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Ordinance and Resolutions Pass Unanimously

At their regular meeting on May 2, the Salida City Council (SCC) considered and passed on final reading Ordinance 2023-05, establishing criteria for small cell facilities.

Resolution 2023-22, establishing fees for cell facilities; Resolution 2023-23, for the seasonal pedestrian plaza on F Street, including laying out procedures for businesses to apply for outdoor liquor licensing; Resolution 2023-24, setting development service rates for collecting Inclusionary Housing In-Lieu Fees; and Resolution 2023-25, allowing camping in Marvin Park for FIBArk contestants all passed with no material discussion.

Enlivening the F Street Pedestrian Plaza

During consideration, the only matter that engendered much in the way of discussion was Resolution 2023-23 regarding the F Street Pedestrian Plaza. After Mayor Dan Shore invited him to address the Council, Treasurer Merrell Bergin, doffing his city elected official’s hat, moved to the public lectern and responded as a private citizen and 18-year resident of downtown Salida.

Bergin made made the case for allowing small carts offering handheld foods to operate on F Street during the seasonal F Street Plaza. “I’m trying to think of new things to do,” he explained. “After three years, the concept [of the F Street Plaza] is a little tired, so we should add some new things. I think encouraging new entrepreneurs (particularly young people), is a good way to go.”

New Salida Community Stage in 200 block of F Street was underutilized in 2022, leaving that block looking empty. Merrell Bergin photo

“I want to remind people of the hot discussions we had with brick and mortar [restaurant and bar] businesses [about food carts],” said council member Harald Kasper. He continued: “The [F Street Plaza] is underutilized – food carts would not be a real competition to restaurants offering sit-down meals. I’m hoping perspective has changed [since last year].”

Discussion then turned to how one specific clause in the current resolution would have to change to allow for independent food cart operators, operating under a permit and purview granted to the F Street business owners themselves.

While the majority of council members visibly appeared to support Bergin’s justification, “Let’s do a little outreach to business owners,” suggested council member Dominique Naccarato. “Are we tabling [a decision] for the night?” asked Bergin. “I recommend approving as is,” said City Administrator Drew Nelson: “We can amend it later.” Council member Alisa Pappenfort made the motion to approve, and the motion carried unanimously.

In other business, Mayor Dan Shore read proclamations recognizing May 14 as Arbor Day, and May, 2023 as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Council and Mayor Reports

Council members reflected back on citizen comments from resident Jim Miller and Sackett Avenue bar owner TW “Chief” Winston about perceived parking issues around town. In addition they heard a complaint by Stephen Young of [unforeseen] discrimination against people with disabilities for placement at temporary worker housing in the City’s Safe Outdoor Spaces (SOS) program at Centennial Park last year.

Council member Kasper also announced that he would soon be moving a few hundred feet outside of the limits of Ward 3 to county land, but offered to carry out his term to its limit in 2025 if allowed.

Featured image: Amicas Pizza expanded table seating onto F Street in 2020 with new awnings and planters. Merrell Bergin photo