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At their November 7 meeting, the Salida City Council (SCC) voted on Resolution 2023-47, finally approving the City’s 2024 budget, after a procedural error at a previous meeting; passed three Ordinances on first reading and set their public hearings; and bid farewells in their Council reports to outgoing Treasurer Merrell Bergin and members Mike Pollack and Jane Templeton.

Image courtesy of the City of Salida.

The meeting opened with citizen comment. Dennis Hunter, a veteran and past president of the local American Legion post, asked the SCC to donate $5,400 towards the cost of refurbishing a Vietnam-era tank at the veteran’s memorial in Poncha Springs.

Jim Miller condemned recent efforts to denigrate County Clerk and Recorder Lori Mitchell, saying that Mitchell “runs a darn solid election… we should all be proud of our election process.”

Salty Riggs seconded Miller’s comments, and asked, “whether [Ballot Question] 300 passes or not, can we stop talking about Short-Term Rentals? I want to thank you for being allies of the workforce. Can you make sure that the Planning Commission is also on the side of affordable housing – that they understand how imperative it is to get out of the housing crisis – please talk to them.”

After Mayor Dan Shore read proclamations declaring November as Native American Heritage Month and November 11 as Veteran’s Day, the SCC turned to holding the public hearing on Resolution 2023-47, which closed almost immediately with no public comment. Mayor Pro-Tem Justin Critelli moved to adopt 2023-47, and the motion passed unanimously.

Public Works Director David Lady made the presentation on Ordinance 2023-14, allowing for single-family residences “that would be suitable for annexation but can’t get to a municipal water source to use a private water source for development.” The SCC voted to approve on first reading and set the second reading and public hearing for the next council meeting on November 21.

Ordinance 2023-15, establishing the Sustainability Committee as a permanent advisory body to the SCC, also passed on first reading with a second reading set for November 21.

Community Development Director Bill Almquist and Studio Seed consultant Cheney Bostic introduced Ordinance 2023-16, approving a substantial modification to Vandaveer Ranch parcels, including the South Ark Neighborhood.

Almquist went through the master plan, which would allow for up to 400 housing units and gave a summary of permitted uses. Regarding “affordable” vs. non-income-based workforce housing, he said that 300, or 75 percent of units, would need to be deed-restricted, with 200, or 50 percent of units, needing to be in the “affordable” category, and deed-restricted for a minimum of five years. “There are three separate markets [for housing in the South Ark Neighborhood] – 25 percent of units will be non-income or market-based.”

Almquist went on to note that Short-Term Rentals (STRs) will not be permitted in the South Ark Neighborhood, but that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) will be allowed.

After questions from the SCC regarding market rates and the five-year deed restriction question, Council member Alisa Pappenfort made the motion to approve the first reading of Ordinance 2023-16, with amendments to be determined later, at a second reading and public hearing on November 21. The motion passed unanimously.

After Council reports, the SCC voted to go into Executive Session, for the purpose of “negotiating parameters and financial commitments regarding development of infrastructure in the South Ark neighborhood.”