New plan for former marketplace site earns Carbondale Planning and Zoning approval | PostIndependent.com
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New plan for former marketplace site earns Carbondale Planning and Zoning approval

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – A new incarnation for development of the once highly controversial Crystal River Marketplace site won a favorable recommendation from the Carbondale Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday night.The planning commission voted 5-2 to recommend approval of what’s now called the Village at Crystal River Planned Unit Development (PUD).The development plan by property owner/developer Rich Schierburg of Denver-based Peregrine Group Development would include a total of about 125,000 square feet of commercial space.The largest single space would be a 60,000 square-foot store space on the north end of the property intended for a new grocery store, although it is uncertain whether that would be a new City Market store or a competitor.Under the amended plan OK’d by the planning commission, the PUD would also include about 16,000 square feet of office space, and 268 multi-family residential units, including townhouses, condominiums, apartments and employee housing.The 24-acre development site, located on the west side of Highway 133 and north of Main Street, is where the controversial Crystal River Marketplace big box development plan initially gained the town council’s approval in 2003. That plan called for a 230,000 square-foot commercial development with a 125,000 square foot “big box” retailer. The plan was shot down in a public referendum election in July of 2003.P&Z members Yuani Ruiz, Lorey Esquibel, Rich Camp, Bill Spence and board chairman Ben Bohmfalk voted in favor of the recommendation, while members Kathy Goudy and Charlie Keyes were opposed.”Those of us who voted in favor saw the plan as a reasonable compromise, given some of the conflicting information coming from us and all the different ideas of what people wanted to see out there,” Bohmfalk said. “It’s not possible to create the perfect plan for that site that will please everyone.”A major concern for the planning commission has been the amount of residential density for the center portion of the property, referred to as the “flex zone.” Schierburg had asked for up to 300 residential units, but P&Z recommended that number be whittled down to 268 in favor of more open space.The commission also asked that commercial uses be given priority for first-floor development along west Main Street, where a mix of both commercial and residential would be allowed under the PUD.”I think people lose sight of what can and can’t happen on that property,” Bohmfalk said. “It’s not a question of should anything ever happen there. It’s already zoned commercial, and the question for us was whether the underlying zoning is better, or a PUD. We determined this was better.”Those voting against the recommendation had concerns about locating the grocery store space on the north end of the property and other site plan issues, as well as fiscal concerns for the town to accommodate the new development.The developer was also asked to indicate roundabouts as a preference at two entrances to the site along Highway 133, rather than signalized intersections, Carbondale Community Development Director Doug Dotson said.The Village at Crystal River proposal is expected to go before the Carbondale Board of Trustees for public hearing beginning in early February.jstroud@postindependent.com


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