision development project, which would turn a large vacant piece of land into a new medical office and clinic along Highway 133, received its first set of approvals from the town’s board of trustees on Tuesday.
The trustees unanimously approved (with trustees Elizabeth Murphy and John Foulkrod recusing) vacating easements for utilities that once served a trailer park that no longer exists, and for an alleyway that never really existed, as well as a number of conditions attached to plans to relocate the Weaver-Leonhardy ditch on the property.
The trustees also directed town staff to work with neighboring landowner John Hiltner, regarding problems he has reported relating to the ditch’s location, alignment and volumes during high runoff events.
The town’s staff previously vacated a lot line that had divided two separate parcels with addresses at 978 Euclid Ave. and 911 Sopris Ave., merging the two lots into one parcel fronting on Highway 133.
Hiltner has twice appeared at town meetings to complain about the subdivision process and the ditch, arguing that the project needs further investigation by the town before it is allowed to move ahead.
The planned medical facility will be a new and expanded home for the Roaring Fork Family Physicians clinic, which has been purchased by Valley View Hospital Association.
As part of the development process, the hospital has concluded it needs to move the ditch, which crosses the property from west to northeast, so that the ditch does not run under the proposed new medical facility structures and has a straighter alignment through the parts of the lot it crosses.
Hiltner, who lives at 888 Euclid, has maintained that the ditch, which is open where it crosses his property, has eaten away at his land at an alarming rate where the ditch turns a corner and heads toward the Valley View Hospital’s property.
“I’ve got tree roots hanging out of a bank, that wasn’t there a year ago,” he said of the effects of the erosion caused by the ditch.
He also expressed concern that the medical building will generate unacceptable traffic pressure on Euclid Avenue.
The ditch, which is Hiltner’s primary concern, already has been contained in a pipe as it crosses the hospital’s property, and there was considerable discussion with the project’s planning consultant, Mark Chain, about who will pay if repairs or maintenance needs require the ditch to be unearthed.
The trustees, as a group, rejected the idea of the town bearing any of the expense of recovering the ditch once the needed work is completed, and Chain said after some discussion that the town’s arguments sounded “reasonable.”
The trustees also demanded that the warranty on the piping of the ditch extend all the way through two irrigation seasons to ensure that it is functioning properly, a demand that Chain indicated would be acceptable to the hospital.
The town approved the vacation of the utility easements and the relocation and improvements to the ditch with a total of nine conditions that must be met by the developers.
According to town administrator Jay Harrington, the only remaining steps before construction begins are the submission of a signed Subdivision Improvements Agreement, and the application for a building permit.
Harrington said the project is expected to take a year or more to build.
In other action, the trustees:
• Approved a liquor license for the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, to sell alcoholic beverages during events associated with the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, scheduled for June 24.
• Approved a beer and wine license for the Carbondale Public Arts Commission, regarding the organization’s annual Art Walk events and a gathering at the River Valley Ranch Sales Barn on June 6.
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