Town Board Work Session and Meeting: December 10, 20186 min read
Good morning, neighbors! I hope you’re feeling better rested than I am today. Last night’s Town Board Work Session and Meeting ran until after midnight, and with a 6am flight scheduled this morning, I was unable to immediately record this recap as a video afterward. I will be updating the post (and my Facebook page) with a video later today… perhaps after some caffeinated coffee 😉
Update: video now recorded and embedded at the bottom of this post!
Last night’s meeting had some tricky decisions; before we dive in, I’d just like to note how grateful I am for those of you who wrote into the Board or attended the meeting and spoke in public comment. Your opinions matter, and I hope that you know our Board is listening.
Town Board Work Session
During the Board Work Session, Bill Jencks, Ryan Lefkowitz, and Jim Kurtzfeld introduced themselves to the new Board members and provided a history of the Planned Development and entitlements. Mr. Lefkowitz gave background on Avanti Properties (the equity owner for RC Capital), and Mr. Jencks gave background on tax increment financing (the TIF) – which allows taxes from the development to be put back into development of parks, parking structures, and other publicly desirable aspects of the project.
Over the next year, all but three blocks of the Superior Town Center (STC) will have development plans come before the Board for approval – see image below.
As for the part many residents are asking about: the retail town core development (blocks 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11) will come to the Board for a concept plan and FDP submittal in the first half of 2019, and Mr. Jencks said that he expects construction would complete and retail would open in 2021.
Town Board Meeting
On the consent agenda, item 3D, approval for Safeway to expand the product placement area for fermented malt beverage products, was pulled from the consent agenda for discussion. Trustee Ryan preferred that this go to public hearing, and made a motion as such, but the motion was not seconded and failed. After discussion, the Board voted 6-1 to approve the application.
After a brief statement by Trustee Ken Lish around item 3E, an amendment to the Windy Gap Firming Project, this passed unanimously.
The rest of the consent agenda (meeting minutes approval, committee appointment approval, approval for water / wastewater treatment plant operations, and approval for construction of a trail from McCaslin BRT to Davidson Mesa) passed unanimously and without comment.
Whole Foods 3.2% Malt Beverage Liquor License
A public hearing was held to determine whether Whole Foods should be granted approval for an off-premises license to sell 3.2% beer. The applicant clarified during the hearing that the intent is to sell 3.2% beer as well as black-label kombucha. However, the survey that local firm Oedipus performed to demonstrate need (one of the six evaluation criteria) led consumers to believe that this application would be to sell 3.2% beer – not kombucha, and not full-strength beer. Furthermore, next month, all 3.2% beer licenses issued before January 1, 2019 will be converted to full-strength beer.
During the hearing, Trustee Neal Shah asked how many feet of shelf space are being requested, and the applicant replied that it will be 12 linear feet of cooler space and two stacks of unrefrigerated drinks (12-15 cases per stack). Although their application shows a much larger potential area where the 3.2% products could be sold, another application would be required if Whole Foods wanted more space for this product than the 12 linear feet and two stacks. Town Attorney Kendra Carberry added these limits as a stipulation of the resolution, and the resolution passed unanimously.
Rezoning of Former Land Rover Property from RAC to CAC
Next, a public hearing was held to evaluate the zoning for the property at the corner of Coalton Road and Rock Creek Circle (the former Land Rover dealership). In 1998, Centennial Ventures (the owner) applied to rezone this property from Community Activity Center (CAC) to Recreational Activity Center (RAC), in order to lease the property to Land Rover. As part of this agreement, a number of stipulations were signed by the owner, including offering at least 10 educational / cultural activities for the community per year, no more than 15 used vehicles for sale, no vehicles awaiting repair parked on the lot, and no for sale signs on the windows or on cars. Most critically, the agreement noted that if Land Rover were to vacate the property, the zoning would revert to CAC.
In August 2017, the owner became aware that Land Rover was going to vacate, and began looking for a new tenant. The Board heard from the third party retail brokerage who was trying to fill the property that it took 18 months to find The Denver Collection, a family-owned used car dealership, to be a tenant. 9 of the 12 qualified inquiries for the space were automotive in nature, and the broker explained that there would be significant challenge and expense in repurposing the space for another use. During public comment, opinions were mixed. Some residents stated they’d rather have the property sit empty than be a used car dealership, noting that we all have to follow the rules of our HOAs and there is no reason a business shouldn’t similarly have to follow the zoning rules of the Town; furthermore, there is no reason that the Town should have to pay the price for the legal error that was made by the property owner. Others expressed support for the fledgling business in a difficult retail corridor, particularly since the tenant hadn’t been made aware of the zoning reverter clause when he leased the property.
Trustee Lish and I both had concerns about simply reverting the zoning to CAC; we preferred to try to negotiate with The Denver Collection to see if they could be the good neighbor that Land Rover was. However, the owner of The Denver Collection said he would simply not be able to comply with many of the criteria that Land Rover had agreed to. As someone who helps launch new business ventures and revenue streams, I certainly understand how busy The Denver Collection may be in getting things up and running, but I was especially surprised that the tenant couldn’t commit to hosting ten community events per year, which seems a small price to pay and would have represented a good faith effort.
The Board voted 6-1 to revert the zoning to CAC, with Trustee Lish as the dissenting vote. Trustee Lish cautioned that this decision would contribute to Superior’s reputation as being unfriendly to businesses, and several Trustees emphasized that this was a difficult and unfortunate situation.
The Board went into Executive Session to receive legal advice from our Town Attorney on our oil & gas strategy. Residents can expect to see a proposed moratorium against oil & gas drilling on the agenda at our next Town Board Meeting on January 14.
Questions or concerns? You can email the entire Board at firstname.lastname@example.org, or me specifically at email@example.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this recap, and for your continued engagement and support.