, 2023-01-20 16:03:36,
Since the very beginning, there seems to have been controversy over the Vandaveer Ranch parcel in Salida; originally bought by the City of Salida for its water rights. What to do with the land (then) was an afterthought. It was the early 2000’s, housing and land were still affordable and available, and growth in Salida was hoped for and not yet a trend.
Now the property, which has gone through several name iterations, its latest being “South Ark Neighborhood”, is again at the center of a land use debate. The city is beginning the master planning process for the remaining portion of the original 190-acre parcel, located south of U.S. 50 and east of CR 107.
There are competing visions of what should be done. Some say it should be reserved for housing, others for education, others see a portion of it along U.S. 50 devoted to retail business. Still others want to see it put to various forms of recreational use, but don’t agree on what that might be.
A public meeting is planned for 5:30 p.m. to 7;30 p.m. Tuesday, January 31 at the Salida SteamPlant Ballroom to discuss the city’s master planning process.
While city planning has a vision that would include not just necessary open spaces, but an opportunity to add workforce housing near-in to the city center, another alternative vision is being promoted by a determined group of citizens, who see this as an opportunity to preserve open space.
There Have Always Been Competing Views for Use of this Land
The City of Salida purchased the 190-acre Vandaveer Ranch near the southeast corner of Salida in 2004 in order to obtain its water rights. The water rights were transferred, making the city’s grip on its water situation more secure, and the enterprise fund it represented solid.
In 2009, the Salida Natural Resource Center Development Corporation (NRCDC), a Colorado nonprofit corporation, was formed to handle financing for the construction of the Forest Service building on the Vandaveer Ranch without incurring taxpayer liability.
The move ensured that the construction debt didn’t sit on the city’s books….
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