Final round of talks for Village at Crystal River |

Final round of talks for Village at Crystal River

John Stroud
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – After multiple years in the planning review process, it’s down to final decision time for the Carbondale Board of Trustees on the proposed Village at Crystal River mixed-use development.

Trustees continue the discussion at a special meeting Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. at Carbondale Town Hall. But a final vote on the project could still be another meeting or two away.

In August, trustees voted 5-0 to have town planning and legal staff prepare the necessary documents that, if approved, would grant approval to the project.

Plans for the 24-acre development site west of State Highway 133 and north of Main Street call for up to 125,000 square feet of commercial space, including a proposed new 58,000-square-foot City Market grocery store.

In addition, plans by Denver developer Richard Schierburg would include 15,000 square feet of office space, and up to 164 residential units.

Construction would be spread out over seven phases with vested rights lasting 15 years, according to a tentative agreement reached between Schierburg and town trustees at the last meeting.

A final vote still needs to be taken on the various conditions of approval contained in the so-called “complete package” of documents. Those conditions have been discussed at the town council level in several meetings dating back to early 2010.

“Staff would suggest that the board review the documents and discuss if (they) accurately reflect the board’s discussions over the past public hearings,” according to a staff memo for Tuesday’s meeting.

Major conditions tentatively agreed to as a result of those earlier discussions include:

• A 1 percent public improvements fee (PIF) will be applied to retail sales within the Village at Crystal River to help pay for on- and off-site public improvements, such as streets and other infrastructure. The PIF would discontinue once that debt is paid off.

• The developer would also be allowed to form a limited metropolitan district for a set period of time to help pay for public improvements.

• Those improvements will include upgrades to State Highway 133 adjacent to the property, including a roundabout at the main entrance.

• The City Market store and other buildings in the project would be built to recognized standards regarding energy efficiency.

• The grocery store portion of the project is to be completed within three years. If not, the property could revert to its underlying zoning.

• A school would be allowed within a section of the project as a conditional use or special review by the town. Other potential uses in that section could include child care, medical facility, hotel or light manufacturing.

• Residential development would include 24 employee housing units to satisfy the project’s affordable housing requirement.

Other proposed conditions relate to open space and parks, timing of park development, architectural design guidelines, parking and other details.

Town staff is recommending that the board review the various conditions and continue the public hearing to a future date.

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