Marketplace opponents plan repeal |

Marketplace opponents plan repeal

Lynn Burton

CARBONDALE – Crystal River Marketplace opponents haven’t launched a referendum drive to repeal the project’s approval, but they’ll noodle it over next week to plan their next steps.

“I got a lot of e-mails and phone calls this morning,” said Marketplace opponent Bob Schultz on Thursday, the day after Carbondale’s Board of Trustees approved the 252,000-square-foot shopping center. “It’s just a matter of trying to get everyone together to figure out what’s going on.”

Marketplace opponents are on a tight timeline if they want to put the project’s approval on a special election ballot for a vote of Carbondale residents.

Town clerk Suzanne Cerise said if the trustees formally approve the Marketplace ordinance on Feb. 11 as they are expected to, opponents would have until March 21 to file their referendum petition.

“This is a fast-acting process,” Cerise said. “It’s not one that can drag out forever.”

After more than two years in Carbondale’s development review process, trustees approved Crystal River Marketplace 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Voting for the project were Mayor Michael Hassig, and Trustees Fred Williams, Susie Darrow, David Rippe and Andy Montoya. Voting against the project were Trustees Scott Chaplin and Russ Criswell.

Cerise said Marketplace opponents would have to get 5 percent of the town’s registered voters to sign a petition before it could be submitted to the trustees. She said the last voter count was conducted last October and it showed 2,676 voters. Using that figure, Marketplace opponents would need 134 valid signatures.

If opponents gain the signatures and present the petition to the trustees, the trustees could rescind the Marketplace approval, or put it on a special election ballot within 150 days of receiving it.

Carbondale Planning and Zoning Commission member Ed Cortez on Thursday said he would sign a referendum petition.

“I strongly believe this town is split in half over this issue,” said Cortez, who cast his planning commission vote against the Marketplace last summer. “I feel someone will come up soon and circulate a petition.”

If the Marketplace approval goes to a vote of the people, it will be the third such referendum since the 1990s. In the early 1990s, voters upheld the Trustees’ River Valley Ranch approval. In 2000, voters overturned Trustee approval of Bair Ranch subdivision.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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