City Market proposes replacing Carbondale store
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Carbondale may be getting a new City Market north of the current location without the larger-scale commercial and residential development that has been the source of past controversies.
The Carbondale Board of Trustees is slated to consider a request Tuesday from architectural firm Galloway & Co. on behalf of City Market to waive the required Community Impact Assessment for a potential 58,000-square-foot grocery store, a 7,100-square-foot attached retail space, a fueling station and drive-through pharmacy.
“The project has been deemed necessary by ownership as the current grocery store is outdated and dysfunctional,” Galloway’s letter said. The existing store would be closed “and the building repurposed,” the letter said.
Waiving the assessment, which city staff has recommended, is permitted for a grocery store, because many aspects of the assessment, including public comment, are addressed as part of the approval process.
“This wouldn’t grant any entitlements for the property,” said Town Planner Janet Buck. If the plan goes forward, she said, the town will require a subdivision plat, a utility plan, drainage plan, traffic impact study and zoning compliance.
Several elements would require special-use permits, and any new commercial building would be subject to the town’s adoption of the International Green Construction Code.
Crystal River Marketplace LLC, which owns the 25-acre parcel on the northwest side of the new roundabout at Main Street and Highway 133 behind the existing 7-Eleven store, would also have to agree to subdivide and sell one 7.82-acre parcel for the new City Market.
Although it’s still early in the process, Mayor Stacey Bernot expressed cautious optimism that Carbondale may finally see an upgrade from the current City Market. The store located at the southwest corner of Main and 133, which is the town’s top sales tax generator, was last expanded shortly after Kroger, the nation’s largest grocer, purchased the former Circle Supers chain in the 1990s.
“I remain hopeful that we can secure some long-term assurance of having our local grocery store stay in town,” Bernot said.
The latest move could also stave off concerns that City Market could be lured to another development site outside of Carbondale town limits.
Earlier this year, the town weighed in against a plan that was before Garfield County to rezone a 43-acre parcel on Highway 82 near Cattle Creek from residential to commercial general, a zoning designation that would allow a grocery store as a use by right. That application was pulled in early May prior to a hearing before the county’s planning commission.
The Carbondale development site in question has had its own controversy. Town voters in the last 12 years have twice turned down major development proposals that included a new grocery store along with a mix of other commercial and residential development.
As mayor, Bernot oversaw the debate over the Village at Crystal River development, which included a grocery store on the far north end of the property, among a broad array of commercial and residential parcels. The proposal met strong community opposition, largely centered on a public improvement fee needed to pay for the project infrastructure. It was ultimately defeated in a public vote.
Bernot hopes Galloway & Co.’s more focused plan will be more appealing.
“Most people would like to see that property develop in a phased-out approach rather than all at once,” she said. “Because Kroger has wanted a new grocery store for over a decade, I think this is the logical next step.”