Town Board Special Meeting and Retreat: July 29, 20199 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Special Meeting and Retreat, we discussed a ditch crossing agreement; accelerating funding for Capital Improvement Program projects; reviewed progress on our 2019 Board Goals; discussed a gradual transition to natural landscaping as well as a trial to eliminate any use of Roundup; discussed the possibility of converting Rock Creek Parkway from a four-lane roadway to a two-lane roadway; considered making notes required for all Citizen Advisory Committee meetings; discussed converting the basketball court at Wildflower Park to pickleball courts; reviewed the potential timeline for public engagement, design, and construction of the former Land Rover facility at 1500 Coalton Road, which we are currently under contract to purchase; discussed the Superior Town Challenge Coin and its criteria for award; and discussed the Disc Golf course in Purple Park. During Board Retreats, we do not make any formal decisions, so you won’t see a lot of outcomes in this recap; however, you may always go back and watch the meeting video on specific topics to learn more details. 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!
Monday night kicked off with a Special Meeting to discuss a ditch crossing agreement, which was carried over from our last Board Meeting. To recap: the South Boulder and Coal Creek Irrigating Ditch Company owns a 50-foot wide tract of land along the north side of Rock Creek. Boulder Creek Neighborhoods’ Lanterns Lane project would like to do utility work to install potable water and reuse water mains across the ditch; in addition, a potential road / trail connection between Rock Creek and Downtown Superior would require crossing this ditch. However, there were legal concerns around liability language in the ditch crossing agreement, which the ditch company’s attorney would not agree to modify. At our last meeting, we tabled this item for the second time, in hopes of getting resolution. Two members of the Board met with the ditch company last Friday and seemed to make some progress, so we tabled this for one more meeting.
We began the Board Retreat by discussing whether there was interest in having Town Staff identify a proposal for a ballot initiative to increase property or sales taxes to allow us to fund certain Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects sooner than our current budget would allow. For example, we have a roundabout at the corner of McCaslin and Indiana slated as a street improvement project in 2022, but have received several emails wanting this to be done sooner. There would be three potential ways we could fund projects like this earlier: increasing sales taxes through a ballot initiative, increasing property taxes through a ballot initiative, or increasing property taxes by Board mandate. I suggested that before we discuss how and whether a tax increase should go to the ballot, Town Staff put together a list of the specific CIP projects that they would like to see pulled forward, as well as the budget for those; then, we can have a more informed discussion about whether these really need to be pulled forward and how we can achieve that. You may view our capital improvement program budget here.
Next, we discussed our 2019 Board Goals (which you can view here) and which areas we think we are doing well vs where we need to put increased focus for the rest of 2019. We have accomplished a lot this year, including:
- Century Link property – property appraisal in process
- Ridge II property purchased
- Purchase and Sale Agreement approved for acquisition of former Land Rover building for potential civic use
- Morgan-Ranch Final Development Plan application submitted to develop five blocks along Main Street in Downtown Superior as mixed-use, includes 10,000 square feet of indoor community space and construction of the Plaza
- Economic Development Consultant (Better City) hired and work in progress
- Former Sports Authority building filled with two new tenants: Stickley Audi Fine Furniture and Goldfish Swim School. Ethan Allen store and Element Hotel opened.
- Happy City consultant hired and Cultural Arts and Placemaking Master Plan in process
- First annual Main Event arts festival held
- Coal Creek corridor improvements completed (McCaslin to US 36)
- New Skate Park completed
- Weekly meeting reminder and meeting summaries eblast implemented
- Moratorium regarding oil and gas development extended, code updates in process
- New trail from Superior BRT to Davison-Mesa underpass completed
Our third topic was consideration of a gradual transition to natural landscaping in targeted areas of town – for example, the manicured grass on the side of McCaslin. On a somewhat related topic, we discussed the Town’s current processes for weed management for Town Parks and Open Spaces. Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Director Patrick Hammer noted that glyphosate (aka Roundup) is primarily used in rock beds where people don’t go (e.g., medians), not any potential play surfaces, and it’s only used as a spot spray, not as an overall treatment. This approach is consistent with what Durango and Boulder do. Additionally, residents who back to Open Space or town land can request that the Town not spray any glyphosate near their properties; weeds are hand pulled in these areas. Director Hammer noted that we could substitute glufosinate (aka Ignite), which is three times more expensive – but since we’re not using very much glyphosate, this could be a reasonable option. The Board supported trying this approach.
We decided to table discussion of recent legislation until we can get further direction from our Town Attorney Kendra Carberry, who wasn’t present last night.
Our sixth topic for discussion was whether the Board is interested in converting Rock Creek
Parkway from a four-lane roadway to a two-lane roadway, to help improve safety as traffic is projected to increase from a current average of 8,200 average vehicles per day to a 2035 projection of up to 12,000 vehicles per day. One Trustee floated the idea of taking the extra lanes and re-purposing them for e-bicycles and golf carts – so that local Superior residents can use these to get to Downtown Superior, but non-residents cutting through from US-36 to Broomfield wouldn’t use it as a speedway.
Next, we discussed making a formal policy decision to require notes from Committee meetings outside of the one formal meeting held each month. The CAPS committee, for example, has a second meeting each month, which is held off-site and at which notes are taken but not published. Other committees sometimes have subcommittees convene to compile research and bring a decision back to the formal committee.
Our penultimate item on the agenda was around whether the Board is interested in converting the basketball court at Wildflower Park to pickleball courts, for a cost of approximately $50,000. I agreed with most of the Board members who spoke up, that today it seems to be working for this to be dual purpose (permanent basketball hoops, permanent striping for pickleball, and temporary pickleball nets that are quick to put up / take down). While I have enjoyed learning how to play pickleball this year, I’d rather see us find a different place for that sport, rather than taking away a basketball court amenity that many community members use and enjoy.
Finally, we discussed the potential timeline for public engagement, decision, and construction of 1500 Coalton Road (the former Land Rover facility), which we are currently under contract to purchase. Staff drafted a timeline based on an aggressive potential opening date of August 2020 – which I agree is a date I’d love to see us make, so that this facility is open sooner rather than later. While the engagement plan prepared by Town Staff was very similar to the survey I created, with questions around civic vs private vs mixed use, a majority of Board members said they were in favor of this facility being mixed use (at least for the initial building opening, though we can always change that later). I have since removed that question from my survey, though left a question to get any further comments on civic vs private vs mixed use. As the Board discussed our engagement process, there was an overall preference to hold off on public engagement and first seek out an architect to present some potential visions to use as a baseline; one Trustee also expressed a desire to avoid digital engagement and focus on in-person sessions. However, if and when we do launch digital engagement, Town Staff identified Boulder firm Bang the Table as a potential partner, and I think their brainstorming tool (sample here) would be a great forum to engage.
Before we dismissed, we turned to the “other” category on our agenda. A Board member brought up the Superior Town Challenge Coin, which was completed and delivered a few weeks ago; the Board discussed potential criteria and the process by which coins should be awarded. Another Board member brought up this week’s Rocky Mountain Women’s Disc Golf Championship in Purple Park, and asked if we might consider leaving the course up for a few days so that Superior residents have time to enjoy the course. Several years ago, there were complaints when the Disc Golf course stayed up after the tournament; however, the Board discussed that if there are similar issues / complaints this time, we can take it down immediately.
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.