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As the city of Salida moves closer to the September special election in which voters will decide whether or not to authorize construction of the Salida Crossings housing development on U.S. Highway 50, opponents of the project are resorting to spreading false information.

An unattributed flier, hand-addressed and mailed Aug. 14 from Denver, showed up in mailboxes throughout Salida the weekend of Aug. 18. The flier was also left on parked cars in downtown Salida and residential neighborhoods on Aug. 18.

The image printed on fliers opposing the Salida Crossings development (below) distorts the original architectural rendering (above) to create a false representation of the development. The blue lines were added for comparison.

Attempts to determine the source of the flier have been unsuccessful, which raises the question of the flier’s legality.

Colorado law, specifically Colorado’s Fair Campaign Practices Act, states that a group of two or more natural persons that has a major purpose of opposing a ballot question and has made expenditures exceeding $200 is an “issue committee.” The act also requires an issue committee to register and file financial reports.

The number of fliers printed, color printing costs, mailing costs and miscellaneous expenses suggest that the anonymous individuals funding this campaign are required to register and file reports.

When the ballot question is a municipal issue, registration with the city clerk is required, but Deputy City Clerk Lynda Travis reported that no one has registered an issue committee opposing the Salida Crossings ballot initiative. Nonetheless, according to state law, anyone who helped put out the anonymous flier could be considered part of an issue committee and subject to state law regarding all contributions and expenditures.

Additionally, Colorado’s Fair Campaign Finances Act requires anyone who expends $1,000 or more per calendar year on “electioneering communications” to report the expenditures as well as the names of anyone contributing $250 or more.

Former mayor Jim LiVecchi, along with former city councilman Hal Brown, submitted the petition that forced the special election on the Salida Crossings development.

The registered political committee Our Town Salida, primarily funded by Steve Borbas, supported former mayor Jim LiVecchi and other candidates, all of whom were defeated by greater than a 2-1 margin in the November 2017 election. However, Our Town Salida filed an end-of-election termination report Nov. 14 and is no longer a legal political committee.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that those against this housing development seem willing to say anything to stir up controversy, but it was approved by the last city council,” said Mayor P.T. Wood. “One wonders, if the opposition had won, if they would be so against it. It’s like they are taking out their rage on one structure.”

Ark Valley Voice examined 14 of the flier’s claims for accuracy and found them to be false and, in one instance, libelous.




“These apartments are not for rent.”


These condominiums  not apartments  will be for sale. According to the developer, Duane Cozart, 30 percent of currently registered buyers intend to offer their units as long-term rentals.

“These apartments are not affordable to low-income workers of Salida.”


Phase I units will be for sale at $134,900, meaning they are within affordability for workers earning 64 percent of the area median income (a qualifying income of $30,160). Exact unit costs for future phases are unknown at this point because construction delays caused by the special election are driving up costs. Phase II and beyond calls for condo prices affordable to between 64 and 120 percent AMI ($30,160-56,550).  

“If you are looking for an investment property, these are a bad deal for you. … These are the least desirable units properties on the market when they are new.”

This is neither true nor false, as there is no way to gauge the accuracy of this statement.

The answer to either of these claims is entirely subjective; what is a valuable investment for one person may not be for another buyer. Given the limited availability of real estate.

The Salida Crossings project is a 146unit development.


The Salida Crossings project is designed for 122 residential units plus commercial retail space that will enhance the city’s tax revenue.

“These apartments are dark and depressing inside.”


The contemporary building design includes ample natural light. Otherwise, since the structure is not yet built, there is no basis for this statement.

The elevators are likely to stop working.”


Elevators are regulated by the state of Colorado and registered with the state. Elevators are regularly maintained and inspected for complete compliance with Colorado conveyance regulations.

“These condominiums will depreciate in value.”


Buildings constructed under current building codes are no more likely to depreciate in value than any other new construction in Chaffee County.

“These buildings are very likely to rapidly decay.”


These buildings will be constructed under strict city and county building codes, using higher quality materials than the code requires.

“Ill-maintained and poorly-designed buildings like this become dangerous places.”


The buildings were designed by licensed professionals. Building maintenance is overseen by city code and the Chaffee County Board of Health.

“The most desperate people live here.”

The answer depends upon your definition of “desperate.”

With more than 2,400 families with incomes at 60 percent AMI living in Chaffee County, many without adequate housing, the likelihood of significant vacancy is low.

“There is very little green space …. This would be a terrible place to be a child. This is a grim place to live.”


The developer is required by city code to pay an open space fee of $2,000 per unit ($244,000). The development has an interior courtyard with three fire pits, several barbecue grills and a 3,600squarefoot dog park. Salida has public parks, trails and open spaces.

“This development adds to the accelerating rising housing costs overall, at least initially. … Meanwhile affordable rental housing will be even more scarce than it is now if this project is built.”


The 2016 Chaffee County Housing Assessment indicates the need for more housing and a variety of housing options. Salida Crossings provides a variety of housing options, including ownership and rental opportunities.

“Did city council members receive special under-the-table payments from the developer in exchange for voting to pass this project?”


The implications of this question are not only unsupported by factual evidence but are also potentially libelous.

“Only one person stands to benefit from this project – the developer.”


The 2016 Chaffee County Housing Assessment calls for the addition of all forms of affordable housing, requiring the participation of both public programs and private investment. The beneficiaries of this project range from local service industry workers who can afford to purchase a condo to local employers who can attract employees by offering affordable rent.