Shopping ‘village’ near Catherine Store? | AspenTimes.com

Shopping ‘village’ near Catherine Store?

John Colson

A development proposal submitted to Garfield County could transform the pasture and paddocks of the former Aspen Equestrian Estates into shops and homes. (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

A bank, real estate offices, massage therapy, shoe repair, a veterinarian clinic, coffee shop, clothing stores and more near Catherine Store? Maybe.A developer is hoping to build a “neighborhood commercial village” at the former Aspen Equestrian Estates site along Highway 82 near Carbondale, on land now occupied by horses and a couple of barns.The site comprises approximately 15 acres, just south of Catherine Store at the intersection of Garfield County Road 100 and Highway 82.

Developer Jay Weinberg, who built the Aspen Equestrian Estates residential development on the former Preshana Farms polo field, sold that development two years ago but held onto the horse paddocks and barns. The residential development is now called Aspen Farm.In a development application they submitted two weeks ago to Garfield County, Weinberg and his planning consultant, Ron Liston of Glenwood Springs, maintained that the paddock area is “currently underutilized” because of what the application terms the “changed circumstances” of increased development along 100 Road and in the nearby Missouri Heights area.Those changes, according to Weinberg, have “created the need for additional neighborhood commercial opportunities.”Weinberg wants to create a new “neighborhood commercial zone district” encompassing approximately 3.3 acres, within which he would build five retail/commercial buildings with a maximum of 20,000 square feet, arrayed around a central parking lot fronting 100 Road.

The application also calls for the removal or alteration of one existing structure in the equestrian facilities complex, and the creation of four single-family homesites along Equestrian Way, the road leading off 100 Road into Aspen Farm.Technically the application is for an amendment to “the equestrian lot” of the Aspen Equestrian Estates Subdivision and Preshana Farms Planned Unit Development, which Liston said currently consists of open space at the north end nearest to the highway, and the equestrian center barn and other facilities at the south end.The proposal would shrink the size of the existing Equestrian Center open space portion of the property and rename it an “equestrian residential” area. The new residential lots would be between the Equestrian Center facilities and Equestrian Way.An area of “open space” would be consolidated to just more than 5 acres and relocated to the northwestern portion of the property, nearest Highway 82, Liston said. He also said that most of the existing barns and other structures on the property would remain in place.

According to the application, the new zone district could contain a wide range of retail and commercial establishments, including clothing shops, restaurants and “business, professional and medical offices,” among other uses.Liston said Monday that Garfield County planner Fred Jarman has deemed the application “incomplete,” which Liston said is a fairly routine occurrence with land-use applications. He said he will resubmit the application after he has determined what is missing, but has no idea when the plans will go before the county’s planning and zoning commission.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com

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