Teacher housing and Carbondale library clear yet another hurdle | AspenTimes.com

Teacher housing and Carbondale library clear yet another hurdle

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen,CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – Carbondale trustees haven taken another step in the approval process for the Roaring Fork School District’s teacher housing project, a move that also served to pave the way for a new town library.

The Carbondale Town Council, on a 5-0 vote at its Nov. 23 meeting, approved what’s called a final subdivision/correction plat for the planned CES Community Partnership project.

The subdivision approval formally splits off separate parcels within the 11-acre project site, at the town’s former elementary/middle school campus, which is now home to the Third Street Center and the Bridges Center.

Among them will be a newly dedicated town park to the south of what’s now the Third Street Center, as well as a section of the property at the corner of Sopris Avenue and Third Street where the Garfield County Public Library District plans to build the new Carbondale branch library.

It also sets aside the largest parcels, on what’s now an open field between Third Street and Weant Boulevard, for future development of most of the planned 120 residential units. The project density was part of the zoning approval granted by the town earlier this year.

The school district, working with Denver developer Chuck Perry of Perry-Rose LLC, plans to build a mix of housing on the site, 80 percent of which would be deed-restricted in some way in order to be more affordable for teachers and other district employees.

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A final plat for the first phase of development is not expected to be submitted until sometime late next year, with construction not likely to commence until 2012 or 2013.

School district officials have already postponed until next spring a planned survey of district employees meant to gauge interest in the project, which is to be built based on pre-sales of units. The delay in doing the survey was due mostly to a current glut of competitively priced houses on the market in the area.

In the meantime, the district will continue to work to secure financing for the project, as well as line up other potential local partners. Whatever deed-restricted units are not occupied by teachers and other school district employees are to be made available to other public-sector workers. The district includes schools in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

Last week’s subdivision approval also cleared the way for the school district to sell off the northeast corner of the property to the Garfield County Public Library District for a new Carbondale branch library.

The site was chosen by an appointed selection committee made up of local citizens, library officials and town representatives. The new, 13,000-square-foot library will replace the existing library on Fourth Street.

One condition of the subdivision agreement was to require curb, gutter and sidewalks and any other public improvements deemed necessary when the library is built. The town may help fund some of those improvements, although that decision has not been made.

jstroud@postindependent.com