Chart Carbondale Comprehensive Plan Update

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READ OUR RECENT UPDATE >


The goal of "Chart Carbondale" is to update the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. This update will re-establish the Town’s goals for the future and provide direction for decisions affecting the use of land, preservation of open space, transportation systems, economic growth, and public facilities and services.

The Comprehensive Plan Update will contain detailed long-range planning recommendations focused on the following topics:

  • Downtown Character
    • Zoning/land use, infill opportunities, placemaking/public art, existing business mix, public spaces, wayfinding
  • Opportunity Area (formerly Downtown North)
    • Zoning/land use, opportunities for mixed-use development
  • Climate Action Plan
    • Community resiliency, water supply, natural resources, stewardship

READ OUR RECENT UPDATE >


The goal of "Chart Carbondale" is to update the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. This update will re-establish the Town’s goals for the future and provide direction for decisions affecting the use of land, preservation of open space, transportation systems, economic growth, and public facilities and services.

The Comprehensive Plan Update will contain detailed long-range planning recommendations focused on the following topics:

  • Downtown Character
    • Zoning/land use, infill opportunities, placemaking/public art, existing business mix, public spaces, wayfinding
  • Opportunity Area (formerly Downtown North)
    • Zoning/land use, opportunities for mixed-use development
  • Climate Action Plan
    • Community resiliency, water supply, natural resources, stewardship
  • Aging in Community
    • Housing services for seniors, mobility for all ages
  • Multi-modal Mobility
    • Bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure, transit, traffic, trails, connectivity
  • Residential Character
    • Small-town character/feel, design guidelines, land use compatibility, architectural massing + scale, housing types

How was the Plan Approved?

The Comprehensive Plan Update was developed through formal research, data collection, and the collection of community input through online surveys, community-wide events, and stakeholder meetings. The Planning and Zoning Commission serves as the Project Steering Committee, and the Carbondale Board of Trustees will review and adopt the final plan.

Public involvement is critical in the Comprehensive Plan Update process. Public participation helps ensure that the final plan reflects the community’s vision, goals, and priorities for the future. The Comp Plan team will provide numerous opportunities for public engagement throughout the project and announce them on this website through social media and press releases.

Why do we Plan?

The purpose of planning is to ensure that Carbondale's high quality of life will continue. Through the planning process, residents, business owners, and community organizations help shape the Town's land use and open space pattern. A well-planned community provides compatible land uses and transportation networks, infrastructure, and economic vitality. A well-planned community protects its environmental and cultural resources. Planning helps to ensure that the Carbondale community continues to be attractive, safe, and prosperous.

What is a Comprehensive Plan, and where can see the Town's current plan?

Comprehensive Plans are required by state law to be used as a guide to decision-making about the natural and built environment. The Comprehensive Plan includes general town-wide policy on land use, transportation, housing, natural resources, economic development, and public facilities, including public parks, recreation, and trails. The Plan recommends how land should be used, but not when development will occur. This effort is an update to the existing 2013 Comprehensive Plan, not a complete re-write. Some goals and strategies from the 2013 Plan still apply, while others simply need to be updated. Click here to see the Town's 2013 Comp Plan >>

  • Chart Carbondale Comprehensive Plan Update Outreach and Project Notification

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    Thank you to everyone who attended the March 30 Final Draft Comprehensive Plan event at the Launchpad hosted by the Town of Carbondale’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

    What happens to all the public comments?

    The March 30 event resulted in written and verbal comments on a range of topics, one-on-one clarifying conversations, and question-and-answer exchanges. The Cushing Terrell planning team is now reviewing and compiling comments collected from January through March 2022 on the Draft Comprehensive Plan Update.

    What comes next?

    Over the next several months, Cushing Terrell will revise the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Updates (Focused Area Sections) in response to the public comments. This will include the Future Land Use Map (FLUM). The 2021 document will then be merged into the adopted 2013 Comprehensive Plan.

    Will there be additional feedback opportunities?

    When the 2022 Town of Carbondale Comprehensive Plan is in its final form, it will be reviewed again by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Board of Trustees for final approval and adoption. There will be public comment opportunities at each meeting.

  • Project Update

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    Comprehensive Plan Update Ready for Community Review and Feedback

    Online survey is open, and paper copies are available in locations around Carbondale

    The Town of Carbondale seeks feedback on the Draft Comprehensive Plan Update. The Draft Update reflects community input and feedback collected over the past six months through virtual and in-person meetings, focus groups, and surveys. To allow the community ample time to review the document, the survey will be open from January 24 – February 25. Spanish translations of both the Draft Comprehensive Plan Update and survey will be available at the beginning of February.

