Starting at 6:00 p.m. on Monday August 15 the Salida City Council will conduct its next work session discussing Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment candidates, the ArtSpace survey, and concepts for Salida Public Works improvements to Poncha Blvd. The full meeting packet is here.
Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment Candidates
Leading off the agenda, Franco Palumbo from the Planning Department will present council members with information from two prospective applicants for a single open position on the Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment. Brian Colby is currently an alternate member and Laura Wancura Atwood has also expressed interest.
After considering the applications, an appointment for one of the candidates will be made during the regular City Council meeting, on Tuesday, August 16.
Feedback Sought for Poncha Boulevard Preliminary Design
Public Works Director David Lady will present concept designs as prepared by city consultants, SEH Engineers for the continuation of improvements along Poncha Boulevard, an important and historic Salida thoroughfare. Improvements along the roadway from H Street to Fifth Street were completed in 2021.
Concepts are to include the addition of bike lanes, a detached sidewalk, and multiuse path, intersection improvements, stormwater enhancements, and greenspace improvements. Similar upgrades are proposed beginning at Fifth Street and extending to Holman Avenue.
According to the city, this phase is intended to provide traffic calming, improve the user experience for bikers and pedestrians, and enhance the town’s aesthetics and tree canopy. Landscaped pockets along the golf course property and Thonhoff Park are proposed by the city as well as providing parkway strips where property owners would be encouraged to utilize the City’s adopt a tree program.
Artspace Presents Results of Space To Create Market Survey Findings
Of keen interest to the public, the nonprofit organization known as Artspace will present the results of the Space to Create (S2C) Market Survey Findings.
As reported by Ark Valley Voice, the online survey collected data to determine the size and nature of the market for an Artspace affordable, mixed-use live/work project in Salida. The survey captured challenges and opportunities facing creatives in Salida – Colorado’s second oldest Creative District.
The top five needs identified by creatives responding to the survey are:
- Workforce/Live Work Housing
- Shared Creative Space
- Private Studio Space
- Public Engagement/Community Space
- Performance Space
Artspace identified the vacant apartment block at 102 D Street (now owned by the city and soon to be demolished) as an attractive potential site for a 20-30 unit, mixed-use, affordable housing project to address the #1 need for workforce housing. The adjoining city-owned parcel at 233 East First St. was also suggested as being ideal for creative commercial spaces. Both sites might bring such a project to reality in a shorter timeframe and make a logical connection with the existing Creative and Historic Districts.
While there are many financial and other obstacles to overcome, the momentum already underway is a good start. The risk of inaction stated in the survey parallels what other housing-burdened Salida residents also face:
“Seventy-five percent of those who are permanent residents of Salida have considered leaving, and 100 percent of them would stay for the opportunity to have affordable live/work housing.” Creative endeavors (and their patrons) are recognized by the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT) as being a powerful economic driver. And, “Colorado ranks number one in the percentage of residents who personally perform or create artworks, according to the National Endowment for the Arts’ Participation Study.”
Together with the long-recognized local tourism industry, both are critical to rural-mountain economies, creating sales tax revenues in the retail, food and accommodations sectors that make up the majority of Salida’s revenues.
Council members will be asked to provide guidance to Artspace on their recommendations to:
- Proceed to a Predevelopment Contract to secure site control and funding sources
- Begin solidifying project concept and financial resources for a Space to Create project
Potential Predevelopment Funding Sources:
- DOLA: Energy Impact and/or REDI Grant $300,000
- Boettcher Foundation $250,000
- Gates Family Foundation $50,000
- Colorado Creative Industries $50,000
Those wishing to attend either in person or to the online webinar, must register for the City Council Work Session.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.