On March 8, a new Thompson Park development plan from Cerise Park, LLC, was presented to Carbondale’s Planning and Zoning Commission. The submission now comprises 45 dwelling units (priced between $600 and 800K) instead of 16 units (the first phase of an anticipated 27 units), which were permitted by the Board of Trustees in October 2016. Years ago, the Thompson Park project was initially permitted for up to 45 units in four parcels (see the May 10, 2017 Sopris Sun), but apparently the scope was reduced to 27 units after the sale of Parcel 1 to the Ross Montessori school (vide infra). Now that the school occupies a substantial portion of the Thompson Park plat, there is no justification for the construction of 45 units, which will apparently be crammed into the remaining three parcels. There are several aspects of this proposal that are troubling:
- This proposal having significantly increased density will have a negative impact on the traffic flow in the vicinity of the Thompson Park development. By increasing the number of residential units by 67 percent, there will be substantially more cars impacting Lewie’s Lane, Jewell’s Lane, North Bridge Drive, River Valley Ranch Drive, Holland Drive and 133. The intersection of Lewie’s Lane and 133 is potentially hazardous, especially to school children.
- After Ross Montessori school purchased Parcel 1 in October 2014, construction of the infrastructure was completed in 2015 to support the school and the 27 residential units that were envisaged. Whether the infrastructure will now sustain 45 units and the school is unknown.
- The proposed “attached single-family dwelling units” require a Conditional Use permit; Paragraph 2.5.1.A of Carbondale’s UDC states that Conditional Use permits require that a project have “unique or widely varying operating characteristics or unusual site development features.” This project does not meet these criteria. Other requirements of the UDC have also not been met.
- Finally, the preliminary plans for the various residential units are not compatible with the existing ambiance and character of the surrounding neighborhoods.
This proposal has enough drawbacks that the Planning and Zoning Commission should reject it and require the developer to reduce its scale and adhere to the previous, approved 27-unit plan.