Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A brief history of Salida and a past annexation attempt

The largest unincorporated community in Stanislaus County, Salida was founded in 1870 (the same year that Modesto was founded) by the railroad.  In "The Story of Stanislaus" by John T. Bamhall, Salida is described in 1914 as being, " the richest section of the irrigation district, Salida, with its big alfalfa mill, its grain and hay warehouses and its heavy shipments of vineyard and orchard products, is a town of great promise."

But unlike Modesto, Salida never incorporated as a city and has thus been subject to past annexation attempts and annexed portions of land that once belonged to Salida. For example, the land that Costco and Kaiser are on was annexed away from Salida and into the City of Modesto.

Read the Modesto Bee article below regarding the most recent full-scale annexation attempt upon the community of Salida in 1996:

The Modesto Bee

February 1, 1996
Edition: Final and Second
Section: A
Page: 1
Author: Michael Cabanatuan,
Bee staff writer 
Modesto's plans to grow north and swallow Salida were stopped at the city limits Wednesday night.
The Stanislaus Local Agency Formation Commission, ending 10 hours of public debate at two meetings, voted 3-2 to deny the major part of Modesto's 30-year growth plan. The vote scuttled the city's bid to grow northward, all the way to the south bank of the Stanislaus River.
Another 3-2 vote rejected another part of the growth plan, sending city officials away from the meeting in a doubly somber mood.
Modesto sought approval from LAFCO, an independent agency that determines city boundaries, to include 12 square miles of land, most of it undeveloped farmland north of the city, in its sphere of influence -- its ultimate growth area -- and designate it to eventually become part of the city.
County Supervisor Tom Mayfield made the motion to "deny it all" -- meaning the proposed northward expansion, taking in the land between the city limits and the Stanislaus River. Joining him in voting yes were fellow Supervisor Paul Caruso and Patterson Mayor Tim Durbin. Oakdale Mayor Pat Kuhn voted no, as did Ken Entin, who represents the public on LAFCO.
Audience members applauded and quietly cheered the decision, while Modesto City Council and city staff members seemed shocked and dejected.
Entin, a Stanislaus State University political science professor and LAFCO chairman, pleaded with his fellow commissioners to reconsider the decision, which was passed without debate.
"This rejection is just not right," he said, arguing that the commission should at least discuss some of the areas in the Modesto plan.
"We should have had a discussion about Salida," he said. "We should have had a discussion about the northern areas. We should have had a discussion about Kiernan Avenue."
But Mayfield, who made the motion, refused to reconsider.
Modesto Mayor Dick Lang, however, did convince the commission to deny the city's proposal "without prejudice," meaning that the city can come back to LAFCO within a year. Without the exemption, the city would have had to wait a year to bring back any part of the plan.
Caruso, Kuhn, Entin and Durbin voted to allow Modesto to come back in months; Mayfield voted against the motion.
The decision to allow Modesto's return within a year seemed motivated by support for theModesto A's stadium plan being considered by the City Council. The stadium is proposed for a site bordering Highway 99 off Beckwith Road and Highway 99.
The commission also rejected that area for the city's sphere of influence. Again the vote was3-2, but the roll call was different. Mayfield, Caruso and Entin voted against allowing the site bordering Highway 99 into Modesto's growth area, while Durbin and Kuhn voted for its inclusion.
Entin, the swing vote on this motion, said he believed that allowing development in the Beckwith area would interfere with the lifestyle of Wood Colony residents, many of whom are German Brethren, a religion that values privacy and separation.
"I think it is one of the strongest communities of interest in Stanislaus County," Entin said. "It is more of a community than Salida."
Commissioners never even considered including the whole Beckwith area, as requested by Modesto, because of the emotional testimony by Wood Colony residents at last week's six-hour public hearing.
The commission voted unanimously to grant Modesto two small pieces of new territory for its growth plan -- an area south of the Tuolumne River, bounded by Whitmore Avenue, Vivian Road and Carpenter Road, and an area to the east, bounded by Parker, Church and Garst roads, and the Santa Fe Railway tracks.
Modesto officials were clearly dejected by the commission's denials, filing out of the Board of Supervisors chamber with sullen faces.
"I'm disappointed," Lang said after the meeting. "I feel our recommended general plan was very well thought out, very well planned. It reflected 31/2 years of hard work by the public, the Planning Commission and the City Council.
"We're very disappointed with the denial of the industrial areas. The residential areas we can live with that, but we need prime locations along Highway 99 if we are going to compete for new industry and jobs."
Modesto will "re-evaluate our proposal and perhaps modify it so we can get three votes from the commission," Lang said.
The mayor also said the city expects to continue discussing the Modesto A's stadium, shopping center and recreation complex proposal, and may return to the commission with a request to annex that land.
"I think the chances of getting that through are good," Lang said.
As one of two city votes on the board, many had expected Durbin to side with Modesto and vote to include at least some of the area north of the city in the growth plan.
But Modesto was reaching for too much, Durbin said after the meeting.
"My feeling was Salida is a community, a small town. I relate it to Patterson. I am a sheriff's deputy in the Bay Area (Alameda County) and understand that small,unincorporated communities can work, too."
While he said he understood Modesto's need to plan for both industrial and residential growth, Durbin said, "I thought it was too bold for adequate planning. They incorporated too much land too quickly."
City-county animosity was clear throughout the 10 hours LAFCO debated the Modesto growth plan. Durbin and Entin said they were disappointed in the dispute and urged the county's nine cities and the county to negotiate a master sales tax agreement and work out their differences.
Modesto Growth
Copyright 1996, 2002 The Modesto Bee
NEXT POST: "August 7, 2007 - A momentous day in the history of Barry Bonds and Salida" 

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