Repeat history in Carbondale
December 16, 2011
Let me state at the outset that I am writing in support of approving the zoning for the Village at Crystal River (VCR) development.
Back in November 1994, the board of trustees of Carbondale called for a referendum, in which the registered voters of Carbondale were asked to vote to approve controversial zoning that would allow the development of River Valley Ranch (RVR). The tally was 573 for and 510 against. The zoning was approved by 63 votes. Once again, this January, registered voters in Carbondale will have the opportunity in a referendum to approve the development of the Village at Crystal River.
Opposition to the current VCR development is reminiscent of the opposition to the RVR development back in 1994. Such slogans as “it will ruin the ‘character’ of our Town” and “this is not the way for Carbondale to grow” then, as now, are being trumpeted as reasons to oppose this much-needed project.
The actual facts are these: River Valley Ranch is located 1.1 miles from the center of “Main Street-Old Town” and has, in no way, changed the charm and character of our town. The proposed VCR project will be located exactly the same driving distance, 1.1 miles, from the center of “Main Street-Old Town” and, like RVR, will in no way change the character and charm of “Main Street-Old Town.”
Some of the many benefits of RVR that all residents of Carbondale now enjoy are public parks, a public golf course, public tennis courts and miles of bike and walking paths. Many of the most steadfast opponents to the RVR approval are now leading the charge to defeat the approval of the VCR project. Ironically, many of these individuals were among the first to enjoy RVR golf and tennis facilities.
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So now, what can we expect from the Village at Crystal River? First, the plan for this project in no way has the appearance of a shopping or strip mall. It does in fact resemble a small village. If you have not viewed the final layout, I urge you to inspect the plan at Town Hall or log on to http://www.sayyestocarbondale.com.
Approval will insure that a large segment of the Highway 133 entry into our town will finally be beautified and provide an entrance to our town that we can all be proud of. The new City Market will have all the amenities of the City Markets located in Basalt and Glenwood Springs. This will mean that many more residents will now shop locally rather than driving to Basalt or Glenwood Springs. Additionally, residents from surrounding areas will bring their business to Carbondale and, like RVR, the distance from “Main Street-Old Town” will insure there will be no increase to present parking and traffic.
Finally, and importantly, the increased sales tax revenues will mean the services our town provides will continue and improve. So please, cast your vote to approve the VCR development and insure that history will, in fact, be repeated!