Tiny homage....

In as much as I am an excited supporter of the Tiny Home concept, I cannot with any self esteem support the proposed planning here in Salida. Hello? Can you say STINKS??? I realize coming from a place of little involvement does not exactly qualify me to say anything, but the only plot of land available for this project is next to sewage treatment? Must be frustrating. Must be disheartening. But for the love of Pete, HOLD THE BUS! Has any one of the planners sat south of treatment in the dead of summer? How can ANY one of you with ANY conscience allow this project to go forward. Really? In my opinion, this is just another RAPING of a perfectly decent idea, laced in good intention, cloaked in a thin veil of actual caring, and ultimately a mis-used tool to try to make Salida "cooler". Please, the concept is such an amazing shift in the I, me, mine culture, why are we trying to force this square peg into a round hole? (oh, the toilet analogies).....


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  • It may be bring more housing to our area, but "surveys say"....affordable housing is our biggest issue in the county. To those that don't live here, I am sure it sounds like a deal. To those that live here....about 50 percent of our children are at or below the poverty level. I am not sure if their parents can afford this kind of rent? Love the concept of tiny living. Don't love the concept of not focusing on some core issues. Wonder if this will bring more VRBOs, or will there be some rules to avoid what could become a bigger issue? But like James said, I too come from a place of little involvement. Is there more to the story than this....http://www.outsideonline.com/2042806/worlds-first-tiny-home-suburb-coming-colorado-mountain-town-near-you?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebookpost

  • I just found this on outsideonline.com. " "Unlike in Walsenburg, the Salida units will have long-term leases, starting at $750 per month for the 262-square-foot homes and increasing to $1,400 per month for the 672-square-foot units, Stambaugh says. That's not exactly dirt cheap, but it's better than nothing.

    “What Sprout is putting out is not necessarily affordable for the cross-section that we’re trying to provide housing for,” says Dan Osborn, Salida’s community development director. “But we think it’s going to help our community, so we see it as a positive.” "

    I currently own two nice and reasonably energy efficient rental homes in Salida that are 1200 square feet plus and rent for less than the proposed 672 square foot unit. This proposal if accurate does not fit my thinking of affordable housing or apparently city planner Dan Osborn's. So I am wondering what is the positive part?

  • Totally out of character, doesn't address the need, ridiculous.

  • I have a duplex in Salida each side is about 800 sq ft.2 bdrm, 2 ba for $800./$750. per month our renters pay electric and gas, we pay water and trash pickup. We strive to keep our rents as low as possible , we have great renters and it benefits both of us to work together, with increasing taxes and water bills this increasingly becomes difficult. Does the city have to jump on very bandwagon that is PC? What we need are affordable apartments complexes 1 -3 bdrms to accommodate working families, single people, and couples. What if every person paying $750 to live in 262 sq ft separate tiny storage unit/ home has a dog? We need to enforce our codes with some of the Salida apartment dwellings and homes that substitute as drug retail centers and force some of our slumlords to take accountability.

  • The feel good term 'affordable housing' is usurped in this deal as a way to set a premise that the developer and the City are trying to help the struggling less fortunate, when in fact, this is a ruse to just do the same old bait and switch for severe profit while providing less square footage, while the metaphors of treatment just keep rolling along, unbelievably unaware of their own actions causing more problems. When we have Vandeveer lying idle, this project could have done some good for folks struggling to keep minimum wage jobs on Hwy 50 by being in close proximity instead of across the tracks (river). The pitch of this rate of rent is absurd! These are mortgage prices as rent. Why not get people into their own homes instead, and be inclusive of the working poor/middle class who need, in our neighborhoods instead of "Well, they're already stinky, so let's put them in between the stink of cows and the stink of the town proper's people." I think folks that struggle have more self respect than that, and that people who can afford this ridiculous rent to square footage formula, would balk at being outcasts to the fringe.

  • tomtom
    edited December 2015

    As Jimmy says, everybody would like to see something happen that would make us feel good about how we're taking steps to solve the affordable housing problem. Tiny houses could be a tool in the solution, but this plan likely will not. The rent price per square foot is far from affordable by most anyone's standard. Certainly not affordable by the standards of today's Salida rental prices, which nobody calls affordable.

