Town Board Meeting: January 14, 2019

Town Board Meeting: January 14, 20198 min read

Good evening, neighbors – I hope the beginning of 2019 is going well for you and you haven’t given up on your New Year’s resolutions quite yet 🙂 Personally, I am quite excited for the year ahead. Monday night’s Town Board Meeting kicked off the first of many 2019 public hearings to approve/deny final development plans (FDPs) for the Superior Town Center. We have a lot of growth ahead!

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.

While I’m mentioning email… for those of you who prefer email as a communication forum but still want to see what’s happening on the Town Reddit (r/superiorcolorado), I’ve created a listserv to provide automatic notifications of all new topics on the Superior Reddit. You won’t be able to reply via the listserv, but it can at least serve as a reminder to click through and comment on the site itself. Sign up here via Google Groups.

With that, let’s dive into the recap of Monday night!

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. For the most unbiased information, I would encourage residents to watch the meeting video itself and draw their own conclusions. EngagedCitizens.us is a fantastic free tool created by one of our own residents, which 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!

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Reports

A few public service announcements came out in the Board reports that kicked off the meeting. I noted that Boulder County has a program offering free radon test kits for homeowners; more details will be in the February edition of the Superior Sentinel. Trustee Sandie Hammerly also noted that the Regional Air Quality Council offers rebates for residents looking to replace their gas-powered lawn mowers with electric lawn mowers; details can be found at raqc.org. Finally, Mayor Clint Folsom and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis offered kudos to the Superior Youth Leadership Council for collecting over 1200 socks for the homeless as part of this year’s Sock It To Em campaign. Nice job, kids!

Public Comment

Calamante resident Laurie Muir spoke about the results of her informal airport study and investigation, noting that 100% of touch-and-go takeoffs are routed over Superior, despite winds going various directions. Ms. Muir also spoke with several pilots who said they had never heard of the Fly Quiet program, and that they believe there is no noise abatement program at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (in contrast with Boulder’s noise abatement program, which is strictly enforced). Edited 1/28 to add: While I have reported Ms. Muir’s comments directly, please see the comment at the bottom of the page from resident Brad Walker, who notes that there is in fact a noise abatement program at RMMA, and also that Boulder’s noise abatement program is entirely voluntary.

Six residents of Coal Creek Crossing spoke up (though several dozen more were in attendance) to complain about Remington Homes’ landscaping and maintenance… or lack thereof. Consensus among residents seemed to be that Remington had not followed the proper processes to establish the native grasses in the 2015 design plans. Most asked that the Town require the completion of the Coal Creek Crossing landscaping as a condition of approval for the Remington Homes development on block 25 in Town Center later in the night.

Also in attendance were several dozen residents from the Weldona area, nine of whom spoke against the closure of Weldona at 88th Street that was decided by the Board this fall. Of particular note, the resident who lives on the corner of Weldona and 88th spoke up that she was against the closure and wanted it reopened. I thought this was interesting in light of the arguments made this fall that it wasn’t right for a home to be located so close to 88th (a major collector), since our Town safety guidelines note there should be 660 feet between a driveway and a major collector, and people surmised that it must be difficult for the resident of that house to get out of his/her driveway. But at Monday’s meeting, the actual resident who lives within the right-of-way area said she is staunchly against the closure and has never had an issue.

Finally, three people spoke up about the proposed six-month moratorium against oil & gas development on the consent agenda. Resident Tim Howard, founder of Safe Superior, called for a citizens’ advisory committee to be established, and called for the Board to revisit this moratorium after 90 days to ensure adequate time for extension given the current rapid pace of legislation in this area. I have already emailed the Town Manager to ensure this is on the agenda in April, and also have time set up to discuss the potential creation of a formal town-sponsored citizens’ advisory committee.

