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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, on CR 140.  There appears to be a misunderstanding regarding our supposed concerns regarding the inclusionary housing and affordable units on this property.

We are not against inclusionary housing.  It is our understanding that Mr. Upchurch wants to build such dwellings on the Upchurch property.  At this time, he has proposed building the bare minimum to meet the city standards of 12.5 percent.  We applaud Mr. Upchurch’s willingness to fulfill the City’s requirement for inclusionary housing and for his proposal for workforce housing.

Mr. Upchurch’s proposed zoning would result in high-density housing. High-density housing does not guarantee affordability, low income, or workforce housing. We would urge the city to undergo traffic studies directly regarding potential high-density housing in the Upchurch property. We are strongly requesting that the city approve R-1, low-density housing and include a variance that would allow 5-7 inclusionary and workforce units.

We hope that City Council considers the recommendations from the City Planning Commission and County Commissioners to zone the Upchurch property R-1.

Dania Pettus