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During the April 26 Salida Planning Commission Regular Meeting, they recommended the approval for the concept for the Chaffee County Community Foundation’s “Jane’s Place” Housing Project with nine suggested conditions. The general purpose of the  hearing was to review and consider the applicant’s proposal for a four-building, 17-unit “community housing” development with a variety of dwelling types, as well as commercial and community space.

According to Community Development Director, Bill Almquist, the conditions are as follows:

  1. The applicant shall be responsible for installing a thermoplastic pedestrian crossing across Highway 291 and relevant safety signage (similar to that found roughly ¼ mile west of the site) in a specific location to be determined by Public Works Director and CDOT, prior to issuing a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for any of the buildings. The applicant shall also work with the City and CDOT to identify potential funding opportunities for a future signalized crosswalk in the same location.
  2. The engineered plan submittal shall include the roadway, utility, and drainage details and shall be submitted to Public Works for review and approval prior to processing of the development improvement agreement.

    Site of the proposed Jane’s Place Project. The site is at the eastern gateway to Salida at Hwy. 291 and West Third Street. Image by Brooke Gilmore.

  3. The project shall remain managed by the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA) or a similar organization focused on affordable/attainable housing. CHA is encouraged to include a land-use restriction on the property to provide housing for individuals earning between 20-200 percent AMI at rates no higher than 30 percent of the household income.
  4. No short-term rental licenses shall be allowed in the development.
  5. The total number of individuals housed in each building shall not exceed the city’s Fire Code requirements.
  6. The applicant shall provide a flexible recreational playscape or similar amenities to encourage play and outdoor activity for people of all ages in one of the open space areas on the site.
  7. The applicant shall work with city staff to identify other off-site parking options and access in the immediate vicinity that may accommodate patrons and employees (or provide an offset for residents’ vehicles) of the commercial aspects of the development and thereby reduce potential impacts on the surrounding area in a safe and effective method. Such parking would need to be paved and have a connection to the property via a sidewalk. Ample bike parking/racks shall also be included in the development.
  8. The development shall be exempt from fees-in-lieu for both Inclusionary Housing and the Fair Contributions for Public School Sites.
  9. System Development Fees shall be reduced or waived to the extent feasible, for instance by charging the amounts specified for Legally Restricted Affordable Housing.

Outline of proposed project. Image courtesy of the Chaffee County Community Foundation.

Jane’s Place Envisioned as Inclusionary Housing

The proposal is planned to go to City Council for first reading on May 18, with a second reading and public hearing scheduled for June 1. The Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF) requested a Major Impact Review to approve a Planned Development for a mixed-use project on a .46-acre parcel located at the southwest corner of Highway 291 and West Third Street.

The project proposes four buildings including 17 housing units and 1,375 square feet of nonprofit and community collaboration space on the site, currently zoned commercial C-1. In the proposed model, CCCF will purchase the site, own the land in perpetuity, and ground lease that land to CHA through a 99-year lease.

The development, called “Jane’s Place” (in honor of the late Jane Whitmer), is proposed on property owned by Jane and her husband Ron Ferris.

Jane Whitmer was a lifelong champion for the Salida community and recognized the need for flexible housing solutions and a nonprofit hub. The original concept for elements of the development came from Jane herself before she passed away in mid-2019. Seasonal employees, visiting professionals, entry-level wage earners, families and individuals in crisis and AmeriCorps volunteers are the primary target population that Jane’s Place housing will serve.

Jane’s Place is envisioned as an innovative and one-of-a-kind development, combining multiple housing types together with a service provision, nonprofit incubator, and coworking center, as well as a social enterprise coffee shop.