Item 3 – Consideration of Appeal for Closure of Used Car Dealership in Former Land Rover Space

An attorney for Centennial Ventures filed an appeal against the notice from the Assistant Town Manager to cease use of the former Land Rover property, which Centennial Ventures had leased to The Denver Collection, a used car dealership. This violation notice was filed after our Board’s December 10th public hearing. Centennial Ventures contends that the use of the Land Rover property by a used car dealership was non-conforming but legal up until the Board held a public hearing and rezoned the property to Community Activity Center (CAC); therefore, the notice was improper. As our Town Attorney Kendra Carberry clarified, a legal non-conforming use means that if it was legal before a change in zoning, it would be grandfathered in after a change in zoning. The Board of Adjustments (which is the same people as the Board of Trustees) unanimously decided to deny this appeal. However, Centennial Ventures does still have a pending lawsuit against the Town for the decision to rezone.

Item 5 – Public Hearing and Adoption of a Resolution Approving a FDP for Block 25 in STC for Remington Homes

Finally, the Board held a public hearing to consider a final development plan, or FDP, for block 25 in the Superior Town Center. The applicant was Remington Homes, who, as noted during public comment, also built Coal Creek Crossing. It’s important to note that the only legally appropriate reason to deny an application is if it violates our Town codes, or, more likely, our Design Guidelines.

On that note, Remington was asking for a variance from our Design Guidelines to allow for additional square footage – only 80-180 additional square feet for three-story homes, but 578-685 square feet larger for buyers who choose the 4-story option for the single family home. (Note that this fourth story does not violate the Design Guidelines on height, and all required view corridors are preserved.) Our Board looked closely at 3D models and videos of the various heights of each model of home, since Block 25 is built on a steep grade. In some areas, there is a 30 foot difference between ground height, making it challenging for Remington to achieve a smooth look throughout the property. Trustee Hammerly was concerned about the 18 foot height difference between Blocks 25 and 14, along Village Green Way.

Remington also requested a variance from the Design Guidelines for building orientation. Our Design Guidelines require that the main entrance of homes also face the main street, and not an alley. However, this variance was granted by the Board for the adjacent Block 13, so Remington requested the same variance so the buildings would match.

With regard to the comments we heard from residents at Coal Creek Crossing earlier, Remington admits there were missteps and said they regret that. They stated that they are committed to finishing that project, and are trying to get a meeting set up this Thursday to discuss. Mayor Pro-Tem Lacis and I reiterated that this MUST be addressed sooner rather than later, and I noted that the punch list that the residents of Coal Creek Crossing provided is much more substantial than just reseeding of the native grasses – I would like to hear an update after this meeting to better understand the plan to address these issues, and have emailed with several Coal Creek Crossing residents to ask for continued updates and ensure they don’t feel they are on their own. However, our Town Attorney noted that it would be legally challenging for the Board to condition approval of the Block 25 Town Center homes on Coal Creek Crossing’s finished landscaping, since the Superior Metro District is responsible for the landscaping of Block 25, not Remington.

During the Board discussion of the application, Trustee Hammerly suggested that we bring the applicant back for a second meeting before approving the application. Mayor Pro-Tem Lacis disagreed, pointing out that it doesn’t make sense to make Remington come back again unless we are going to ask them to change something in their plans. The meeting concluded with a vote to approve Remington’s application 5-2, with Mayor Folsom, Mayor Pro-Tem Lacis, Trustee Lish, and myself (Trustee Skladzinski) voting in favor of approval; Trustees Shah and Hammerly voted against the application.


Our next Town Board meeting will be on Monday January 28th. The agenda is changing quite a bit as we speak so I will not provide a preview, but it should be published early next week and noticed on the town website and via email.

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful week 🙂

6 Responses so far.

  1. Brad Walker says:

    Laura,

    I don’t usually respond when it concerns “public comments”. But, when an elected official repeats something that is factually wrong, I feel like I should step in and say something.

    On your blog post, you mentioned the following made by Laurie Muir: “no noise abatement program at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (in contrast with Boulder’s noise abatement program, which is strictly enforced).”

    This is factually wrong. There is a noise abatement program at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport . It might not be well publicized and that should definitely change. I’ve mentioned this to the airport director and he is looking into this. Boulder also has a noise abatement program and it is NOT strictly enforced. The noise program at Boulder is voluntary.

