WELCOME to Monday and the week ahead. There are 12 local shopping days till Christmas.
In the Monday Briefing you’ll find notes on the upcoming demolition of the “Motorway” building at Sixth Street and Hunt Avenue … a proposed emergency moratorium on short-term rentals in Alamosa and the city’s ongoing efforts to create more housing opportunities … new USDA State Director Armando Valdez as Adams State’s Fall Commencement Speaker … and, ICYMI, a change of hands with some downtown railroad property.
Motorway demolition set
THIS is the end of the line for the Motorway building on Sixth Street by the Colorado Welcome Center. The Alamosa County Marketing & Tourism office
has hired Cooley and Sons Excavating to tear down the old structure, and preparation work for the demo will begin this week.
The decrepit building is approximately 9,609 square feet and has been used primarily for equipment and material storage, according county specs. It sits south at Sixth Street and Hunt
Avenue. The county’s local marketing district board approved an RFP for demolition earlier this
year and Cooley and Sons got the job.
The demolition is the first step to make way for the new Cranes in Flight public art exhibit and landscaping project. We can expect ongoing community improvement developments in 2022 and into 2023 along this corridor.
Alamosa considers emergency moratorium
on new short-term rentals
ON Wednesday, the Alamosa City Council will look to adopt on first and second reading an emergency ordinance to place a moratorium on new short-term rentals. Earlier, the council passed on a proposed ordinance to restrict short-term rentals and instead asked the city staff led by Development Services Director Rachel Baird to regroup.
The City Council resisted an initial proposal that created “buffer zones” as a way to regulate the number of short-term rentals in a particular area of the city. Baird and the city’s planning and development staff will revisit the strategy, form a citizens advisory group to assist it, and come back to the City Council in 2022 with a new proposal.
Colorado House Bill 1271
and its influence on municipalities
THE Alamosa City Council at its meeting Wednesday also will vote on an ordinance that amends the city’s Unified Development Code to allow for housing options like “Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs, otherwise known as casitas, granny flats, etc.), townhouses in established neighborhood zones, among other strategies.
A major motivating factor for the timing of the city amendment is House Bill 1271, adopted in 2021 by the Colorado Legislature. It opens up $500 million to cities to help create more housing options, and actions like amending Alamosa’s Unified Development Code will help the city in its HB1271 funding application.
“There has to be a commitment from local governments to be willing to examine your land use codes and your master plans and see what unintended or intended impediments to housing there are,” City of Alamosa Development Services Director Rachel Baird told Alamosa Citizen of HB1271. “Communities that aren’t going through the process of updating their codes, they’re not going to be as competitive for the 1271 grants.”
According to city documents the ordinance does the following:
- Opens up more options for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs, otherwise known as casitas, granny flats, etc.) by relaxing the minimum lot and size standards.
- Changes certain density calculations and standards, by exempting ADUs from density calculations and adding a density bonus for certain affordable housing developments.
- Allows accessory structures to be up to two stories instead of one if it includes an ADU
- Reduces the minimum lot size and width for duplexes.
- Allows townhouses in the Established Neighborhood zone.
- Reduces the separation requirements for cottage cluster (tiny home) development in certain zones.
Armando Valdez gives Fall Commencement
address at Adams State
ARMANDO Valdez, recently appointed state director for USDA Rural Development, will deliver the Fall Commencement at Adams State on Saturday. The university is graduating 88 students with bachelor’s degrees. Another 147 students will receive an associate degree.
Valdez has been an assistant professor of management at Adams State’s business school. In October he was appointed by President Biden to serve in the state USDA Rural Development role.
He has a family ranch in Conejos County that Alamosa Citizen wrote about recently for its riparian restoration efforts.
Finally, ICYMI earlier
FRIDAY Health secures parking for growing downtown workforce: Friday Health secured 1.839 acres of railroad property off Sixth Avenue for $500,000 as part of its effort to establish downtown parking for its growing workforce. Friday Health worked the deal through William A. Brandt, trustee for the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad in U.S. bankruptcy court.
“We will use it as a parking lot and for our employees to support the new building,” Friday Health CEO Sal Gentile told Alamosa Citizen on Friday. “We will share it with the City during our off hours.”
Friday Health is planning to build a second building on San Juan between Main Street and Sixth Street. The construction project is expected to start in 2022. Until the new building is ready, Friday Health has been renting other office space around Alamosa to house its employees. It recently leased 14,000-square-feet at Villa Mall and currently has around 300 employees in Alamosa.