The United States of America is a nation based on change, growth and improvement. In Salida we stand at a crossroads. Where will we go? Who will we be? How do we get there? These questions are ones I grapple with every day; indeed, I believe these are the very questions you elected me and the Salida City Council to grapple with.
Two of the biggest parts of this puzzle are housing and community character. City council and the planning commission are often presented with challenging decisions, trying to balance the pragmatic needs of private developers with the more esoteric needs of a diverse population. These needs are often in opposition; however, there is always a middle ground, a confluence of benefit for the city and profitability for the developer.
Often the questions are based on “what ifs.” What if we let the parcel be developed by right? What are neighboring uses? What is allowed next door? What height is appropriate? And, most importantly, will it benefit the city and the people who live in it? After throwing these and other questions and answers into the hopper, the city negotiates the best deal for everyone, trying to maximize things like open space or open space “fee in lieu,” guaranteed long-term affordability, density in the right places, commercial space to generate revenue for the city – all the things that will move Salida forward.
Your city council is well-versed and spends an inordinate amount of time studying issues and making sure that they are making the best possible decisions for the people of the great city of Salida. I hope you feel we are doing a good job and will continue to give us your input and ideas on how we can continue to improve our city. We appreciate you supporting the challenging decisions we make.
This is the first installment of a new column by Salida officials to help inform local citizens about city government.