Carbondale can’t wait
As many other residents, I was first attracted to the funky, quirkiness of Carbondale; rarely a day passes that I don’t celebrate the privilege of living in this town and this valley.
I’d prefer to oppose any further growth to the area (now that my family lives here); and I find most shopping centers and strip malls visually and culturally repugnant. Nonetheless, I support the CRMP.
Many opponents to CRMP suggest that we should pick a different, smaller development. The property has been zoned commercial by the town. Like it or not, based on existing statutes, the property will be developed with only limited input from the community. I suspect the longer we wait, the more likely Carbondale will see an even less desirable project; and be either more desperate or less legally able to object.
Some critics suggest we build more small retail spaces. With a double-digit vacancy rate, this makes no economic sense. Believe or not, Carbondale represents the economic center of the valley and is desirable to many larger retailers, as a result.
I’d prefer an REI, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods; but they have no immediate interest. The Town Mothers have criticized the viability of the Marketplace (which contradicts most successful business models and formulas), yet they offer no well-reasoned or comprehensively planned alternative.
Some opponents have claimed that the town’s market study for CRMP did not contemplate the new retail contemplated in Rifle and Glenwood Meadows. This claim is patently false. Their motto – don’t solve it; we’ll figure it out later.
Most important, TABOR limits our town’s ability to generate revenue for the town in ways other than sales tax. There are too many projects vital to Carbondale that we can’t do now!
Contrary to the Town Mothers’ suggestion, most residents of Carbondale go to Wal-Mart more than once a year to buy underwear. Each time we make a purchase in Glenwood or Grand Junction or Denver, it’s money out of Carbondale’s collective wallet. I prefer my hard-earned money to be spent in town. Now, Carbondale does not have the retail diversity for economic self-sufficiency. The Town Mothers want to keep it that way.
I wish it weren’t the case; but in the long term, Carbondale will lose more of what we love about the town if we reject the Marketplace. CRMP needs to pass.
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An inspirational piece of 20th century artist Herbert Bayer is being installed on the staircase next to Aspen City Hall by his granddaughter, Koko.