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On September 22 the Salida City Council met for their regular meeting where they hosted a Public Hearing for Resolution 2021-32 which approved the Subdivision Plat for West End Major Subdivision.

A major subdivision requires a recommendation from the city’s Planning Commission and final approval by the City Council. The applicant is requesting that City Council approve a 24-lot residential subdivision with an internal loop street, pedestrian easement/access connecting to CR 141 to the north, and other infrastructural improvements. The project will include five inclusionary housing units and the developer (Upchurch) is currently working to get bids for the project.

Proposed Upchurch annexation to Salida. Graphic courtesy Salida Planning Department

Action on Short Term Rentals

The City Council approved the First Reading of Ordinance 2021-15 which amends chapters 6 and 16 of the Salida Municipal Code concerning Short Term Rentals (STRs). The approval replaced the November 24, 2021 to July 20, 2021, amendments to the top of page four, as well as added the following sentence into section 6-6-20 G5:

“If such a property had a valid building permit for construction on or before July 20, 2021, and is unable to obtain a certificate of occupancy before June 1, 2022, such property owner may apply for an extension in writing to the City Administrator except for  extension — if such extension is granted — where the short term rental license is filed on or before June 1, 2023.”

A public hearing has been set for October 5, 2021.

Mayor Wood explained “this is a little unique; we’re doing this a little out of order to expedite getting through this mortarium. This will be going to planning and zoning (P and Z) and there will be a public hearing there. They will be making recommendations back to us, so I think it’s best for the council to just look at the structure of this. Don’t get too deep into the weeds on this one. Let P and Z have their shot at their public hearing, bring us the recommendation, and then we can get into the weeds on second reading.”

Community Development Director, Bill Almquist went on to make a presentation to the council with the following clarifications regarding the city’s current short term rental environment: On July 20, 2021, Council approved a 90-day moratorium on all new short-term rental licenses and asked staff to conduct analyses of existing conditions and code provisions and to solicit public input, in order to develop new policy options for consideration.

A survey of public perceptions regarding STRs was distributed online via a variety of channels between August 9 and September 3.

At the August 16 work session staff presented a handful of policy options to Council, along with a summary of preliminary survey results, to receive general direction on the types of policy proposals to bring forth.

Changes to Chapter Six of the Ordinance Include:

  • Refinement of the definition and requirements of and STR license “Applicant”
  • Clarification of application procedures and eligibility requirements
  • Proof of Chaffee County residency required for new licenses (out-of-county residents with existing licenses able to renew)
    • Potential exceptions for current owners and executed contracts for existing or new units permitted prior to July 20, 2021, provided license applications are filed on or before June 1, 2022
    • If such a property had a valid building permit for construction on or before July 20, 2021, and is unable to obtain a certificate of occupancy before June 1, 2022, such property owner may apply for an extension in writing to the City Administrator — except for that extension if such extension is granted the short term rental license must be filed on or before June 1, 2023.
    • Potential exceptions via future negotiated land use application processes (at Council’s discretion) where at least double the required amount of affordable housing units are being provided in a development
  • Establishment of caps on the number of STR licenses permitted in four separate non-residential areas throughout the city. These caps are for areas that currently do not have caps. The numbers provided were based from percentages of the existing units, therefore, the cap would not go up if, say, 100 new units were built. These caps are as follows:

    A map outlining non residential areas that are included in this ordinance. Image courtesy of the City of Salida.

    • C-2/Historic Downtown: 99 Total or 70 percent of existing units (currently 70)
    • Highway 291 Corridor: 100 Total or 35 percent of existing units (currently 48)
    • Industrial Corridor: 16 Total or 35 percent of existing units (currently 8)
    • Highway 50 Corridor: 46 Total or 70% of existing units (currently 4)

Changes to Chapter 16:

  • Refinement of the definition and review procedures for “bed and breakfast inn.” This would require a resident to live on the premises and more aligns with Airbnb’s original model. It provides more of a focus on an individual living in the home they are renting and providing at least one meal to their guests.
  • Clarification of review procedures for STRs in RMU, C-2, and C-1 zones
  • Clarification of posting requirements in STR units
  • Language regarding area-specific, non-residential caps and waitlist information
  • Creation of new parking standards for STRs
  • Establishment of a cap on the number of STR licenses permitted in any new development (max. 50 percent for more than 2 units on the same lot)

Councilmember Kasper raised a question on Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) and individuals being required to show proof of residency for future applications. “The managing representative of the LLC for instance would need to show that residency in order to qualify under these requirements,” explained Almquist.

Mayor Wood then commented, “I think a provision in allowing new development for those who negotiate for those SRTs licenses would be good.”

The Salida City Attorney, Nina Williams, went on to explain that this was included in the ordinance and states: “Exceptions to the residency requirements in this subsection (g) can be granted only upon City Council’s sole discretion related to a negotiated land use application process, such as annexation, planned development or subdivision, where the applicant is providing at least double the number of affordable housing units required by the inclusionary housing requirements in effect at the time of application, and pursuant to the terms and conditions imposed by City Council upon approval of the subject land use application.”

Wood then asked “what if I want to come in and build two units specifically for short-term rental. What can I give the city to ensure that I get those licenses?”

“Say I want to build 200, what do I have to give the city? What if I give the city 500 affordable housing units? Would it guarantee those licenses?” “Could I negotiate my own cap number if I’m willing to give the city this outrageous gift?” “I think there needs to be an avenue for that to happen.”

Williams explained, “To your point Mayor, the same language I used in this exception to the residency requirement; if I use that language and also repeat it in the next section as the caps.” The city plans to look at this language and send it to planning and zoning to potentially help benefit affordable housing.

To watch the full meeting, click here.