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The Salida City Council made short work of its Tuesday, Feb. 19 agenda, approving an annexation agreement, two parcel rezonings, and hearing an appeal of an administrative decision regarding water and sewer system development fees, before approving an ordinance regarding municipal court code changes and agreeing on a human resource consulting contract with the Employers Council.

As part of what is a multi-step process of annexation, city council voted unanimously to approve a resolution for the annexation agreement for the Treat-Mesch Annexation of 7.5 acres at 786 Scott Street, followed by the second hearing of an ordinance legalizing the annexation, and a public hearing on an ordinance approving the rezoning of the parcel to R-3 (high-density residential district).

During a third public hearing, the Salida City Council approved the rezoning of a 130 lot project on 19.1 acres located at 6507 CR 102, designating it R-4 Manufactured Housing Residential. That translates to a density of 0.147 acres per unit.

The applicant, Brian Morrison, said the plan for what he is calling the Salida RV Park site (which two years ago was proposed for a Sprout Homes site) was “a clean, tasteful affordable RV park with a wide variety of rental options for one year, six month and three month leases in addition to shorter terms across the 130 spaces.”

The owner says that the project will offer new opportunities for Salida workforce housing, including health care and recreational workers. As a requirement of the approval process, they have agreed to designate 12.5 percent of the units as affordable housing units.

“The price range of our units (on these lots) will be around $60,000 … we’ll incentivize long-term rental leases – we want them there,” said Morrison. “The park models will be skirted, with water, sewer, electric … we’ll have RV trailers, motor homes, and tiny homes on wheels and skirted like a park model. Another option will be recreational trailers and sizes around 400 sq. ft. with nice wrap-around decks, front porches – even outdoor fireplaces.

A dispute over administrative decision regarding water and sewer system development fees filed by resident Thomas LeBaron revealed an early misunderstanding over water tap fees when his early application for a self-remodel as a single family unit became a multi-family application that was planned to include a kitchen, then the kitchen remodel was deleted, but LeBaron’s lender continued to be told that the remodel was a duplex. As a duplex, the remodel would result in more than a $13,000 tap fee to the city. LeBaron disputed that he owes anything for tap fees.

“I wasn’t able to make that decision back in January when this plan and permit were approved,” said LeBaron. “I was going to bring it up to code for the rental unit so I could afford to refinance. The lender is ready to approve it if I get a duplex … I didn’t realize at the time that I went through the process and paid for a plan review, and in the procedure, something was overlooked – I don’t know how to move forward.”

LeBaron said Development Director Glen Nimwegen said he had told him to take the stove out of the lower level unit he created, which would make it an ADU (auxiliary dwelling unit) cutting the tap fees by half, which would still give him income. But that would not satisfy the lender.

The council discussion focused on the structuring of ADU fees and the slippery slope the council is on if it waives fees for some and not others. “I’m confused how the lender had one impression and the city had another impression – it might be not understanding the process, but it is we can’t cancel all these fees, it doesn’t seem fair to other people with duplexes,” said Council Member Cheryl Brown-Kovacic. “We need to set up a payment plan. It’s a fairness issue.”

Council moved to allow staff to negotiate with LeBaron on payment options and come up with a written agreement within 30 days.

Acting in its role as the Salida Liquor Licensing Authority, council members approved liquor licenses for Cugi LLC doing business as Snow Angel Bar & Grill and for Little Cambodia.