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Pages of the Past: Subdivisions, smokers and schools

Sections: News Published

From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal, compiled by Will Grandbois

March 3, 1977
The first lots were slated for sale in the Crystal Village subdivision – a 70 acre Planned Unit Development anticipated to house between 1,200 and 1,500 people. Although it has since been surpassed by River Valley Ranch, it was then the largest ever addition to the Town of Carbondale, comprising most of the homes on the west side of Highway 133 from Hendrick Drive to Oak Run, as well as two parks and 12 acres of professional, commercial or multifamily space along W. Main Street. The development met opposition when it was first proposed and went before the town’s fledgling Planning and Zoning Commission but was officially annexed in 1975 while the related Basalt South project remained in limbo.
Meanwhile, Colorado Rocky Mountain School opted to stay in its location just north of the new subdivision after contemplating an opportunity to relocate along Snowmass Creek.

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March 5, 1987
In Pat Noel’s first edition as editor after a six-year leave of absence, the Journal spoke with smokers’ rights activists who had recently circulated a petition. The anti-anti-smoking movement came in response to another petition which aimed to ban smoking in public places, modeled on laws already in place in Fort Collins and Aspen. Presentation of the counter-petition by a “harassed minority” was pending, “according to petition circulator who… hack… cough… hack… prefers to remain anonymous.”

March 6, 1997
Following final approval by the trustees, a teen center was slated to open in the town’s old police trailer at the corner of 2nd and Main. The volunteer groups that organized the project had hired an AmeriCorps volunteer to manage the space, which would be open to Carbondale residents under 21. No drugs, alcohol, foul language, fighting, or public displays of affection were allowed on the premises. The youth hangout eventually closed and was ultimately bulldozed in favor of a vacant lot.

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March 1, 2007
With Ross Montessori just spreading its wings and Crystal River Elementary School sporting a large new addition, the Journal tackled the search for balance in Carbondale public schools. The touchy subject was broached by trustee Alice Laird, citing shifting demographics with predominantly latino open-enrollment schools and primarily anglo charters. Overall enrollment was also down at CRES, CMS and RFHS. 
“The real issue is the have’s and the have not’s. It’s not integrated and balanced,” Laird said. “We’re a non-urban area with almost urban-like issues with our schools.”

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