Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
After 2 1/2 years in process, the Carbondale Board of Trustees have asked us, the voters of Carbondale, to decide on the application of the Village at Crystal River.
This is an honor and an obligation we should not take lightly. This is a controversial issue with “facts” being flung from both sides.
For me, this comes down to two things. First: Do I want to tax myself an extra 1 percent on all the purchases I will make at the VCR for the rest of my life in order to have this development? Second: Do I think this is the best development for Carbondale?
I shop at the City Market in Carbondale. I have for 33 years, and plan on shopping there, hopefully, for another 33 years. It is not the best store around, but it has served me and my family well. I know things are expensive here, not as much as Aspen and up-valley, but that is the price we pay for living here. I don’t choose to make them more expensive by adding a new tax to have a bigger and maybe better store.
I can envision a development on that property that does more to meet the future needs of Carbondale. I can envision a development that is more akin to what Carbondale is. Carbondale has been recognized as one of the best places to live in the U.S., not for having the best grocery store, but for what we are now. If I can envision a better project, being a citizen, I know a developer can also.
The choice is up to us. I choose to keep the costs for groceries, prescriptions, etc. down. I chose to have a better development. I am asking for a better vision. I am voting “no” to the VCR.
Carbondale voters, are you ready for a taste of participatory democracy? Clear your schedule and plan to attend the forum on the Village at Crystal River (VCR) development at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Third Street Center. Opting to stay home and reading about it the next day in the local papers just won’t do. You need to be there to hear the speakers, and see and listen to your neighbors, and perhaps get inspired to speak or ask a question yourself.
Are you a fan of live theater? It doesn’t get better than this.
Before you come, think about all the things you love about this town. Does the downtown core and the Third Street Center come to mind, plus the promise of a new state-of-the-art library? What does this have to do with the proposed Village at Crystal River? Actually, very little.
In fact, the library will be built regardless of the outcome of the election. The library is part of the Garfield County regional system, and the library district has pledged to use local contractors and labor. Groundbreaking will be this spring or early summer.
Look at how the Third Street Center has thrived with its mix of non-profits and forward-thinking, environmentally friendly agencies. And the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities? It will always have benefactors, combined with dedicated volunteers.
Now think about the dormant land on Highway 133. How does a bigger market, a fast food drive-through and another gas station fit? The Colorado Department of Transportation has plans to improve the highway anyway. Isn’t it possible that the VCR can have more negative effects than positive?
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