Carbondale updating its 2013 comprehensive land-use plan
The town of Carbondale has begun the process of updating its eight-year-old comprehensive land use plan and is looking to the community for input.
The town completely rewrote what’s commonly referred to as a Comp Plan in 2013, with a focus on preserving small-town character but also fostering the kind of mixed-use, more dense types of residential and commercial development that has been occurring in recent years.
Rather than a full rewrite, Carbondale leaders are now engaging in a process to update that plan, which in large part has helped guide the flurry of recent development along the state Highway 133 corridor.
Carbondale has hired the planning consultant team Cushing Terrell to direct the plan update over the next several months, with ample opportunities for public engagement.
The Comp Plan update targets specific focus areas and aims to establish the town’s land use and development goals for the future.
The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission is set to discuss one of those focus areas in particular when it meets Thursday night — Carbondale’s downtown core area along Main Street.
Topics of the discussion are to include public engagement, a draft vision and goals, town demographics and growth projections and zoning, and ownership and proposed uses for the north side of Main Street.
“What makes a strong community is input and engagement from all stakeholders,” Carbondale Planning Director Janet Buck said in a recent news release. “We branded the planning effort ‘Chart Carbondale’ to signal that this effort is charting the course for the future direction of the community.”
The Comp Plan update is being led by the planning and zoning, which will act as a sounding board and provide project guidance over the next seven months, Buck explained.
In addition to large communitywide engagement events, such as an information booth that was set up at the July 2 First Friday celebration, outreach also is planned to include focus group sessions and interviews.
“Focus groups will discuss topics such as downtown vitalization, the downtown north planning areas, sustainability, multi-modal infrastructure and aging in the community,” according to the town news release.
Other areas of focus include tying development to the town’s Climate Action Plan, as well as aging issues and providing for multiple modes of transportation, said Keith Walzak, who is leading the efforts with Cushing Terrell. “The team has also engaged a local consultant to help reach the Spanish-speaking community.”
There’s also an interactive online component to the process through a dedicated web platform, called Carbondale Kaleidoscope (www.CarbondaleKaleidoscope.org). There, residents are encouraged to engage in meaningful conversations with neighbors, town leadership and other interested parties.
The town is currently conducting a community survey using the Kaleidoscope website.
“This platform is a great way to participate and share your goals and aspirations for the town,” according to the release. “Like looking through a kaleidoscope, each person in our community views things from a different and individualistic perspective, all of which play an important role in shaping the future of Carbondale.”
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