    Ways to provide feedback:


    1. Click on the Planning Commission packet for January 27– the meeting link is on the agenda
    2. Email written comments to jbuck@carbondaleco.net by 4:00 pm the day of the meeting
    3. Watch the meeting on YouTube (Search Planning Commission January 27, 2022). View only.

    About the Reading Rooms: Reading Rooms will be open around Carbondale from January 24 – February 24. A paper copy of the Draft Update will be available at each Reading Room (please don’t remove). Copies of the survey will be available at each location along with a QR code and instructions on downloading the Draft Update and taking the survey. Comments will also be collected online at chartcarbondale.com.

    Reading Room Locations: Additional locations will be announced throughout the month (if you would like to sponsor a Reading Room, let us know by calling 970/510-1208).

    > Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave.

    > Carbondale Library, 320 Sopris Ave.

    > Third Street Center, 520 S 3rd St.

    > Launch Pad, 76 S 4th St.

    > Roaring Fork High School Library, 2270 CO-133

    > Craft Coffeehouse, 689, Main Street

    > Carbondale Recreation Center, 567 Colorado Ave.

    > River Valley Ranch, Ranch House, 444 River Valley Ranch Rd.

    > Bonfire Coffee, 433 Main St.

  • October Virtual Public Meetings on Draft Plan

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    Thank you to all who participated in the Virtual Public Meetings on the Draft Comp Plan Update. You can see the presentation slides in English here and in Spanish here.

    You can view the recording from the meeting in English here: https://vimeo.com/640504769

    October 27, 2021: Virtual Public Meeting in Spanish

    Despite the employment of various outreach strategies, the Spanish meeting was not attended by any Spanish-speaking members of the general public. Outreach strategies included: advertisements on La Nueva Mix, advertisements in the Spanish Sopris Sun, flyers posted around town, emails to contact lists of Spanish-speaking community members, and press releases in the paper. The main difference between the in-person Spanish-speaking Community Meeting in August (which had better attendance) and the Virtual Public Meeting in Spanish was the availability of members of the Spanish-speaking community to personally invite folks to show up. The community leaders we employed to do outreach for the meeting in August were unavailable to help get the word out for the virtual meeting, and other community organizations that focus on Spanish outreach are extremely busy and could not take on the task.

    Key Takeaways:

    • The most effective form of outreach in the Spanish-speaking community is community leaders personally inviting people to meetings and explaining the importance of their participation
    • Community leaders and community organizations that are equipped to help with outreach need to be identified early on and contracted with to ensure the word gets out in the most effective way
    • In person meetings will generate better engagement and response from the Spanish-speaking community than virtual meetings.

    October 28, 2021: Virtual Public Meeting in English

    The virtual meeting in English was held the following night and included the same content as the presentation and discussion from the meeting in Spanish. The meeting's format included a brief presentation on the draft recommendations for the three geographic focus areas (Downtown, Downtown North and Residential Focus Areas) followed by a poll and open discussion. The purpose of the poll was to gauge community support for the draft recommendations. Here are the polling results:

    • On a scale of 1 (do not support) to 5 (fully support), what is your level of support for the Downtown recommendations?
      • 56% of attendees supported the recommendations, 7% were neutral, 5% did not support and 26% needed more information/did not know.
    • On a scale of 1 (do not support) to 5 (fully support), what is your level of support for the Downtown North recommendations?
      • 52% supported the recommendations, 14% were neutral, 19% did not support and 16% needed more information/did not know.
    • On a scale of 1 (do not support) to 5 (fully support), what is your level of support for the Residential Focus Area recommendations?
      • 42% supported the recommendations, 19% were neutral, 14% did not support and 26% needed more information/did not know.

    Below is a summary of the open discussion points after the first section of presentation:

    Downtown

    • Observation that if you live in the historic core parking is very limited, must consider this in recommendations for changing parking standards for mixed use developments
      • Idea is to centralize parking somewhere in the Historic Commercial Core zone (examples could include a parking district, centralized lot, or eventually structured parking) to remove burden from new development
    • Main Street may benefit from being pedestrian-only but impacts should be well understood
    • Any commercial growth on Highway 133 and in Downtown North should not compete with Main Street businesses
      • People will eventually want to live where businesses locate which has recently been on Highway 133
    • Desire to turn vacant lots downtown into parks
    • Desire for dedicated multi-modal infrastructure to facilitate walking/biking and help reduce the need for more parking


