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Dear Editor,

I am writing as a member of the Alliance for Responsible Rural Growth, a group of Salida community members and neighbors, opposed to the annexation and rezoning of the Upchurch property on the outskirts of the City, off of CR 140.  There appears to be a misperception as to our thoughts on the inclusionary housing/affordable units on this property.  Let me set the record straight.

We are not against inclusionary housing.  If Mr. Upchurch wants to build such dwellings, he should build as many as he wants.  Presently, he has proposed building the bare minimum to meet the city standards of 12.5 percent.  We support Mr. Upchurch’s willingness to fulfill the City’s requirement for inclusionary housing.  We also think this small amount will not go very far in meeting the need.  We support his recent proposal to build some workforce housing as long as there are standards and procedures in place to ensure it remains workforce housing.

What we oppose is high density.  High-density housing does not guarantee affordability or low-income housing; it guarantees profits for the developer.  We believe that because the property is presently in the County, it should keep its rural feel and there should be a transition buffer area between the City and the County.  County houses are on all sides of this property except the Angel View development, which apparently has no inclusionary housing and it is in the city.

If the Upchurch property is annexed into the city, we are urging the City to approve R-1, low density, single-family detached dwellings with a variance that allows the building of the 5 inclusionary units and 6 workforce units that were proposed by the developer in the application considered by the City Council during their last meeting.  The County Commissioners and the City Planning Commission have heard our concerns and have both recommended R-1 to the City Council.  Now it is up to the City Council to make its final decision.

Ann S. Daniels