After withdrawing their application in 2021, ANB Bank returned before the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) on Thursday, Sept. 14, with a revised proposal for a new 27,000 square-foot building south of their current location on Highway 133.
The main impetus for the move, owner representative Will Cofield told P&Z, is to be in the hub of Carbondale Marketplace, with improved ease of access for customers. Moreover, he said, the old building’s layout is obsolete and the new building would be more efficient with sustainable features like electric vehicle charging stations and ample bike parking.
Back in 2021, the ask was to subdivide the lot, purchased by ANB Bank in 2019, leaving the southern parcel undeveloped and rezoned to sell. This time, ANB Bank designed a two-story, mixed-use building spanning the lot’s entirety, with the larger section housing residential and commercial rentals. Sharing a lobby, the squarish portion to the north would serve as the bank. The new proposal also eliminates a drive-thru, which was a point of contention for the previous application.
This rectangular southern section includes 16 residential units of varying size (three studios, nine one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units) — all long-term rentals — and approximately 7,000 square-feet of commercial space, with the possibility for a restaurant. Three of the residential units would be deed-restricted, for persons and families earning between 80% and 120% of the area median income (www.bit.ly/CdaleAMI2023). The project is all-electric, with the exception of gas hook-ups for that potential restaurant, and on-site solar exceeds the minimum requirements.
Proposed public improvements include an acceleration lane onto Highway 133 off Hendricks Drive and heading toward the roundabout, plus more pedestrian trails crossing the Carbondale Marketplace development. As prescribed in the comprehensive plan, the building comes close to the highway, with parking hidden behind it.
The proposal also includes a small playground/dog park space to the south, serving as a buffer between the Remax building and new building. ANB Bank met with Carbondale Arts, the Bike Pedestrian and Trails Commission, WE-cycle, the Rotary Club, Carbondale Chamber and its own banking customers in developing the plan. Asked what will happen with the former building, ANB Bank representatives said it would be sold.
The new ANB Bank proposal has changes significantly from what was previously submitted and reviewed in 2021. Courtesy graphic
Nicholas DiFrank, vice-chair of P&Z, reminded the commission that this area serves as a gateway to Carbondale. “Does this feel like Carbondale?” he asked. While noting the buildings are “very cool,” “modern” and “thoughtful,” he said “I’m not sure it feels like Carbondale to me.”
With no members of the public appearing to comment, the commissioners deliberated. P&Z noted that with Hayden Place across the highway, a canyon effect would be created, with echoing noise and a general loomingness from tall buildings close to the road.
“I’m a little disappointed with how flat and boxy it is,” noted Jess Robison. “It looks like Boulder to me.” She added, “I’m all for modern and clean, and think this is the appropriate location for housing like this … I just think we could get a little more creative on roof lines.”
DiFrank’s main concern was the playground/dog park designated to the south. “We can’t have a shared fence between a dog and a kid’s finger,” he said. “Their dollars could be spent better. The community could be better served with something else.” DiFrank expressed disappointment with the alleged playground which resulted to be a plastic rock across the highway at Carbondale Center Place and suggested a more intentional use of the space may be preferable over “checking a box” for open space.
After one failed motion, a second motion passed unanimously with the added condition to rethink the playground/dog park piece. A revised design for the playground/dog park area will return to P&Z on Oct. 12, with a review by Trustees of the project in its entirety planned for Oct. 24.