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As previously reported by Ark Valley Voice, the Salida City Council work session (normally scheduled for Mon. Oct. 3) moves to 5:00 p.m. Tues. Oct. 4 at in a joint session with the Planning Commission. The joint work session will be followed at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday by the usual meeting of the Salida City Council. The complete agenda and packet are here.

Proposed Major Amendment to the Salida Crossings Planned Development

Salida Crossings was originally approved as a three-building, 122-unit, mixed-use project on 3.15 acres of  U.S. 50 west of Hwy 291. Using the Planned Development process, the project was allowed additional density and building height in exchange for 30 affordable, deed-restricted units, greater setbacks, and street improvements.

In a letter submitted by Bernard Weber, Senior Project Manager for Salida Crossings another extension is sought along with a site redesign. According to the work packet, “the new owners have reconsidered the layout and viability of the project (given existing costs).”

The project has survived considerable controversy, a special ballot question, multiple delays, changes in concept and even new developers since its inception nearly five years ago. Most recently, on June 7, 2022, members of the city council heard a request for a timeline extension, which was granted after a public hearing. Under the terms of the extension, “The applicant shall submit building permit applications for Building A by October 14th, 2022.” Apparently, that date will not be met.

Salida Crossings Site Plan, 2017 versus 2022. Image courtesy BVD Investments and Phelps Engineering

According to Salida Community Development Director Bill Almquist, the new proposal:

  • Reduces the number of mixed-use buildings to two;
  • Reduces the number of floors on each of the mixed-use buildings to three
  • Reorients those two mixed-use buildings on the site, along with the required parking;
  • Reduces the total number of units from 122 to 92 (72 condos, 20 townhomes);
  • Proposes 20 townhomes/rowhouses towards the back of the site;
  • Proposes 23 deed-restricted inclusionary housing units (25 percent of all units, consistent with the percentage from the original approval) on the site;
  • Proposes a mix of AMI levels (between 100 percent AMI and 140 percent AMI) for affordability between deed-restricted units, instead of all at or under 80 percent AMI, as originally approved (to meet the current variety of affordable housing need, and to increase the likelihood of qualifying buyers of the for-sale units);
  • Adds a significant amount of landscaping and trees above what was originally approved.

Proposed Rezoning of Certain Riverfront Lots Within the River Ridge and Dutch Run Subdivisions

The owners of Lots 15-21 of the River Ridge Subdivision, plus Lots 1 and 2 of the Dutch Run Subdivision are requesting rezoning of said lots to Medium-Density Residential (R-2). Their reason: to allow for a greater variety of housing within that area, including detached single-family housing across more than one lot.

The technicalities of how this proposal came to be brought forward are contained in the work packet. According to the staff memo:

“Staff had already contemplated the need for a zoning “cleanup” of this area, especially given the split-zoning, and agrees with the applicants that less dense construction could be an appropriate use in these locations along the river, for reasons stipulated by the applicants.”

The memo concludes “although the need for density has become greater given the current housing crisis, the configuration, size, access to, and specific location of these individual lots along the river make higher density much more difficult to achieve and perhaps even inappropriate.”

Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trail (PROST) Advisory Board Appointments Discussion

Jessica Downing, representing the PROST advisory board, will present the current applicants to the PROST advisory board. After a recent evaluation of ten candidates, the PROST Board sorted the applicant into three tiers; four from tier 1 will be on hand for interviews. Council members may choose to select three of the four candidates for formal appointment during the council meeting that follows or they may continue the selection process at a future work session. The four  applicants are:

  • Rob Simpson
  • Jon Terbush
  • Stacey Falk
  • Jess Smith

Update to Proposed 2023 Budget

The final item on the work session agenda, Finance Director Aimee Tihonovich will present proposed updates to the 2023 budget, which arose since the last budget work session on September 19. The updates have been reviewed by the City Administrator and City Treasurer. Tihonovich will discuss four public works and major capital items where the project spend will not be completed in 2022 and needs to roll over to 2023.

In addition, Tihonovich will outline Updated Cost/Revenue Adjustments totaling $379,000 representing a fraction of the overall budget. Staff notes that the cost estimate for the planned new Salida Fire Station is still not in hand. Since costs of the project are offset and net to zero by debt proceeds and other financing sources, there is no direct impact to the budget.

If no estimate is available at the time of budget adoption (currently planned for October 18, 2022), a placeholder of $15 million will be used. Annual debt service amounts in subsequent years ARE tied to the final price tag and will be budgeted accordingly in 2024 and beyond.

Work Session meetings are open to the public and participants may choose to attend in person at 448 East First Street, Room 190 or participate virtually via Go To Meeting. To attend the Work Session live, please register at the following link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Work Sessions and Council meetings are recorded and may also be watched in real-time on the City of Salida YouTube Channel.

Featured image: Salida Crossings Proposed Site Plan as of Oct. 4, 2022. Image courtesy of BVD Investments and Phelps Engineering