Tuesday’s Salida City Council meeting included the second reading and public hearing for Ordinance 2018-14 to amend Salida Municipal Code Chapter 16 regarding inclusionary housing.
Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen said proposed amendments to the code and changes since the first reading have to do with incentives to encourage developers to build more affordable housing.
Van Nimwegen discussed proposed changes to the ordinance since the first reading but also pointed out that Chaffee County Planning Manager Jon Roorda had recently expressed concerns about the ordinance on behalf of the Board of Chaffee County Commissioners. He said the concerns relate to the city’s intergovernmental agreement with the county.
During the public hearing about the ordinance, Read McCulloch, executive director of Chaffee Housing Trust, said, “Overall, I really like what’s been developed in a short amount of time.”
Rob Treat, Chaffee County Planning Commission representative on the Salida Regional Planning Commission, said, “I think the county really needs to be involved in this. … If you’re within the municipal service area and you’re required to annex into the city limits, you’re basically under the same requirements as the city.”
Treat said he had “never heard of what’s going on here” and “would like to have some discussion about this … especially if you’re going to have a municipal agreement with the county. … I don’t even think the commissioners are aware of what’s going on … I’m just speaking for myself.”
Chaffee County Planning Commissioner Karin Adams said, “I think it ties in with so many of us being caught blind-sided.” After 50 years in the real estate business, Adams said the lack of shared knowledge about the proposed changes makes for an awkward situation.
“I don’t know how many developers or builders are fully aware of this. We’re all busy people … so I think when we heard this is the second reading, we’re going, ‘What happened to the first? What is this about?’”
Adams concluded that she would endorse tabling the ordinance until the county and other people affected by the proposed changes were better informed.
After closing the public hearing, Mayor P.T. Wood said he believes the proposed ordinance would “level the playing field. … We’re already going to ask for 12½ percent affordable units for any annexation, and we’ve been doing that.”
“I think we’re going a little fast,” said Councilman Mike Bowers. “I think this is probably going to be an important enough issue that we do want to probably include the county and some realtors. … There seems to be communication lack. … I’m not quite ready to vote and pass this. … I would like to see it continued until after the first of the year.”
Bowers ultimately made a motion to continue the ordinance until Jan. 8, 2019, but failed to get a second for his motion.
Councilman Dan Shore said, “I have no issue whatsoever in slowing down on this. I’m a little concerned that waiting till January might be a little too long. … We have had a lot of developer input up until now, but I think, given how many changes were made between the last meeting we had and now, I would love to have another public meeting” to provide opportunities for interested parties to “weigh in.”
Shore made a motion to continue the discussion and public hearing on the ordinance to Oct. 2. Councilman Justin Critelli seconded the motion.
Councilwoman Cheryl Brown-Kovacic expressed surprise “to hear people say that they hadn’t heard about this. The planning commission did invite all of the developers in the area. … We have been doing this with annexations for a long time now, and we’ve been talking about this ordinance for well over a year.”
Mayor Wood mentioned the possibility of addressing the proposed ordinance in a work session prior to the date that the hearing would be continued.
The motion passed unanimously.