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In a quiet session on Tuesday Dec. 6, the Salida City Council awarded contracts for professional services, followed by hearing Citizen Comments. Swift passage of multiple land use matters rounded out the meeting.

Image courtesy of the City of Salida.

City Awards Three Professional Services Contracts in Consent Agenda

Three contracts, with a not-to-exceed total of up to $325,000 were awarded. The first two contracts are cited as being contained within the 2023 approved budget, and the third was previously anticipated and estimated at $17,000 within the Administration’s 2023 budget.

  • Valerian, LLC will be engaged for up to $80,000 to help guide on-call planning and design services for the Parks and Recreation Department, outsourcing skills not currently available in-house.
  • Studio Seed, LLC will be contracted to provide planning and design services for the long-awaited South Arkansas River Sub-Area (SARSA) Master Plan for the city-owned, 100-acre “Vandaveer Ranch”. The price tag of this is capped at $210,000 including a contingency.
  • Magellan Strategies is a public opinion research firm specializing in measuring and understanding resident and voter opinion.  According to City Administrator Drew Nelson  there are two objectives for the survey project. “The first is to measure and understand why Salida voters supported or opposed ballot measures 2A, 2B, 2D, and 6A. The second objective is to educate and inform voters about having a Home Rule form of government, the process to get there, and measure support and opposition levels.”

The packet notes that “the cost of the surveys is between $16,000 and $35,000, depending on whether or not there are one or two separate surveys. The final cost will be determined once the questions have been formulated.”

Citizen Comment

Council members heard from multiple citizens regarding the Chaffee Housing Authority (story to follow), then received feedback on two passed ballot measures.

A former Salida resident, Devon Sasso (who has recently returned to live here) spoke about Nov. 8 Ballot Measures 2A and 2B. While understanding that the people have spoken on these two measures regarding short-term rentals, he said that these were “hasty solutions…won by narrow margins”.

Sasso then asked why short-term rental owners were being targeted and how the funds would be used. Later in the meeting, during a discussion of the related Ordinance 2022-24, City Administrator Drew Nelson pointed to the work packet, explaining the intended use of the 2A/2B funds, designated for the Housing Fund, created four years ago via Ordinance 2018-14.

Land Use, Zoning, and Other Matters

All of the following action items were passed with unanimous approval, moving towards a final reading and public hearing (or to adoption if previously passed).

  • Ordinance 2022-21 – 505 Oak Street Planned Development Passes Final Reading

The project for a 2.09-acre, planned development with 44 rental and for-sale units, includes six rental and two for-sale inclusionary housing units.

  • Paul and Rebecca Stringer Annexation – 1730 Holman Avenue – All Ordinances Pass Final Reading

Salida Planning Technician Franco Palumbo presented a package of four related ordinances, numbered 2022-22, 2022-23, 2022-55, and 2022-56. These cover a 0.17-acre parcel of land with the street address of 1730 Holman Avenue that will now be annexed to the City of Salida and zoned Commercial (C-1).

  • 2023 Community Grants Program Approved
Chaffee County Community Foundation

Logo courtesy Chaffee County Community Foundation

Betsy Dittenber, Executive Director of the Chaffee County Community Foundation presented its plan for administering Salida’s 2023 annual Community Grants program. With a proposed budget for Salida of $96,277, the council members also accepted a fee increase from two percent to four percent, recognizing the significant work effort required to vet, rank and award these grants. Applications are scheduled to open Jan. 9 with awards by April 30, 2023.

  • Resolution 2022-54 – Lundberg/Castro Annexation 601 and 745 Scott Street Passes

The joint application for annexation was approved as being “in substantial compliance with city and state statutes.” A public hearing is now set for January 17, 2023.

  • Ordinance 2022-24 – Implementing Ballot Measures 2A, 2B and Imposing Occupational Lodging Tax Changes Moves Forward

The Municipal Code amendments and tax changes reflecting “the will of the people” were approved by members of the council. They will be addressed again in a second reading and public hearing on Dec. 20, 2022. If approved then, the changes will take effect on January 1, 2023.

  • Ordinance 2022-25 – Substantial Modification Approved For Salida Crossings Planned Development, 1520 E. Hwy 50

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

Community Development Director Bill Almquist offered a slide presentation, summarizing the proposed modifications to the development plan.

John Diesslin and Kent Townsend representing the project owners, BC Investments LLC spoke briefly, addressing questions about the approximate number of bedrooms (150) and the related number of parking spaces (159).

It was noted that with the commercial units in the project, there is an offset between their daytime parking needs and those for residents who are working during the day, but need parking at night.

A conceptual review was heard twice: previously by members of the planning commission and city council on Oct.4, 2022 and again in a Salida Planning Commission public hearing on Nov. 8.

The project is now proposed to have reductions in both height and number of units (92). 72 condominiums are planned for the two mixed-use buildings and 20 newly incorporated townhomes with 24 deed-restricted units be listed between 100 percent AMI  to 140 percent AMI (instead of at 80 percent AMI as originally required), with eight at 100 percent AMI, eight at 120 percent AMI, and eight at 140 percent AMI, all located within the mixed-use buildings.

Almquist noted the significant increases in housing costs since this project was first proposed under different ownership five years ago. He said “the market today is at 200 percent of AMI”, and that 24 of 192 units will be deed-restricted at 100-140 percent AMI, implying that this project would still fill an important niche of housing the local workforce, largely in rentals.

The project now moves to the final reading and a public hearing on Dec. 20, 2022

The meeting concluded at 7:36 p.m. with the next session scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on December 20, 2022.