What you need to know about the Salida Bottling Company

The Salida Bottling Company Development is coming up for a vote in November. Miss Information has some questions for Mayor Crutch, but she is not satisfied by the Mayor’s answers. Vote NO on 2D!

Here’s Mayor Jim LiVecchi 9-9-22 Letter to the editor in the Mountain Mail. (Double click on image to enlarge.) Vote NO on 2D.

Here’s a screenshot of a spreadsheet showing actual housing and utilities costs for the SBC inclusionary housing. (Double click on image to enlarge.) The assumptions are:

  • Freddie Mac says the average interest rate WE 9-22 is 6.29%
  • Property tax is 0.33% of assessed home value.
  • The bank charges mortgage insurance (insurance that you’ll pay your mortgage) if you have less than 20% down.
  • Homeowners insurance is $92 per $250k of property value.
  • Average homeowners dues are $200-300 per month.
  • Average utilites prices for Colorado. Includes electric, internet, gas, cable, and water.

You can see that, best case, the housing costs plus utilities would be 38% of the 120% Area Median Income’s (AMI) salary. Keep in mind the County’s affordability guidelines state that housing costs plus utilities must be less than 30% of income to be affordable housing. Vote NO on 2D!

Deed restrictions:

All four SBC “inclusionary” are deed restricted. The home resale value increase is limited to (usually) 1%/year owned. If housing market tanks, the homeowner goes underwater, owing more than the house is worth. If housing market surges, the equity gain is severely limited. Who gambles when you can lose, but can’t really win?

Buying a SBC inclusionary unit sounds like a bad investment to me.

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Questions abound!

1.) The square footage of the Salida Bottling Company (SBC) one, two, or three bedroom residential units has not been revealed by the developer. According to the Chaffee County Housing Authority, a two-person household earning $68,800 per year can only afford a home with 700 square feet. Is this how small are these units???

2.) The City of Salida has no Architectural standards. They can’t force SBC to build the “pretty” buildings they promise. Should SBC get approved will they build a bunch of square boxes???

3.) SBC says the Home Owner Associate (HOA) rules for the development will not allow Short Term Rentals (STR). But once the HOA is formed, they can change their rules to allow STRs.

Ironically, in March 2022, SBC developer, and recent Texas transplant, Eric Warner wrote to the Chaffee County Commissioners protesting the high density Timber Creek development near his own home. “Development begets Development” he says. Eric’s high density SBC development will encourage more high density development in Salida.

Eric’s letter in the link to County site

Council has no problem granting code variances for big developments like Salida Bottling Company and Salida Crossings. What happens when an ordinary citizen asks for a break after a mistake by the Salida City Planning Department?

Council fears tap fee waiver would open can of worms

  • by Sam Klomhaus Mail Staff Writer * Feb 20, 2019

Salida City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to direct staff to enter into an agreement with Tom LeBaron to pay a tap fee on a duplex that he said city staff didn’t tell him about until his project was nearly complete.

LeBaron requested a building permit for a single-family home remodel in August of 2017. LeBaron filed a plan change form with the Chaffee County Building Department in January, 2018. The new plan called for a kitchen to be added to the lower unit.

Because the new plan would make the unit a duplex, a tap fee of $13,738 should have been charged to LeBaron. He said staff did not make him aware of the fee at the time

In October, according to a letter sent by LeBaron to city staff, he was preparing for final inspection of the project when he was informed of the tap fee.

LeBaron said he is looking to refinance on the property and the only way the lender will let him do that is if he is earning income from the second unit.

Council gave staff three options for negotiating with LeBaron:

• Pay the full fee in a payment plan (the code does not give a limit on a potential payment plan’s duration, city administrator Drew Nelson said);

• Turn one unit into an ADU (would cut the tap fee to $6,500, community development director Glen van Nimwegen said, which could be paid via payment plan);

• Or make the new unit affordable housing (reducing the tap fee by about 40 percent, van Nimwegen said, which could be paid back via payment plan).

Staff and LeBaron have 30 days to come to an agreement, council ruled.

LeBaron said if he had known about the tap fee, he would not have continued with the project as planned, and that he shouldn’t be punished for going through the process.

“It’s an after-the-fact charge,” LeBaron said.

Councilors Cheryl Brown-Kovacic, Dan Shore and Harald Kasper said waiving the tap fee would set a dangerous precedent for the city. Kasper noted the tap fee is public information and LeBaron could have found out about it another way.

Mayor P.T. Wood said the city can’t just ignore the fee because a mistake was made.

Councilor Mike Bowers recused himself because he is friends with LeBaron.

