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C Street entrance to Touber Building in Salida for access to City Council Chambers, Salida Police, Municipal Court and Public Health. Photo by Merrell Bergin

During the Salida City Council’s regular meeting on July 7, Salida City Council Approved on First Reading the rezoning and vacating of a section of East Crestone Ave; the first hurdles to be passed on the way to the construction of a multi-family workforce housing project.

Salida Planning staff outlined proposed ordinances to begin the possibility of an affordable housing project at West Third Street, M Street and East Crestone Avenue proposed by Chaffee Housing Trust.

During the Citizen Comment period preceding these presentations, five community members who had gathered outside, approached the podium individually to have their voices heard by the council.  Those speaking were all in opposition to the two ordinances.  Council also took into consideration a series of letters and emails (both for and against the proposal) as contained in the meeting packet.

After some questions from council members, they voted 5-0 to approve the first reading of Ordinance 2020-10, which will rezone certain property owned by the City of Salida from Single-Family Residential District to Medium-Density Residential District.

Following this action, Council approved by the same margin, Ordinance 2020-11 (as amended) which would vacate a portion of East Crestone Avenue at its intersection with West Third Street. The council then set the public hearing and second reading for both measures for August 4, 2020.

As previously reported by Ark Valley Voice, both of these initial ordinances have been under much public scrutiny.

Rezoning and street vacation are only the first steps in the project approval process. These first two ordinances set the stage for a potential of five to six affordable housing units, proposed to be built by the Chaffee Housing Trust on the corner of East Crestone Avenue between West Third and M Streets.

The intersection of E Crestone Avenue and 3rd Street (Photo by Taylor Sumners)

In the motion, as amended by City Council, any project derived from this rezoning and street vacation must be designated as an affordable housing project with the additional provision that existing road use would continue until project final approval.

The final provision at this stage (as suggested by the Salida Planning Commission) specifies roadway configuration “Option 2” for M Street, which slightly curves its layout to reduce the grade level and continue its use as a through street.