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Trustees make an exception, not a precedent

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Tuesday night’s trustee meeting saw a rare 4-3 vote as the board considered whether to bend the rules for one unit in the Thompson Park development.

The Development Improvement Agreement requires that affordable housing be completed before the Town will issue a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for any free market units. But Haley Carmer of Garfield & Hecht said the developer was under the impression that the issuing the deed restrictions met the requirements. With a local buyer already looking to move into a free market unit, waiting for the final touches on the deed restricted units wasn’t ideal. 

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Town Planner Janet Buck was willing to allow some wiggle room — but only with council approval.

Mayor Dan Richardson wasn’t inclined to give it. 

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“I feel like the agreement was pretty clear and if there was any ambiguity it could have been addressed a while ago,” he said. 

Trustee Luis Yllanes made a case for leniency. 

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“I don’t think it sets precedent; it just shows that we can occasionally make exceptions,” he said. 

Moreover, Trustee Erica Sparhawk pointed out, the affordable units are so far along that their speedy completion is all but certain. 

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The final motion made it clear that no further exceptions would be made, and passed by a narrow margin with Yllanes, Sparhawk, Marty Silverstein and Lani Kitching in favor and Richardson, Ben Bohmfalk and Heather Henry opposed.

“It takes a lot to split this board,” Bohmfalk noted.

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But Buck seemed relieved. 

“If I’m ever asked about this again, I’ll be able to point to this meeting,” she said. 

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  • Continued the public hearing for annexation of 430 Highway 133 to Oct. 13. 
  • Banned marijuana delivery in Carbondale due to regulation challenges. 
  • Discussed Senate Bill 181 — Protect Public Welfare Oil And Gas Operations — with sponsor Mike Foote.
  • Began the budgeting process by going over revenue projections.