Special Town Board Meeting: June 17, 2019

Special Town Board Meeting: June 17, 20197 min read

Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Special Town Board Meeting, we voted to approve a purchase agreement for 1500 Coalton Road (the Land Rover property), approved an agreement with Davinci signs for two more town monuments, and held a working session with Morgan Ranch to discuss community space in Downtown Superior. Ready to find out more on what happened? As usual, you may read this post in written form, or scroll to the bottom for a video recap.

Disclaimer: While I do my best to represent an honest and accurate portrayal of meetings and events, the following should be considered an editorial that represents one person’s interpretation of the meetings. At the request of my fellow Board members, I am keeping their points anonymous rather than trying to attribute my interpretation to them personally. For the most unbiased and complete information, I would encourage residents to watch the meeting video itself and draw their own conclusions – visit the town website at SuperiorColorado.gov for the official meeting video and meeting minutes. Finally, I’d also encourage you to check out EngagedCitizens.us, which is a fantastic free tool created by one of our own residents. Engaged Citizens includes a repository of agendas, documents, and meeting videos, and allows you to search within a video to jump to critical parts. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!

Item 3, 4, and 5 – Executive Session with Town Attorney

Monday’s Special Town Board Meeting kicked off with an executive session with Town Attorney Dan Harvey regarding ongoing litigation. We then came out of executive session to take action on our discussion – specifically, we voted unanimously to approve a purchase agreement for 1500 Coalton Road (the Land Rover facility). You may read the official press release here, and I wrote up my detailed thoughts in this blog post I published immediately after the meeting. In short, I know that many people will have concerns about our Board’s need to take action on this without public engagement; unfortunately, this was necessary because the purchase agreement is a settlement to a lawsuit. Once we are fully out of litigation with the potential closing of the deal in the next 30-45 days, we plan to have robust public engagement to decide exactly what should be done with the property.

Item 6 – Agreement with Davinci Sign Systems for Town Monument Signs

Next, the Board considered an agreement with Davinci Signs to build / install two additional monument signs announcing when visitors are entering the Town of Superior. At our last Board meeting, we unanimously approved the first sign for $36,000; however, we did not have exact costs for the other two signs. On Monday, we approved the second and third signs for an additional total of $108,000.

Item 7 – Discussion and Consideration of Community Space within the Morgan Ranch Downtown Main Street Development

Finally, the main reason for our meeting. Monday’s Special Town Board Meeting was primarily scheduled in order to meet with developer Bill Jencks of Morgan Ranch, to discuss the development of Main Street in downtown Superior. Our Board previously met with Morgan Ranch on April 8 (blog recap linked here) to discuss the final development plans for blocks 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11; as part of that discussion, our Board asked to have community space incorporated into the development near the plaza.

Coming out of that discussion, Morgan Ranch (and their architect, KTGY) replaced the small surface area parking lot with a three story parking garage that would be wrapped by retail / residential. The proposed parking garage would have 296 spaces, with 100 reserved on the top level for residents of the adjacent apartments, and the other 196 spaces for public use. As this parking garage would be given by the developer to the Superior Metro District, the parking would be free – however, the Metro District could choose to add meters or time limits to the spaces if they so choose. I’ve seen this type of retail/residential wrapped parking garage before, in the trendy West Village neighborhood of Dallas, and as I mentioned in the meeting, I really like it as a solution to provide proximate parking while hiding the actual garage.

Another change coming out of our April session was that the ground-level swimming pool and private clubhouse (intended only for residents of these apartments) would now be moved to be on the roofdeck – so it wouldn’t be quite so visible to anyone else visiting downtown Superior. There was some discussion over whether the pool could be opened to all Town residents rather than just residents of this apartment complex; Mr. Jencks indicated that he thought it was unlikely, but would take it back to his partners to see if shared use might be possible.

As for the community space itself, the new proposal is for a two story space taking up the height of three stories (to allow for higher ceilings), with a grand staircase that extends out to Promenade Drive in front of the plaza. One member of the Board raised a question about making the staircase bigger and two directional – extending out into the street so it could also serve as a place for people to sit and watch events in the plaza. While I said that I liked this idea, I pointed out that if the staircase were to extend into Promenade Drive, we wouldn’t be able to use this for races – which was one of the uses Mr. Jencks said they were designing around. In looking at how we could make the staircase bigger to be used for seating, the other option would be to take away space from the interior, which most Board members said they didn’t want either. Mr. Jencks said that they would try to research other options, but that he liked the idea of a staircase being a place to sit as well.

One member of the Board asked questions around the financials, and we were told that the cost would be about $2 million for about 9,000 feet of space – or about $220 per square foot. This would all come out of the $10 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) that was budgeted for civic space when the original plans for downtown Superior were made – however, this budget also needs to include funding for Parks 1 and 2. The budget for those has not yet been finalized, but Town Manager Matt Magley said a rough estimate would be $5-6 million for the parks.

There was some back and forth on the size of the space, since back in 2016, Town Staff had created a concept plan for potential community space (linked here) that was estimated at 17,000 square feet. This design has only 9,000 square feet of space – so it’s much smaller. As a size comparison, it was pointed out that the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder has about 10,000 feet of shared/conference space, with their grand ballroom clocking in at about 5,000 square feet. Meanwhile, our current Town Hall building is about 5,000 square feet.

Finally, Mr. Jencks noted that his goal is to finalize the final development plan and submit it to the town by July 1st. By the time Town Staff goes back and forth with changes, this would likely come to the Board for potential approval in September, with build of the community space then starting toward the end of 2019, and build of the parks starting in 2020.

Wrap Up

Thank you so much for taking the time to read / listen to this recap – I hope it is helpful! Our Board is always open to hearing your comments, questions, and concerns – you may always email your feedback to townboard@superiorcolorado.gov, or to me specifically at lauras@superiorcolorado.gov. As a reminder, any messages sent to a government email are part of the public record and will have your name attached; if you feel the need to write in anonymously, you may always comment at the bottom of my blog post recaps.

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