Carbondale city council tables discussion on vacant properties

Carbondale city council tables discussion on vacant properties


The Carbondale City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 22 is the last meeting of fiscal year 2014.

One of the last big discussions involves what the city will do with three almost vacant properties.

As of Tuesday night, the council decided to table the issue on the three properties. They decided it would be best to hear from land owners and business owners alike before moving forward.

Coucilwoman Jane Adams said the decision is tricky because they want to preserve the neighborhood, but not upset the current tenants in the armory.

There is no word yet on when a decision will be made.

The city was looking to re-purpose the soon to be vacant fire house, the old Carbondale High School and the armory.

The city’s current zoning code allows for a wide variety of businesses to locate in the city’s residential neighborhoods.

The armory in particular has come to the top of the heap because it’s already being used, but the current neighborhood business district does not give instruction on how to zone large once-public buildings like the armory.

Five Rings Armory, a gun shop, currently runs its retail business out of part of the building.

Councilwoman Jane Adams said the revision needs to be revised in a way that the neighborhood is not negatively impacted.

“We don’t have an provisions in our code to allow any kind of use in a retail building. So any type of retail use at this moment is not allowed. It is zoned single family residential and there aren’t very many things that are allowed in a single family residential district, and retail is not one of them,” Adams said.

She said the change will be complicated.

The proposed district needs to allow for re-development of these old properties in ways that do not put up barriers for prospective buyers, but also monitor what types of business is ran out of these buildings.

The owner of the armory and the gun shop would not go on camera. However, in a Facebook post, the owner of the gun shop said he feels he is being targeted by the city council.

He claimed the owner of the building has been asked for a site plan, which he claimed costs more than $10,000 and will result in him having to relocate.

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