Carbondale is in the building zone

Have you noticed? Carbondale is growing. So is the valley. We are at the confluence of two rivers, but also of low interest rates, an inviting climate and lifestyle and conducive zoning. “Vibrancy!”

Carbondale did a comprehensive plan a few years back. The theme that came through was “keeping the small-town character.” For anyone moving here from L.A., New York Miami, or Dallas, this is a very small town. And most of us have come from someplace like that. I did, 50 years ago. Everything here was smaller, less crowded and far less pretentious. I came to Carbondale from Snowmass Village in 1993. We loved it. Since then the town has tripled. But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

We have a three-story residential building going up at the roundabout. Why three stories when not another building on 133 is three stories? New zoning. Why right up against the roundabout when every other corner has the buildings pushed back? New zoning.

The Sopris Shopping Center on 133 is seeking approval for a replacement building that would also be three stories and contain some 70 residential units. Why? New zoning. The building would also be right up on the highway. There goes the view to the east. These residential units will experience the traffic noise (increasing) and the air pollution from traffic (increasing). Traffic pollution is linked directly to poor health. Why put new residential on a highway? New zoning. Almost no other residential is now on 133.

A new lumberyard has been approved to sit north of the City Market. That business will generate significant amounts of new traffic on 133 from the roundabout to 82. A lumberyard is, by definition, a distribution business. Most of its business will be for projects outside Carbondale. Why this kind of business? New zoning.

But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Pat Hunter