Marketplace shut down |

Marketplace shut down

Carbondale residents defeated Crystal River Marketplace 787-601 Tuesday in what is believed to be a record voter turnout.

The vote means California developer Brian Huster must come up with an alternative plan to build a shopping center on his 24-acre property on Highway 133, It is already zoned for commercial uses.

“I’m real pleased,” said Laurie Loeb, an organizer of the Town Mothers, the group that battled against the proposal.

“The community has spoken. We want to thank our supporters. Tomorrow we go back to the drawing board,” said Eric Gross, attorney for the Marketplace.

A total of 1,388 of Carbondale’s 2,700 registered voters cast ballots in the special election, which followed approval in February by the Carbondale Board of Trustees.

The final count from Carbondale’s three precincts was announced by Carbondale town clerk Suzanne Cerise at 10:55 p.m.

Once the final results were apparent, the Town Mothers’ Main Street storefront was packed with celebrants, and the party spilled out onto the sidewalk.

The previous turnout record was 957 in the 2002 trustee election.

Crystal River Marketplace opponents, first led by Mountain Folks for Global Justice and later the Carbondale Town Mothers, objected to the 125,000-square-foot big-box anchor tenant the developer promised.

They said the shopping center would create traffic impacts on Highway 133, and was out of scale with the rest of the town.

Supporters, including the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, said Carbondale needed the increased sales tax revenues the Marketplace would bring, and residents needed the shopping opportunities.

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