    I quote from https://bouldercolorado.gov/airport/noise-abatement
    “Pilots are asked to be aware of noise-sensitive neighborhoods and to follow the voluntary noise abatement procedures during the flight operation. ”

    I stress the word voluntary! Implying “strict enforcement” implies some kind of enforcement action which is definitely not correct.

    I do like reading your blog and keep up the good work!

    Respectfully,

    Brad Walker

    • Laura says:

      Brad, thank you so much for your correction! Your aviation knowledge is impressive, and I greatly appreciate your comments here and on the CAC. I have updated the post to reflect the information you provided. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any further comments or questions, and help keep me honest 🙂

    • Laurie Muir says:

      Brad,
      Laura was quoting me and I was directly quoting the four pilots I spoke with, all of whom said they had never heard of the FAA’s Fly Quiet Program, nor had they ever seen the FAA’s Noise Sensitive Areas map, both of which are prominently featured on RMMA’s website. They said that pilots don’t go on RMMA’s website because they get their information from the FAA website instead, and that the information posted on the RMMA website is for public consumption rather than for the pilots. If the RMMA website is the only place that information about the FAA Fly Quiet Program is posted or otherwise conveyed it should be no surprise that the pilots are unfamiliar with it.

      All four pilots also said that to the best of their knowledge there is no noise abatement program in effect at RMMA, unlike the Boulder County Airport where there definitely is a noise abatement program. They said that when flying into and out of the Boulder Airport they are told by the tower which direction to go and reminded not to fly over Gunbarrel. I’m not sure what the deal is with Gunbarrel but that is pretty specific information for a completely voluntary program. The pilots I spoke with all said they avoid flying into and out of Boulder County Airport because they don’t want to have their tail number reported for flying where they are not supposed to be flying. This is what they told me, and what I relayed to the town board and to Superior residents during the public comment section.

      I know that you are a pilot who is involved with AOPA, an organization whose motto is “Your Freedom to Fly” and whose mandate is to protect “pilot’s rights” to fly without restrictions. My goal is to quiet the skies over Superior, for my benefit and for the benefit of all my neighbors as well. You have made your agenda is equally clear.

      • Brad Walker says:

        Laurie,

        A few things that I would like to clear up.

        The voluntary Fly Quiet program at RMMA might not be well publicized. I have mentioned this to the airport director about this. He is, and others are, taking a more proactive approach to get the word out. This will be helpful to all because if the pilots don’t know about it, then they can’t really follow it.

        There is NO noise abatement program at Boulder Airport. They have a voluntary program that pilots do try to follow. The precise wording from their website is: “voluntary noise abatement program”. Calling it an abatement program is playing loose with the verbiage. As for a tower, there is NO tower at Boulder Airport. There is something called a CTAF (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency), which should be thought of as a CB channel for pilots, to put this into layman terms. There is no “tail number reported for flying where they are not supposed to be flying”. I’m unsure who told you this. But, whoever did is providing you with incorrect/false information.

        Finally, yes I am a proud member of AOPA and they do a great job of protecting pilots. My “agenda” is not to do whatever I please in aviation. My agenda is to protect my rights as a pilot from those who want to unlawfully “quiet the skies over Superior”.

        Respectfully,

        Brad Walker

  2. Diane Marsella says:

    Hi Laura,
    Thank you for your blog. I would like to clarify an issue for those residents who may read your blog and comments section. In regards to the “voluntary noise abatement program” at RMMA – on multiple occasions, airport officials and staff have told Superior residents and officials that the RMMA Tower determines the flight path of planes within 5 miles of the airport (this is also stated on Jefferson County’s website). In other words, even if pilots are to become informed about the voluntary noise abatement program, one could question based on what RMMA and JeffCo has told us, whether it would help mitigate any noise for Superior residents on the ground since the Tower, as we have been told, controls aircraft within five miles of the airport.

    Thanks again for your blog and work as a Trustee.

    Respectfully,
    Diane Marsella

    • Brad Walker says:

      Diane,

      Your are correct. In addition, what you point out is one reason why this issue of “noise” can be a difficult problem to mitigate.

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