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During the Nov. 30 Salida City Council Work session, the main topic of discussion was the proposed adaptive housing development project that may be built on West Third Street and the corner of Highway 291. The Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF) and the Chaffee Housing Authority presented conceptual plans for the mixed-use development. It would include four adaptive apartments, four studio apartments and 10 one-bedroom apartments. There would also be a nonprofit and community space.

The initial concept for Salida Adaptive Housing proposed project at West Third St. and Hwy 291 in Salida. Image courtesy Robert Grether, Architect

The plan is to use a fourplex model which would allow for a public entity to replicate and scale in other areas. This means that people eligible for this housing could get mortgages for up to four units, which would allow a private party to live in one of the units while renting out the other three to help pay for the mortgage.

This kind of concept has been shown to build community wealth, roots, and social networks. There will be an onsite manager in the development to establish [a local] culture.

Executive Director of CCCF, Joseph Teipel, and Director of Housing Becky Gray presented the plan to the council.

“The biggest thing I can say about this project, aside from the fact that it’s very innovative and unique, is that we are working to not only purpose this project but we’re looking at how we set the stage for future impact with the models that we are looking at,”  explained Teipel.

Housing representatives in the county say this model would have a long-term impact on housing within Chaffee County and help to improve the housing shortage. This particular site has a legacy, as  [the late] Jane Whitmer previously held the same hopes for the site. The site is currently owned by Whitmer’s husband Ron (Ferris).

“We are so honored and excited to be partnering with both Ron and Jane’s circle of friends, but also with the broader community to elevate Jane’s legacy,” said Teipel. “Her impact, that continues to today may help build a community development that really represents Salida in the truest sense.”

“The revenue that is generated from the tenants in this project will go towards acquiring land for future projects,” explained Gray, noting that this will allow more affordable housing to be built throughout the county.

Gray added that they envision this approach carrying them into the future. Overall, the goal of the project is to ensure long-term community benefit.

The council went on to hear a presentation on the Holman Court planned development project and subdivision concept review. The 1.7 acre proposed project would be turned into an eight lot subdivision with duplexes on each lot. Council then received a presentation from a statewide Colorado group on light pollution and why adopting “Dark Skies” policies are important. The council along with Mayor Wood indicated they hope to work to assess Salida’s current light pollution and may possibly strengthen language around this subject concurrent with the land-use code (LUC) review, now in progress.

The council received the results on the Envision Chaffee recreation survey as well as an update on the all-lands recreation plan. The goal is to protect and preserve natural lands, sustain the economic benefits of the outdoor industry, and retaining multi-use experiences. Some 3,836 people participated in the survey from 41 different states.

Lastly, the council discussed ordinance 2020-12 which deals with filing campaign finance complaints and the changes the State of Colorado made to the process.

To watch the full work session, click here.

Featured Image: Salida Adaptive Housing project is jointly proposed by the Chaffee Housing Authority and Chaffee County Community Foundation. Courtesy image.