First Friday: February 1, 2019

First Friday: February 1, 20193 min read

Hello, neighbors! Did you know that February is American Heart Month, and that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States? At this month’s First Friday, held on February 1st and co-hosted by Trustee Sandie Hammerly, we were fortunate to be joined by representatives from Avista Hospital who were doing free blood pressure screenings. My own heart rate clocked in a little higher than usual… time for me to work on prioritizing both sleep and getting to the gym, and perhaps lay off the winter comfort food and drinks 😉


As First Fridays are casual in nature, and we often break into simultaneous discussions of different topics on the two sides of the table, it’s tough for me to fully recap the discussion. However, I thought it would be useful for me to give a short rundown of the topics I heard, which can help provide a pulse of the town:

Topics discussed at February’s First Friday include:

  • Construction noise: A resident complained about the Lanterns Lane development; while it is currently within the acceptable construction hours, she’d like to ensure it remains that way.
  • Last Town Board Meeting: Several residents asked for a recap of the decisions made at the Town Board Meeting a few days prior; I’ve now posted my recap here.
  • Traffic safety: There was an accident at 88th Street Circle because someone didn’t yield to traffic already in the circle. Resident Suzanne DeVenny reminded me that when I was campaigning, I had brought up the idea of some sort of education around how to properly navigate traffic circles, and I still think this would be a great idea! While the agenda for the February Traffic & Safety Committee meeting was already set, I am hoping to bring this up at our next meeting in April.
  • Airport noise: Resident Laurie Muir would like us to notify all Rock Creek homeowners not to sign another avigation easement, because the current one is null and void based on clauses 2b (type and size of aircraft has changed) and 2c (runways have increased load capacity). She believes that this also allows homeowners to sue. While I agree that there is evidence that clauses 2b and 2c have been violated, my understanding is that this agreement only applies to airplanes operating outside the FAA-regulated navigable airspace (i.e., under 1000 feet). We are hoping to have an update on airport noise at one of our two Board meetings in February; however, in the meantime, our Town Manager Matt Magley has said he is happy to meet with residents to discuss progress.
  • Development in Town Center: Residents inquired about connecting the Superior Town Center to Rock Creek; this has not yet been decided. We also fielded an inquiry about when retail development will begin in the Town Center. While the Board does not control when private developers will bring applications, here is a calendar of some of the plans we expect to see in 2019:
    1. Thrive Home Builders – Blocks 26 (19 townhomes) – February 2019
    2. Remington Homes – Blocks 26-27 (27 single family homes) – March 2019
    3. Toll Brothers – Blocks 16-24 (approx. 305 homes) – July 2019
    4. Thrive Home Builders – Blocks 14 & 15 (54 townhomes) – August 2019
    5. Morgan Ranch – Blocks 6-11 (Mixed Use/Retail Town Core) – October 2019

Hope to see you at next month’s First Friday! In the meantime, our next Town Board Work Session and Town Board Meeting is tomorrow, Monday February 11thIf you have thoughts on these or other topics, I would encourage you to attend the Meeting at Town Hall and speak up in public comment, or email the full Board at

3 Responses so far.

  1. Laurie Muir says:

    The 1995 Rock Creek Ranch easement is void because RMMA/Jeffco violated at least two of the five limitation clauses listed under Paragraph 2, which says the following:

    “2 Limitations The easement granted under Paragraph 1 shall remain in effect unless any of the following shall occur
    a. The airport shall cease being used as a “General Aviation Reliever Airport” as those terms are defined as of the date of this agreement, by the FAA Rules and Regulations, or any rules or regulations which may later be enacted which are more strict than current rules and regulations
    b. The type and size of aircraft using the Airport as permitted under the Master Plan shall change or become inconsistent with such Master Plan, if there is an increase in passenger usage over that disclosed in the Master Plan, or the Airport is used for freight delivery
    c. The Authority shall lengthen the existing runways, build additional runways or increase the load capacity of such runways beyond the proposed limits currently contained in the Master Plan
    d. The noise contours contained in the Master Plan are exceeded by the sustained operation of aircraft in the Airspace Easement
    e. The noise, vibration and all other effects of aircraft operation on the property exceeds 60 ldn

    If any of the above shall occur this Easement shall terminate without further notice. ”

    In Paragraph 1 Rock Creek Ranch grants an easement over their property. In Paragraph 2 Rock Creek Ranch lists five conditions, or limitations, under which the easement will terminate. The limitation clauses are explicitly tied to the Jeffco/RMMA 1988 Airport Master Plan, as explained in the preface section of the agreement, the third “Whereas” paragraph to be specific, so the “Master Plan” referenced in limitation clauses b, c, and d is the 1988 Airport Master Plan. No other subsequent Master Plan is relevant, as this easement agreement is a contract and only speaks to what is specifically referenced in this contract at the date of its signing, not what the airport now wishes they had referenced.

    RMMA did not increase the length of the runway beyond the 9000 feet specified, they increased the load capacity of the main runway beyond the limits specified in the 1988 Airport Master Plan. The main runway was increased to 100,000 pounds load bearing capacity in 2014, in spite of the limit clearly stated in the 1988 Master Plan being 75,000 pounds. This increase in load bearing capacity, as well as other upgrades made during that runway reconstruction and runway safety area expansion, brought that runway up to the design specifications required by the FAA to accommodate an entire class of larger, heavier jets, with broader wingspans and higher runway approach speeds. For those who are aviation enthusiasts this was a change from ARC C/D ll to ARC C/D lll. Anyone who has lived in Superior for a while can see and hear the difference in the types of aircraft now using the airport. The parallel runway was later also brought up to a higher design specification, from ARC B-ll to ARC C-ll, allowing larger, faster jets to use that runway as well, further violating limitation clause 2c and voiding the easement agreement.

    That standard avigation easements only apply under 1000 feet is irrelevant in this case because unlike standard avigation easements, which are completely one-sided in favor of the Airport Authority, this easement has specific conditions imposed by the Grantor, Rock Creek Ranch, that terminate the easement if violated. The Rock Creek Ranch avigation easement agreement was designed to limit noise by limiting RMMA growth, both in terms of the physical airfield and in terms of the types of aircraft using the airport. It was written by someone involved with the Rock Creek Ranch PUD who was also on the Airport Technical Advisory Committee for the 1988 Airport Master Plan, and who knew exactly what would happen to Superior and Rock Creek Ranch if airport expansion was not capped. That’s why he linked the easement to the maximum growth foreseen by the 1988 Master Plan, because growth beyond that proposed in the 1988 plan would kill the quality life in the community he was involved in building. Jeffco/RMMA agreed to the Rock Creek Ranch avigation easement as written and signed it. It’s a contract, and they voided it by their own actions in violating at least two, and likely three, of the conditions demanded by the Grantor, Rock Creek Ranch.

    Here is a link to the Rock Creek Ranch Easement for those who want to confirm this for themselves. Links to the 1988 and 2011 Airport Master Plans can be found on RMMA’s website.

    The information that Rock Creek Ranch had someone on the Technical Advisory Committee for the 1988 Airport Master Plan can be found in the original Rock Creek HOA documents:

    Best Regards,
    Laurie Muir

    • Laura says:

      Laurie, I’ve updated my summary for 2C to note that it’s the load capacity and not the runway length that is a violation. Thank you for that correction to my post, and for all the additional info you’ve provided.

  2. […] emailed asking for updates on Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport noise, and with responses to my blog post on February’s First Friday • One resident emailed with concerns about how the agenda is set for the Transportation & […]

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