Downtown North — a rezone
Here’s a thought. The area just north of the Rio Grande Trail that is currently zoned General Industrial, instead of rezoning it to a Willits-type of urban form with commercial on the ground floor and up to three stories of apartments above that, let’s zone it for us. Its current use, for the most part, comprises small-scale businesses operating out of shipping containers. How about we take that one step further and zone for small-scale warehouse businesses, live/work units with commercial at the ground level and owner-occupied living areas above, artist studios and collectives with a good chunk of affordable housing?
What Carbondale does not need is more large-scale franchise commercial businesses and apartments that would be largely filled with a commuting population, while those who live and work here are displaced by new urbanism. We need your input, as this area is currently under rezoning consideration in the Comprehensive Plan Update. What this area becomes will define the face of Carbondale in the future. Carbondale is unique with its local artists and craftsmen and has worked very hard in support of this. Let Downtown North become a reflection of who we are.
A nickel’s worth
I’m really looking forward to attending this Thursday’s climate portion of Carbondale’s Comprehensive Plan public meeting at 6 p.m. at the Third Street Center. Climate change is my number one issue and I have five nuggets to throw into the pan:
1. Public transportation – We need to work with RFTA to expand the circulator route to include River Valley Ranch and other outlying subdivisions. Transportation is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the Roaring Fork Valley, and as many residents as possible should have the public transportation option.
2. Building codes – Natural gas heat and appliances should be immediately banned in all new construction. Once that’s accomplished, retrofitting existing buildings to all-electric should be required.
3. Growth – I’m against all growth except affordable housing. We need to get the people in Parachute who work in Aspen to move closer to their jobs. I’m disappointed to learn the apartments going up next to the new City Market will have very few affordable units. The vast majority will be high-rent apartments primarily for city dwellers who’ve discovered during the pandemic that they don’t have to live in the city to work there. It’s good that they’re not driving to work, but I don’t think they make up the majority of the drivers that are clogging up Highway 82.
4. Carbondale pool – Expansion of the pool should be delayed until it can be made net-zero. I’m told net-zero swimming pools don’t exist. I believe in technology. There must be a way.
5. Gas tax – All this is going to cost money. I propose we raise that money by increasing the gas tax. Residents will be encouraged to take public transportation if the price of gas is too high. We now have a City Market with a gas station. Glenwood Springs has no City Market gas station, so Glenwood drivers are coming here to fill up and use their City Market value card. This jams up Highway 133. We need to discourage this.
Carbondale is a very green town. We’ve taken remedial climate action in the past and the very fact that this meeting is being held shows we’re climate conscious. But more can be done. The other cities and towns in this valley look to Carbondale for leadership and I hope we’ll continue to provide that with bold action.
Fred Malo Jr.
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, collectively we were able to lift up the spirit of some folks in Mississippi. We have the opportunity to do that once again. I am seeking the donation of a vehicle, or vehicles, to be given away to a charity organization, or someone who lost their vehicle to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.
If you are willing and able to help, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenny Teitler would be a phenomenal addition to our Roaring Fork School District Board!
His qualities include, experience in our schools as an educator, his compassion and understanding of children and families of all cultures as well as his connection with the community after 26 years.
School boards and education have never been as crucial in America as it is now.
Please consider donating to Kenny at kennyteitler.com and the November ballot issue to increase teacher salaries at wearerfsd.com