By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
The KDNK community access radio board has discussed rezoning its studios on Second Street for many years, but this time it’s pulling the trigger.
“This isn’t a development proposal,” KDNK Board Chair Andi Korber told The Sopris Sun. “It’s not a change of use … no construction is planned,” she continued. “Hopefully, this (rezoning request) won’t be a complex issue.”
KDNK is asking the town to rezone its property at from Residential High Density (R/HD) to Historic Commercial Core (HCC).
The KDNK parcel covers 11,000 square feet at 76 S. Second St., and the building covers 3,760 square feet, according to the rezoning application that is available at carbondalegov.org and at the Town Hall.
The single-story KDNK building has a long contemporary history. Originally built with brown corrugated siding and later covered over on three sides with fake brick, the building once housed the Carbondale Fire District’s emergency vehicles. Later, the building served as the Carbondale Town Hall (complete with orange plastic chairs in the trustees meeting room). When the town moved in at 511 Colorado Ave., it sold the building to a consortium of several nonprofits, including the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities and KDNK. One-by-one, the nonprofits sold out their interests in the building until KDNK became the sole owner.
“This (property) has never been residential,” Korber continued. “It was the town hall and community center, so we look at this as ‘cleaning up’ the zoning.”
The KDNK building is surrounded on three sides by residential housing. Korber pointed out that some of the station’s current uses for the building include meetings in its community room/studio, and events such as fund-raisers and related parties. “The HCC is a good fit,” Korber said.
Before KDNK can rezone the property, it must first convince the P&Z to amend the use in the Comprehensive Plan from Downtown Old Periphery to Downtown. The vision statement for Downtown is “Downtown is the thriving, historic, identifiable center of commerce, town culture, civic life, and celebrations and is the heart of the community.”
The Comprehensive Plan states in part “ … Land uses have evolved to make the best use of the land available to continue to build on the vitality of the community. … with second and third story office and residential should be continued.”
The town’s Comprehensive Plan is meant to guide land use decisions. The Historic Commercial Core (HCC) zone district in the Unified Development Code states in part the district “ … is to accommodate a variety of complimentary commercial, social, entertainment, and residential uses and to create a market atmosphere compatible with downtown. The district is intended for primarily customer-oriented uses on the street level, with office and residential on the upper stories. The HCC district is designed to accommodate intense development of individually owned businesses in an attractive, pedestrian oriented setting, following the design character and patterns of the historic downtown area.”
As for KDNK’s cost to put the zoning request through the town’s approval process, Korber said it should only be a few hundred dollars to cover the town’s administrative costs. Land-use consultant Bob Schultz is donating his time, Korber said, and other board members are doing the same as needed.