Check out the Salida Bottling Company mailer! Nearly fact-free!


Letter about the above mailer from the 10/25/22 Mountain Mail:

Here’s what the July 2022 Chaffee Housing Authority’s Housing Needs study says affordable housing prices should be at 120%, 140%, and 160% of Area Median Income (AMI). About $50k lower than SBC’s prices!

And that’s not including utility costs!

Letter from 10/25/22 Mountain Mail.

Here’s the latest Keep Salida Ghetto calculations, Salida Bottling Company prices, and the Chaffee Housing Authority “Housing Needs Study” compared. Click on image to enlarge.

Why does Eric Warner keep claiming that Salida Bottling Company is a local developer when they are incorporated in Houston, Texas?

articles of incoration.pdf (253.6 KB)

Article from 11/9/22 Mountain Mail, stating Salida voted down the Salida Bottling Company Development.

Despite enormous money spent by the SBC Developers, a hefty majority of Salidans saw through the hype and voted to maintain Salida’s small town character.

Salida City Council has budgeted $17,000 to place a Home Rule initiative onto a special election ballot in 2023. Passage would prevent citizens from petitioning for a referendum like 2D in the future.

The ability to bypass Council and ask for a direct vote by the people is an important protection from unpopular government overreach like the Salida Bottling Company Development.

Salida City Council is determined to take away this right and expand their own power at our expense.

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Dan Shore says, “…unfortunately we live in a democracy…”.

Shore clarifies his statement on Thursday. On Friday, November 11th, It’s no longer unfortunate that we live in a democracy.

Resident asks were political signs on public property?

  • by Brian McCabe Mail News Editor
  • Nov 29, 2022

Resident asks were political signs on public property?

Two signs promoting “Yes on 2D” sit in the parking lot at 323 W. First St. The city leases the property from Salida Bottling Company LLC for use as a parking lot

Salida resident Vince Phillips brought up a question about political signs on property leased by the city recently.

The property was leased by the city from Salida Bottling Company LLC for use as a parking lot and the signs in question “Yes on 2D” referred to a question on the November ballot.

He said he filed a complaint with Public Works Director David Lady, who said it was a code enforcement issue. Phillips forwarded the complaint to Salida Police Chief Russ Johnson but said he never heard back.

The Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act sets the rules government municipalities must follow during an election and allows some government actions, such as Salida City Council’s resolution supporting measures 2A, 2B and 2D to increase taxes on short-term rentals and approve the Salida Bottling Company development.

Some of the items not allowed include using public funds or supplies and “advertising using public property or funds to influence, directly or indirectly, the passage or defeat of any issue,” as stated on the Colorado Municipal League website.

That raised the question of whether political signs in favor of issue 2D, which were displayed on a lot being leased by the city on First Street between H and I streets, would be considered advertising on public property.

In 2019, with Resolution 2019-26, the city entered an agreement with Salida Bottling Company LLC to lease 323 First St. on a month-to-month basis for the purpose of public parking, for $2,200 a month.

Section 10 of the rental agreement, entitled “Signs,” states:

“Following Landlord’s consent, Tenant shall have the right to place on Lot any signs which are permitted by applicable zoning ordinances and private restrictions. Landlord may refuse consent to any proposed signage that is in Landlord’s opinion too large, deceptive, unattractive or offensive. Landlord shall assist and cooperate with Tenant in obtaining any necessary permission from governmental authorities or adjoining owners and occupants for Tenant to place or construct the forgoing signs. Tenant shall repair all damage to the Leased Premises resulting from the removal of signs installed by Tenant.”

“The referendum on 2D was always an uphill battle,” Phillips said. “The SBC developers had a significant financial incentive and poured money into a comprehensive advertising campaign, as was their right. By my estimate, we were outspent 20:1, but still managed to gain majority support for our ‘NO on 2D’ message.

“The actions of the City of Salida were another matter. Elected officials and public employees are not supposed to use public assets to advocate for one side in an issue like 2D. I believe that use of the city-rented parking lot for advertising YES on 2D was such an abuse. Further, citizen Dan Shore is able to advocate for 2D all he wants. ‘Mayor Dan Shore’ cannot. Yet most of the ‘YES on 2D’ advertising created by the SBC developers contained ‘endorsed by Mayor Dan Shore.’

“Government officials must not exempt themselves from following the laws they enforce on the rest of us. And shouldn’t City Council now reconsider whether the densified Salida of their dreams is what the people want for the future of Salida?”

The Mountain Mail was unable to contact City Administrator Drew Nelson.