    Capitalism is not going to be the strongest tool we have for solving this problem. The only way a project like this could actually make a dent is to throw enough supply at the market to reduce the market price. In that scenario, affordability would come about if the projected long-term lease rent price could be forced down even though the owners want to get the numbers they have projected. In that case, the developers would lose money.

    That's capitalism. Winners and losers. One person's win comes at the expense of another.

    Or, another scenario in which capitalism could make this neighborhood affordable would be the poop plant. People sign their leases, live there for weeks or months then break the leases because they can't stand the stink. Then it becomes a sub-standard neighborhood, the developers take it in the shorts, and Salida has a poo-slum.

    This will be an un-popular statement, but here you go: In a capitalist system where gentrification is taking hold, affordable housing is a trailer park. A trailer park far out from the gentrified part of the community.

    The question I think we should be asking is this: do we expect markets to solve this problem for us?

    Yours truly,

    Tom The Socialist.

  • "Capitalism is not going to be the strongest tool we have for solving this problem. The only way a project like this could actually make a dent is to throw enough supply at the market to reduce the market price....

    The question I think we should be asking is this: do we expect markets to solve this problem for us?"

    Nothing will completely solve this societal-wide problem. Appropriate local govt regulation can create a playing field in which many different folks could spend modest amounts of private capital to each contribute to the solution. They might create lock-offs, or accessory apartments (apts attached to a home that look like part of it and blend in), or ADUs.

    Examples - instead of one 700' square ADU, people could build 700' square of ADU space, in 2 or even 3 units. Lower tap fees. Allow accessory apts (and lockoffs) to use same electric, water and sewer service as main house. Ease parking requirements (bike town, right?). Ease lot coverage requirements.

    Every new water / sewer user we create that uses the existing infrastructure in town is a win for us all, in terms of keeping the price on the unit of water and not on the monthly flat fee. When we start extending development (and pipes), we run into higher expenses while neglecting crumbling infrastructure in town.

    To the extent that some say we should throw govt money at the problem, the response is at least this:

    1) Our local govt "experts" are simply not experts at real estate finance and development, despite the repeated assertions of a council member or two. NRCDC development to date - res ipsa loquitur;

    2) Our local govt "experts" have no skin in the game, and do not feel the pain of poor financial decisions, nor shy away from spending gynormous sums on schemes that a private developer would never consider because they don't make good financial sense;

    3) Throwing govt money at the problem requires in-town property owners to pay for competition against their own financial interests.

    Critique welcome.



  • I wish the developer all the best, but this in no way is affordable housing for Salida citizens. So call it what it is: a fad. Furthermore, even the most outspoken advocates of tiny housing are starting to admit these tiny spaces are not really fit for families.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/architecture/teeny-house-big-lie-why-so-many-proponents-of-the-tiny-house-movement-have-decided-to-upsize/article28035056/

  • Yes, they aren't fit for families, nor for workforce housing, what they are fit for is destination tourists. Not what they are being marketed for though.

  • Tom:

    Kind of off topic, but ......

    I believe in govt. regulation of individual and corporate conduct that has the potential to harm or externalize costs of production onto others, and find much right-wing anti-regulation rhetoric to be baseless and self-serving, but it was fascinating to read this on NPR.org just now:

    Clovis Rayzel, president of Big Dutchman USA, says that the majority of American egg producers, when they order new chicken houses, now are choosing cage-free systems. "It's a very interesting and very big change compared to some years ago, and it is even more interesting because here in [the US], we are seeing this change based solely on the market," Rayzel says.

  • edited January 2016

    Jeff A as usual you are well-informed due to making the effort to solve the “case.” Paige in “Our Town” started a great thread—a thoughtful informed discussion backed w some experience. On the other hand I’m not on top of the issue, but even a quick look at construction costs for urban apartment bldgs and mortgages/rents on said units seems to show it is the easiest solution to housing shortage. 2012 Denver avg. apt bldg. of 4-7 stories was about 165/ft. Let’s say it is about the same in a few years w simple design and govt. grease bringing it to 150/ft. So a two bed apartment/condo of 1000ft is 150k w a mortgage of 800/month. If these (4 story?) bldgs. were housing coops w say 20% rentals available, then the workforce occupants run them and have an investment they can roll into a house later if that’s what they want. This has all been done in the cities, of course. My grandma owned her condo and was on the board that ran it, for example.

