Carbondale shoots down apartment plan
The Carbondale Town Council cited density concerns and neighborhood impacts in voting 5-2 Tuesday to reject a New Mexico developer’s plans for a low-income apartment project on Eighth Street.”I’m having the same struggles everyone else up here is having,” Mayor Michael Hassig said, echoing the concerns of other trustees. “It comes down to the question, do the public benefits outweigh the local impacts on the neighborhood?”With great sadness, I have to say the local impacts do outweigh the public benefits.”Siding with the mayor in voting against developer Jonathon Reed’s Eighth Street Village proposal were trustees Alice Laird, Ed Cortez, John Foulkrod and Stacey Bernot. Trustees Russ Criswell and Scott Chaplin dissented.”This project does fulfill a niche, and I believe we really need this in Carbondale,” Chaplin said. “No, this is not a perfect project, but this is not a perfect world either.”No sooner had trustees turned down the proposal, however, than they began discussing ways for the town to take a leading role in the arena of affordable housing.”I think we need to be a little more serious about the town taking the lead on affordable housing,” Laird said.One project in particular that’s already approved, the 52-home Keator Grove development, is in need of assistance to obtain its financing before ground can be broken. Developers of that project have asked the town to commit to buying one or more of the eight deed-restricted homes in the project for town employees, as well as to defer development fees for six months.”That was a well-received and supported project,” Hassig said. “Once we approve a project in the town, I think it is incumbent on us to get behind it and make sure it succeeds.”Keator Grove is approved for 52 units on a little more than five acres along Highway 133 at Keator Road, including 36 detached single-family homes and 16 multifamily units.Eight of the multifamily units would be deed-restricted, in accordance with the town’s inclusionary housing ordinance, with price controls on initial home sales and an annual appreciation cap of 5 percent. Free-market homes are expected to be priced initially from $300,000 and up.The Town Council will likely discuss the Keator Grove requests at a future work session.
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RFTA has a bit of a paradox on its hands. The public bus agency doesn’t anticipate it will haul as many passengers this winter but it needs more buses and drivers than ever. Only 15 people are allowed per bus, so that saps resources.