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The emails below are from the SBC architect and employee in South Carolina. Sour grapes.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kenny Craft kenny@craftdesign-studio.com
To: xxxxx@aol.com xxxxx@aol.com
Sent: Wed, Nov 9, 2022 11:25 am
Subject: A Cork in the Bottling Company

This message is for Vince .
( Please pass it along )

Vince,

Congratulations on stopping the Salida Bottling Company project at 1st Street.

You have managed to manipulate enough voters with mis-information to go against the Approval of the City Council Board Members, and the Mayor. You must be proud. The City Council Members and the Mayor were voted on by the people, to carefully consider incoming projects, balance pros and cons, and make decisions on behalf of the people. Right? Do you not believe in that system? Ironic that the people voted them in, but you apparently don’t actually trust them to make decisions.

So, it looks like you’re in charge of the Town now. Congratulations. What do you want to do now…? You’re the boss. Should we just let all development happen outside of town, so we can have Suburban Sprawl, more traffic, auto-dependent residents. Should we put a bubble around downtown, and let it be a historical time capsule of the way things used to be with no change…? Should we let the crappy cheap Condos get built around town with no oversight…?

Your shortsightedness, and mis-guided leadership has succeeded in undermining the due process of government. Good luck getting other high-quality, passionate, committed Developers to invest in Salida in the future… You just put a stop to that… No way a Developer is going to take the risk of proposing something “interesting”, different, cutting edge, exciting… Now they know, if Vince Phillips doesn’t approve, then we’ll just send around some half-truths, get a referendum going, and overturn the City Council and Mayor again…. Congratulations…

I know perhaps you had good intentions… But you really have no idea what you’ve done.

You’re getting old. So am I. This Town is not about you anymore. It’s not about me either… It’s about future generations. There may be progressive new ideas out there that you don’t understand… Doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

The ideas and concepts (and the quality of design) proposed at the Bottling District represent years of recovered Urban Planning and Architecture knowledge. It was not your typical, crappy, cheap run of the mill Development that gets approved around town everyday… This was something special. Already on track to be an award winning Development with a quality of new construction that Salida hasn’t seen. Around the country this type of development has won awards, and now people travel just to experience and study what was accomplished. You put a stop to that.

The hardest part about this debacle is that you thought you were doing something good for Salida…

You didn’t even bother to attend the SIX Public hearings where you would have had a chance to learn about the project, the ideas, the concepts, share your ideas, etc.… You might have seen, after the Planning Department gave approval…, that they even called it an “example of what we should see more of in town”… You might have understood that the Developer compromised by agreeing to not two, but four Deed Restricted Affordable Units… (desperately needed). But you didn’t bother to attend. You thought you knew better… And you lead everyone else to believe that you knew better also…

So, it looks like you’re in charge of the Town now… Good luck.

Sincerely,

Kenny Craft


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Hoenes mhoenes1@gmail.com
To: xxxxx@aol.com
Sent: Thu, Nov 10, 2022 6:03 am
Subject: for Vince

Vince,

Ditto everything Kenny Craft said. He had some very good points, but the most damning of all is that you’ve essentially steered future good development away from the city of Salida; having never cared to invest any time at the public hearings. ‘Thou dost protest too much’ without knowing what it is you protest.

You are an unfortunate breed.

Regards, Mike Hoenes

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Officials must be wary of issue involvement

  • by Merle Baranczyk Mail Editor and Publisher
  • Dec 2, 2022

Officials must be wary of issue involvement

Salidan Vince Phillips makes a point regarding the propriety of a sign promoting passage of the Salida Bottling question on the Nov. 8 ballot.

State statutes are clear on use of public funds or property to influence passage or defeat of any political issue or question.

During the recent election, a sign on the West First Street parking lot leased to the city urged passage of 2D, the Salida Bottling proposal. While the city does not own the property, the lot is under lease to the city and therefore under city control.

City officials may not have paid for the sign or placed it on the lot, but by allowing the sign on property it leases, the city was in violation of the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.

Mr. Phillips also noted that advertising supporting 2D also stated that the project was endorsed by Salida Mayor Dan Shore. The FCPA stipulates that government officials, whether elected or staff, cannot in their official capacity publicly support or oppose an issue or question.

The mayor did not place the ads or pay for them. But he did allow his name and his official position to be used for a political purpose.

The reason behind the campaign act’s restrictions is to prevent public funds and property from being used in support of or opposition to a political question or issue.

Going forward, the message to city and other government officials who may have a role in future political issues or questions is to be aware of campaign laws and wary of their potential direct or indirect involvement.

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