Citizens reviewing new conceptual plans for the controversial 22 acre Crystal River Marketplace development site were a lot more positive than they have been in a long time.
The "draft conceptual program" has yet to receive the blessing of the town's board of trustees, but even opponents of the development proposals were upbeat about the current planning effort.
The new plan calls for a total of between 160,000 and 175,000 square feet of retail space, including a 60,000-square-foot space for the "anchor" store; between 150 and 175 housing units (15 percent of which must be "affordable" under town codes); three "junior anchors" at about 20,000 square feet apiece, and a mix of commercial and office space scattered around the site.
An earlier proposal, defeated in a referendum in 2003, called for 252,000 square feet of commercial space, anchored by a 125,000-square-foot site for a big-box retailer.
The next public meetings about the Marketplace plans will be a Community Open House, with "completed drawings and economic information," from 6-9 p.m. on July 5. Town trustees and the planning and zoning commission have scheduled a joint meeting to take a first formal look at the plans at 6:30 p.m. on July 19.
The design charrette idea grew out of Carbondale's Economic Road Map process, which has focused on better understanding and directing the town's future toward a more "diverse and sustainable economy."