    Downtown North

    • Any new development in Downtown North must balance desire for parks and civic spaces, as noted in the survey
    • Downtown North is notably different than Downtown and should not be a replication of Main Street
    • Must ensure that there is infrastructure capacity for new growth in Downtown North
    • Land use change will alter job sectors, and industrial businesses being displaced should still have a place to do business
    • Desire for live/work units for local artists
    • Traffic impacts from new homes and businesses must be mitigated
    • Desire to include affordable housing in new development
    • Desire for part of the area to be dedicated to local food production
    • The design of the project will be important to neighbors and a well-designed project with each outer edge responding and respecting its adjacent conditions will help mitigate impacts

    The second portion of the presentation was on the draft recommendations on the other topic focus areas of the comp plan update: Aging in Community, Climate Action Plan, Multi-modal Mobility, Housing + Jobs, and Social Equity. The same polling questions were asked about the level of community support for these draft recommendations:

    • On a scale of 1 (do not support) to 5 (fully support), what is your level of support for the Aging in Community recommendations?
      • 81% supported the recommendations, 5% were neutral, 7% did not support and 7% needed more information/did not know
    • On a scale of 1 (do not support) to 5 (fully support), what is your level of support for the Climate Action Plan recommendations?
      • 76% supported the recommendations, 15% were neutral, 4% did not support and 5% needed more information/did not know.
    • On a scale of 1 (do not support) to 5 (fully support), what is your level of support for the Multi-modal Mobility recommendations?
      • 76% supported the recommendations, 5% were neutral, 5% did not support and 15% needed more information/did not know.
    • On a scale of 1 (do not support) to 5 (fully support), what is your level of support for the Housing + Jobs recommendations?
      • 64% supported the recommendations, 10% were neutral, 7% did not support and 20% needed more information/did not know.
    • On a scale of 1 (do not support) to 5 (fully support), what is your level of support for the Social Equity recommendations?
      • 76% supported the recommendations, 10% were neutral, 5% did not support and 10% needed more information/did not know.

    Below is a summary of the open discussion points after the second section of presentation:

    Climate Action Plan

    • The CAP should strive to address the landscape code and encouraging climate appropriate landscaping
    • Carbondale should strive to grow its sustainability-oriented economy by attracting businesses that advance climate action goals
    • Sustainable housing, technology and mobility options should be available to all despite income levels
    • Green building technology, on-site renewables and other technologies were necessary for low- and medium-income citizens
    • Desire to expand the ditch irrigation system throughout town
    • The CAP should have measurable benchmarks included in policy to achieving climate action goals
    • Desire to create ways to get people out of their cars and walking/biking/taking transit
      • Stronger efforts must be made to reduce car dependence


    Multi-modal Access + Circulation

    • Affordable housing that would allow employees to live in Carbondale would help solve some of the traffic issues
    • Desire to focus on safe routes to schools
    • Agree with recommendation to expand public transit
    • Agreement and disagreement with recommendation to expand/improve sidewalks
    • Need for pedestrian infrastructure to cross Highway 82 to access Red Hill

    Housing + Jobs

    • Some believe that affordable housing is the only new type of new housing that should be built
    • Desire to increase the amount of affordable housing required through inclusionary zoning
    • Desire for some regulation on short term rentals
    • Question of whether or not more regulations will make developing affordable housing more difficult
    • Desire for the town to contribute funding for affordable housing
    • Desire for incentives to be included in certain districts in the land use code for affordable housing (such as density bonuses, allowing residential uses on the first floor, Accessory Dwelling Units by right, etc.)
      • The Town should explore allowing Accessory Dwelling Units in other residential zones


    Closing Thoughts

    • The Town must continue to push climate and housing efforts, while remaining selective on resource allocation over the next five or ten years
    • Many "must-do" items were brought up regarding climate change with the public generally agreeing that although costs are high, they are a worthwhile investment as climate change affects everyone
    • Keeping Carbondale's character (e.g. seeing cattle drives on the roundabout) is paramount
      • The Town must consider if growth is occurring just for the sake of growth
      • There is nothing incorrect with staying small particularly when the Town core has existing capacity for about 75% of 10-year projected growth on vacant or underutilized parcels
    • More affordable housing must be supplied through mechanisms other than just inclusionary zoning and deed-restricted units
    • Highway 133 has lost the characteristic feel of a small town, Downtown has not
    • Redevelopment sites (e.g. old City Market site) should be considered to get more affordable housing while getting some of the Carbondale Character back through historic scale and urban design


    The polls conducted at the meetings are available as a poll online here, so if you missed the meetings and would like to give your input please take the poll.


  • News Feed

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    Here we'll post project updates, survey results, and share related articles!



  • In-Person Survey Opportunity!

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    You can take the survey in-person down at Town Hall if you don't get the chance to take it online!

    Survey closes on August 6th.

Page last updated: 21 Apr 2022, 11:45 AM