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Dear Community,

Please don’t sign a petition to prevent more affordable housing in Salida. We are in a housing crisis and we need to support developers who are building attainable housing for our workforce. Given the recent progression of several developments, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of the projects we’re excited to learn more about.

The development plans for Salida Crossings and 505 Oak St. are incremental steps forward, but they have the potential to make a world of difference to our city’s workforce. Each will include a proportion of deed-restricted units offered significantly below the current market AMI, which is currently around 80 – 160 percent for rentals. In layman’s terms, this is affordable housing!

People will be building homes and moving here no matter what we do. All we can do is make it easy to build in town and support developments that support our community and help retain our workforce.

To those who may not understand this perspective, consider the idea that higher-density living in-town has its benefits as well as drawbacks. Walkability in town decreases parking congestion, while more dispersed housing is much less supportive of public transit, biking, or foot traffic. Dense housing is also insulating, which not only lowers the costs of heating and cooling to occupants, it’s more environmentally friendly.

Conventional, large, detached lots and dispersed housing developments are challenging to maintain and make it more difficult to protect air and water quality, which in turn essentially forces cities to finance and maintain infrastructure for sprawled-out communities. Finally, high-density housing in town helps us to preserve the rural landscape we all value so highly.

We don’t want the drive from Salida to BV to look like Denver to Castle Rock, do we?

The housing crisis is essentially a supply and demand issue. To put it simply, we need more supply. Salida requires around a thousand new units to meet the rising tide of the housing crisis, right?

Well between these two projects, we’re at over 140 [units] that’s 14 percent of the need met at no cost to taxpayers just in the coming year! We understand what this area means to everyone and how much we all want to protect it, but the fact is- growth is happening, it’s already here. All we can do is shape it to our best interests.

What kind of housing will we build? Who will it serve? Will it help to house our workforce, those of us who were deemed so “essential” over the last few years? Or will it only attract more money, more second and third home buyers, more of what helped to put us here in the first place?

These projects could be a major turning point in the city’s housing crisis, and we would like to thank the city staff and council for all of their incredible work on the matter.

Salty Riggs

BETCH President