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Salida resident Jim Miller (right) speaks to attendees at the Future 50 Community Visioning Workshop in October. Miller serves on the Future 50 Community Leadership Committee (photo by Joe Stone).

Future 50 held its first Community Visioning Workshop in October and has organized multiple community engagement events for November as part of the process of creating a community-directed vision for future development along Salida’s U.S. Highway 50 corridor.

Four Walk and Talk events are slated for Wednesday, Nov. 7, followed by a Community Design Workshop Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 14-16, with an open house each evening.

Each Walk and Talk will provide opportunities to “walk along a section of Highway 50 and talk about what’s working and what’s not,” said Bud Tymczyszyn, program associate with Community Builders, which provides funding and professional expertise for the Future 50 project.

Tymczyszyn said all are welcome and that he especially hopes to see Highway 50 residents and business owners at these events, which will last about an hour and a half each.

The first walk will cover the stretch of highway from Walmart to Holman Avenue, and participants will meet at 9 a.m. at Silver Ridge Lodge.

The second walk will begin with participants meeting at 11 a.m. at Sacred Ground coffee shop and will include the segment of Highway 50 from Holman Avenue to G Street.

For the third walk, participants will meet at 2 p.m. at 50 Burger and look at the area between G and Milford streets.

Participants will meet at 4 p.m. at Salida Hotel, 785 E. Highway 50, for the fourth walk, which will cover the stretch of highway between Milford and Oak (Colo. Highway 291) streets.

The three-day community design workshop will include sessions at the SteamPlant annex – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Thursday, Nov. 15, and Friday, Nov. 16.

Tymczyszyn said these design sessions will involve working with a team of consultants, including an urban designer, two transportation planners, and a building and development specialist.

Based on the feedback from community members, the design team will develop strategies and ideas for the Highway 50 corridor, and those preferred by community members will be further developed, including concept drawings to help visualize the end result, said Tymczyszyn.

Each night, Future 50 team members will host a public open house from 5 to 7 p.m. and present concepts developed during the day. 50 Burger will host the open house sessions Wednesday, Nov. 14, and Thursday, Nov. 15. Soulcraft Brewing Co. will host the final open house Friday, Nov. 16.

A poster at the Future 50 Community Visioning Workshop asks, “What types of buildings feel most appropriate for the Highway 50 corridor in the future?” Big box stores, corporate chains and strip malls received negative responses while mixed-use buildings, apartments, townhouses and motels received positive remarks (photo by Joe Stone).

Tymczyszyn said October’s Community Visioning Workshop and other community engagement efforts have already produced good ideas that provide a framework for November’s Future 50 events.

The visioning workshop involved an open house format designed to encourage participation by attendees. Photographic maps of Highway 50 through Salida provided an overview of the area but also allowed citizens to place stickers indicating areas of concern.

Sticky notes and pens placed strategically throughout the room allowed people to respond to questions like, “What’s bad about driving on Highway 50?” and “What are some of the things you love about Highway 50?”

Jim Miller, who serves on the Future 50 Community Leadership Committee, spoke during the open house event:

“So often what government does impacts our business, and that can be a good thing or a bad thing. I’m hoping that the entire community will recognize that this can be a really good opportunity … and particularly for the businesses and the property owners on Highway 50.”

Miller said the leadership committee consists of 28 people with diverse backgrounds and includes Highway 50 property owners.

He thanked attendees for “showing up to give us your input because that’s where this starts, and this is just one meeting. This will be quite a lengthy process of trying to create the best vision. So far, nothing is really planned … so your comments and your opinions are really important.”

Miller also encouraged people to provide comments and ideas about the future of Highway 50 through the Future 50 website.

He said the Colorado Department of Transportation has committed to doing “some pretty extensive traffic studies … . That data will help us figure out the speed limit. … We’d like to do this with as much information as possible so that we can make the best possible decision.”

Miller concluded by saying that every member of the committee is approachable and happy to answer questions.

Future 50 Community Leadership Committee

• Francie Bomer, Member, Salida Planning Commission
• Cynda Green, Resident
• Drew Peternell, Attorney, Trout Unlimited
• Lori Roberts Executive Director, Salida Chamber of Commerce
• Harry Brull, BCG Consulting, Member, Salida Bike Club
• Rick Holland, Owner, Split Happens Bowling Center
• Joe Smith, Financier, High Country Bank
• Marjo Curgus, Owner, Del Corazon Consulting
• Kat McQuillan, Owner, Tenderfoot Health Clinic
• Jerry Potts, Property Owner, Hwy 50, Salida
• Philip Sterling, Owner, Amigo Motor Lodge
• Terry Deveney, Property Owner Roxy’s Bottle Shop
• Sam Mick, Resident
• Eric Ramsey, Marketing Director, Soul Craft Brewing
• Justin Veltri, Owner, Silver Ridge Lodge
• Kestrel Felt, Resident
• Jim Miller, Resident
• Donna Rhoads, President, SPOT
• Jennifer Visitacion, Founder, Moonstone Ventures
• Deborah Fields, Owner, D. Fields Design
• Bob Morasko, CEO, Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center
• Steve Riden, Architect, Riden Associates
• Rob White, Property Owner, Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Future 50 Project Management Team

• Christie Barton, Planner Chaffee County
• Glen Van Nimwegen, Community Development Director, city of Salida
• Kristi Jefferson, Planner, city of Salida
• P.T. Wood, Mayor, city of Salida
• David Lady, Public Works Director, City of Salida
• Jillian Sutherland, Director of Programs, Community Builders
• Tom Pokorny, Owner, Natural Habitats Design