    IMO, the digital age young person (or even family) is not so interested in the -suburban 3 bdrm two bath w a yard- model of home ownership---a model that will soon be considered a dinosaur—and Bravo!, I say. These young people live on the internet and outside skiing, boating, biking or ? and work the rest of the time. Generally I don’t think they desire the problem of keeping a house and grounds--- the modern (wo)man is less and less interested in that. The young rural /country 4-H culture person might want a yard and garage or pole barn but we have mostly urbanites moving here. We should accommodate them w apartments. Why not? Fewer silly lawnmowers is great and more shared walls are the sustainable future.

    Developers building single family homes is just silly to me (as a solution) and they want to reap too much doing it. This leaves working people forever renting from a smaller and smaller pool of real estate investors who are working the local market aggressively for their portfolios n whatnot. We don’t have a shortage of these people in Salida. We have a shortage of housing for people who keep things running, feed us, etc. and have very simple needs—no portfolios whatsoever ;)

    Another interesting idea I read about= building housing for post-family, older homeowners who now have simpler needs and a house that is practically too much for them--- which frees up homes on the market for first time buyers etc. Because they own their homes, they could finance the construction of a multi unit to move into, simplify, and give some family an opportunity. We might get a group of these people together and get the ball rolling on a multi-unit building that helps solve the problem of worker housing.

    Overall I think we need ideas that involve the government minimally---other than greasing the system a bit, perhaps.

    thanks all
    Mike Pollock

  • edited January 2016

    A friend sent this article relevant to some of the issues Salida grapples with: minimotives.com/2014/07/22/why-tiny-houses-arent-the-best-homeless-housing/

  •      thanx Jeff --link to Great article by someone who has been thru the whole thought process--- she says just build apartments or shipping container high rises etc to help w housing, because tiny homes are actually too expensive= a middle class luxury.    I totally agree.
        I think we should keep in mind the people needing housing aren't the type that ask for much, a pretty simple group who are being displaced by people who do need and want a lot, have much and generally want more.    An old Iowa farmer I knew used to say---there's only so much room at the trough---- and Salida is seeing bigger pigs than b4 in real estate.  it's not a town o simple folk anymore.
  • Correct, the town is, and has been changing, demographics wise, and I'm not sure it's for the better. My point of reference would be what happened to Summit County, seems to be happening here, everything sold to the highest bidder, development at any cost whether appropriate or not.

    When I moved there in the early 80's, it was a nice place to be, had to leave in the 90's as that nice place to be was no longer, it is now a city, a rather large and unfriendly one at that, complete with gang activity, drug task forces and taxes that make one weak at the knees.

    I don't know that the tiny home issue is as bad as, well say for example a huge retail complex akin to the Silverthorne Factory Stores, but it is clearly development that is arguably not right for the area, just as the huge housing proposal for Vandaveer Ranch doesn't seem right for the area, but never mind that, the City and the developers shall reap the benefits !! According to Joe Deluca anyway.

    I have my doubts that the townsfolk will see any benefits though. No matter how you spin it, and as is evidenced by the article Jeff posted, the "tiny" idea is anything BUT affordable.

    The proposed development however is very much like the Mobile Home parks of the 70's. Perhaps once it's built, and many years have passed, the development will take on the classic appearance of a Mobile Home Park and the rents shall drop, as it's more of a slum than anything else.

  • Marshall continues to make good points.

    No mountain town and its long term citizens, living in desirable surroundings, have been able to figure out, how to control, outsiders coming in and distorting the local economy. The result is that long term locals are often squeezed out. American freedom of movement, and income inequality in various areas within the country, allow this to happen. It is called capitalism and freedom of choice. I am not defending the changes in our local economy, just explaining my understanding of why.

    Perhaps doing a lot of manufactured housing on the ranch, meaning factory housing, rather than mobiles, might be helpful, but that would require a lot of planning. The tiny homes is just a way to make money, and this was to be some sort of development about five years ago. It was just not tiny homes

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