City council recognizes the past and looks to the future

ALAMOSA – In Wednesday night’s meeting, council members addressed issues that will be of great benefit to the city of Alamosa in the future while recognizing the importance of challenges in the past.

In terms of the future, Sierra Vista, the site for the future location of a new housing project in Alamosa, was officially annexed into the city of Alamosa.

The property is located south of the Montaña Azul development along South Craft Drive and contains about 42.99 acres.

In discussing the project, Rachel Baird, director of development services for the city, praised both what the project will mean to the future availability of affordable housing in the city and the strong, beneficial relationship the city has with the project developer.

Over the course of 37 years, Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC) has built more than 600 homes in the city and that dedication was even more apparent in working with the city on the proposed development. Baird cited CRHDC’s willingness to shift their approach to residential development in Alamosa to be in greater alignment with the city’s goal of providing quality housing at an affordable price, including adding subject matter experts to their team and innovating on a level formerly unseen in Alamosa.

Since November of 2021, city staff has met weekly with the CRHDC team to work through pre-development details, including water distribution and sewer collection, storm water solutions, housing types, layout, street connectivity, and financial feasibility. 

“This project will provide housing for the next twenty years,” Baird said, adding it will include a spectrum of housing types from single family residences to townhomes to apartment complexes. The prices are diversified, as well, accommodating those with incomes from 40% to 140% of median income.

“This (development) is the future of Alamosa,” Baird said. “It’s our very best chance to see our housing plan come to life.”

Baird also stressed that the developer is responsible for the construction of roads and sewer, which is standard protocol. “The burden of development always falls on the developer.”

In addressing council, Arturo Alvarado, executive director of CRHDC, spoke of the importance having a home means in the lives of people and his company’s decades long history of building housing developments in Colorado.

On a second reading of the ordinance, council voted for annexation by unanimous approval.

In other business, city council members voted to proclaim June 25 as Alamosa Day.

In recognition of the challenges of the past, they also considered a motion to include Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Juneteenth as official holidays to be observed by the city.

Prior to passing the motion, Councilor Kristina Daniel voiced support of including the holidays. “We owe it to the community to support this because these holidays are such a big part of people’s lives.”

Charlie Griego also spoke of the importance of the city recognizing the two holidays. “I was born and raised here. It was a community that was very divided back then. It was divided between whites and Hispanics and…well…there was a lot of prejudice back then. But this may be the one thing that says we’re healing. I’ve been on this council for a lot of years, and I believe we need to step up to the plate. I totally support this.”

The motion to include Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Juneteenth as city observed holidays passed by unanimous vote.