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Carbondale Report: RFSD approved to build 50 housing units

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Update on thistle: Katrina Blair’s company, Bee Happy Lands, was contracted by the Parks and Rec Department to provide organic land stewardship at the Nature Park on May 12. The Town will still get staff trained and certified to conduct chemical-based herbicide treatment, but will not necessarily use that tool. 

Mayor Pro Tem Erica Sparhawk took the gavel at Tuesday’s regular meeting. The agenda was relatively light, consisting most prominently of a public hearing related to the Roaring Fork School District’s Meadowood Housing Project.

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First, the consent agenda was approved including accounts payable (extra hefty this month with computers replacement at $11,937, plus $57,411 for a commuter van and $64,551 for a F350 truck purchase), minutes, a county-wide intergovernmental agreement for mosquito control, two contracts related to financing the new pool, a retail marijuana license renewal for Tumbleweed, a special event liquor license for Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association April 29 film screening and authorization for Town Manager Lauren Gister to apply for grant funding toward the Town Center project.

During general trustee comments: Lani Kitching and Chris Hassig spoke to formally opposing the Uinta Basin Railway which prompted trustees to unanimously approve signing a letter drafted by the Environmental Board on the topic; Marty Silverstein lamented the mass shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, urging responsible gun owners to “speak up now” for sensible regulations; Colin Laird touched on the housing summit hosted by Habitat for Humanity last week, as well as Senate Bill 23-213, a statewide land-use policy that would overrule municipalities; Luis Yllanes expressed dismay at the presence of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the career expo organized by Youthentity; Sparhawk announced that the former City Market was removed as an option for Pitkin County’s regional food hub prospects.

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Next, KDNK received approval for a special event liquor license for Dandelion Day, May 13.

Then, April Long, Ruedi Water and Power Authority executive director, returned for a continued discussion around baseline watering standards for the Valley (originally presented on Jan. 24). Public Works Director Kevin Schorzman sat beside her, proposing that trustees consider adopting the baseline standards when watering restrictions are in place, but not mandatorily year-round. This way, Carbondale could still participate in education and outreach.

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Long explained that Snowmass has adopted the standards except with the watering schedule divided between “north and south” as opposed to “even and odd;” Glenwood Springs “gave a nod during a work session” and will vote in a public meeting; Basalt already has this schedule for April to October, but not year-round; Aspen staff “is supportive” and the Midvalley Metro District “wants to hear where everyone else is at.”

Schorzman suggested other approaches may be more effective at curtailing water use, such as tiered water rates, a turf buyback program and removing irrigation from certain places. He highlighted that Carbondale is meeting and exceeding its water efficiency plan goals from 2015. No action was taken.

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Briefly, a contract was approved for the Crystal River Restoration and Weaver Ditch Efficiency Project at $1.99 million with Redoubt Restoration. No timeline was provided.

And finally, Robert Schultz presented the RFSD Meadowood Housing Project for 50 housing units available to district employees at the corner of Meadowood Drive and the Roaring Fork High School access road. The project was designed to preserve Roaring Fork High School’s practice fields, with the possibility to expand as necessary. It consists of eight studios, 10 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom units, a large common space and bulk storage that exceeds the Town’s requirements. The buildings will be all-electric, with no gas hook-ups, and include six electric vehicle charging stations with a conduit for 33 more.

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Schultz explained that the property was once envisioned for a Carbondale Community School campus and artist village, then acquired by The North Face for its headquarters, later donated to the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities and eventually traded to RFSD in exchange for the Third Street Center land and Carbondale Arts gained a lot on Second Street later sold to create an endowment.

The proposal came with requests for rezoning (from Community Arts, an obsolete zone district, to Residential High Density) and alternative compliances for a parking reduction from 93 to 90 spaces (considering the high school’s large parking lot in close proximity), streetscaping (to continue rather than realign the sidewalk) and smaller private balconies for the studio units to accommodate a larger common space.

With unanimous approval, the plan is to break ground in May and have the units ready on-time for the 2024 school year.

Tags: #April Long #Carbondale Report #Crystal River #Katrina Blair #Meadowood Housing Project #RFSD #RWAPA #thistle #trustees
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