Carbondale’s Overlook project hits a stumbling block
September 26, 2009
CARBONDALE – Disagreements about when a land transfer to accommodate a new town street should occur and other timing issues nearly derailed the proposed Overlook Neighborhood mixed-use development earlier this week.
“We’re trying to figure out if there’s a project here,” Larry Green, the attorney for the developer, C’dale LLC, said at one point during last Tuesday night’s continued public hearing before the Carbondale Board of Trustees.
The main hang-up was a town staff recommendation regarding a piece of property the developer has agreed to buy and transfer to the town for purposes of extending a new street from Highway 133 through to Eighth Street.
The developer has the Mosbarger property, located where Eighth Street and the Rio Grande bike trail intersect, under contract. The land is key to extending Industry Place across the bike path to Eighth.
The road would be used as a construction haul route for the planned Overlook and eventually be improved as a new town street.
The town asked that the property be conveyed immediately upon approval of the Overlook planned unit development. But the developer wants to wait until the town obtains approvals from the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and the state’s Public Utilities Commission for a crossing of the bike path, located on the former railroad right of way.
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That could take anywhere from a few months to several years, town attorney Mark Hamilton said. And there’s a chance the approvals for a crossing may not be granted.
Otherwise, the developer wants to hang onto the property at least until they’re ready to move forward with development. That could also be several years.
“We do not want to convey the Mosbarger property until the town has the ability to build the road,” Green said. “We don’t want to give you a $400,000 piece of property if you can’t build the road.”
The public hearing was continued until Oct. 21, after it was suggested by Trustee Pam Zentmyer that the property be conveyed to the town, but that there be a provision for it to revert to the developer if the road cannot be built or the development does not go forward.
The length of time for C’dale LLC to retain vested development rights is also at issue. Town staff has recommended five years, but the developer has asked for seven years.
Because of the economic downturn, the developer has requested more time to take the next step.
“Even to do a preliminary plan [after PUD approval] would cost another quarter million [dollars],” Green said. “We are asking to push off the need to spend a quarter million dollars until the market turns around.”
The Overlook plan calls for 145 single- and multi-family residential units, plus 45,000 square feet of commercial space and a possible 50-room hotel, on nearly 13 acres located north of downtown on the former Mine Services industrial site.