Carbondale’s Gateway Park plan near the finish line |

Carbondale’s Gateway Park plan near the finish line

John Colson
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – The planning process is nearly finished for Carbondale’s Gateway Park, a 7.5-acre site on the bank of the Roaring Fork River at Highways 82 and 133.

It’s one of the busiest boat ramps in the state. On a bench above river level is also a town-owned RV park.

A draft master plan for the park is to be presented to the town’s Board of Trustees on Nov. 13, according to Sam Baucum of BlueGreen Landscape Architecture in Aspen, the firm writing up the plan.

Carbondale Recreation Director Jeff Jackel, who has been overseeing the planning process, was out of town and could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

The master plan, Baucum stressed, is merely a blueprint for possible uses and amenities at the park, as envisioned by a partnership of state and local agencies, and by the public.

The plans are still being drawn up, Baucum said, but potential amenities include pedestrian trails leading from the RV Park level, picnic benches, berms to limit the highway noise in the park, and possibly “some sort of land feature and signage that could advertise, ‘This is Carbondale. You are here.'”

Formerly owned by Stan and Valerie Koziel, the land was purchased in late 2010 for $2.5 million, through a funding partnership between the town of Carbondale, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Garfield County.

It was subsequently annexed into Carbondale, and the planning process began less than two months ago, on Sept. 6, Baucum said.

“It’s a very quick process,” Baucum said, adding that “nothing is set in stone” until the trustees give their approval to the master plan.

The planning process is being paid for by yet another GOCO grant, this one for $22,500, with a matching grant from the town of $7,500.

Ideas gleaned from numerous stakeholder meetings, as well as meetings of a specially appointed steering committee, were presented at a public open house on Wednesday at Town Hall.

Baucum said the reception by the 30 or so people who showed up was “largely positive. I think everyone is in agreement that something has to happen here.”

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