Town Board Meeting: November 18, 20198 min read
Hi neighbors! In last Monday night’s Town Board Work Session and Meeting, we heard an update from Happy City on our cultural arts master plan; approved a financing plan for Superior Metro Districts 1, 2, and 3; and opened a public hearing to consider development on blocks 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and parcel K in downtown Superior. The public hearing will be continued at our next meeting on Monday, December 9th. 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. F>or 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!
Monday’s Board Meeting kicked off with a working session with Mitchell Reardon from Happy City, our contracted consulting firm for development of the cultural arts master plan.
Happy City drafted a vision statement for Superior’s cultural arts master plan: Creative placemaking will create a unified sense of identity that boosts social wellbeing and community health in Superior through strategic design interventions and joy-sparking events.
Happy City also developed five key placemaking recommendations, to share the benefits of the plan with neighborhoods across town, while simultaneously drawing the town together along a brand new art path that winds through Superior:
- Creation of an “art path” to connect different neighborhoods and serve as a dedicated spine on which to build out creative placemaking assets
- Mobility freedom for all: use of artistic bump outs, creative crosswalks, and parking lot activation
- Public art throughout the community
- Events and programming, including film nights, music festivals, art markets, and library programming. There was also mention of a Superior Marathon, which you all know I would support 😉
- Social capital support, including a digital platform to connect and coordinate interest-based groups (e.g., cooking, running, painting)
Although we viewed an abbreviated presentation, you may view the full draft report here – which has a lot of fascinating detail around initiatives, quick wins, budget, and potential partnerships for funding.
CAPS and Happy City will be hosting an open house at Brunelleschi’s at the Sports Stable on Saturday December 7th from 2pm-6pm, and they look forward to hearing your feedback on the master plan thus far. After that engagement, Happy City will present the next draft to CAPS on January 23rd, and to the Board on February 10th; the final plan will then be revised from that feedback and delivered on February 28th.
As our work session wrapped up early, we started our Board reports during the work session. One member of the Board reported that Congressman Neguse and Perlmutter may be proposing a bill that would allow airports to voluntarily create a flight curfew if they are interested in doing so. I am fully aware that we cannot mandate any limitations on flight hours, but I think it would be wonderful if the airport would voluntarily curtail their late night / early morning flights to be a good neighbor. However, today, they cannot even voluntarily enact such a curfew, so this bill would help them to do that.
Item 2E – Public Comment
During public comment, one resident spoke up about several items of concern, including closure of the sidewalk in Original Town at 2nd Ave by Boulder Creek Neighborhoods and a dire need for prioritized undergrounding of power lines in Original Town.
Item 3 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board unanimously passed the entire consent agenda – including a proclamation for the Sock It To Em campaign; a resolution appointing Frank Parker to the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC); the resolution discussed at our last meeting defining a Board meeting end time; an amendment to the subdivision improvement agreement to give the developer more time to complete public improvements for FDP 3, block 25, phase 2; and an intergovernmental agreement with CDOT for a federal grant to build the US 36 bikeway extension to 88th Street and within Autry Park.
Item 4 – Resolution Approving Financing Plan for SMD 1, 2, and 3
The Superior Town Center Metro District 2 (SMD 2) would like to retire $25 million in existing debt, and issue another $70 million in Series 2019 bonds for debt in December. This liability would be paid first through Tax Increment Financing (TIF), then through the mill levies (taxes) assessed on the properties in this district – an increase of approximately 9 mills for the businesses already in this area, and resulting in a total tax levy of about 50 mills per home for residents in this area.
Our discussion centered around completion of the Marshall Road Bridge that will cross Parks 1 and 2; the developer stated that the abutments to the bridge should be done before building the parks, to avoid tearing up the newly built parks in order to build the bridge. Therefore, several members of our Board wanted assurance that this bridge would be built sooner rather than later. However, we were caught in a legal snafu, as the two lawyers said they could not write a condition on the fly to tie the bridge construction to the issuance of the bonds.
The developer agreed to write a separate agreement to build the bridge and have it be fully usable by the public by the end of 2021; however, we’d need to vote on the bond issuance in good faith before this agreement could be written. We went back and forth with the developer quite a bit, and in the end, the Board voted 5-2 to approve the financing plan, with Trustees Hammerly and Ryan as the “no” votes.
Item 5 – Public Hearing for Platting / FDPs for Blocks 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and Parcel K
Finally, we opened a public hearing to consider development on blocks 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and parcel K in downtown Superior.
The first sub-item on the agenda was consideration of an amendment to the zoning for blocks 5, 6, 9, and 10 – allowing commercial development within Parcel K, and establishing civic and flex zoning allowances along Promenade Drive. Specifically, the developer was requesting an option to allow “live / work” residential in blocks 6, 9, and 10 – where a small business owner could have a storefront facing the street, while living behind the storefront in the back of the building.
I kicked off the discussion by asking about this live-work designation – where has this been successful? As I stated in the meeting, I’ve seen a lot of vacant live-work spaces throughout Colorado, and I’m reluctant to bring more potential residential into what is supposed to be our retail core of downtown. The developer noted that the potential live-work zoning is actually far less preferable for him than full retail (live-work would only rent for half the price of traditional retail), and said his only reason for requesting the zoning change is because investors are requiring it as a backup plan in case retail is unsuccessful.
We had a lengthy discussion about the options for parking in the area. There will need to be a mix of public and private parking to accommodate the residential and retail in this area; however, we are lacking details on exactly who can park where and how those parking restrictions can be enforced. While the developer pointed out that parking policies / procedures will need to change as the community builds out and matures, I asked the developer to come back to our next meeting with at least what an initial plan might look like, so we can react to that. Furthermore, while I pointed out that I appreciate the idea of doing parking / traffic audits to see if our initial assumptions were correct, there was no procedure outlined for what we do if those audits turn up a problem; I asked the developer to come back with a more comprehensive set of next steps we’d take in that scenario.
The public hearing will be continued at our next meeting on Monday, December 9th; I would invite you to join us to share your comments at the meeting, or email them as part of the public record by sending them to email@example.com and copying firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com, or to me specifically at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.