Town Board Work Session and Meeting: April 8, 20198 min read
Hi neighbors! In last Monday’s Town Board Work Session and Meeting, we reviewed a concept plan for Main Street in Downtown Superior, heard a presentation from the Boulder County Housing Authority on affordable housing, signed a contract for an economic development consultant, and unanimously adopted a resolution encouraging the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council to oppose oil and gas exploration, production, and hydraulic fracturing on and under Rocky Flats. 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 Town Board Work Session to review a concept plan for Main Street in downtown Superior – PD blocks 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11. You can check out the full concept plan here. In addition to our Town Board and a few members of the Planning Commission, our working session included representatives from David Hicks Lampert (retail broker), KTGY (architect), Dig Studio (landscape architect), CFC Construction (contractor), and Civil Resources (civil engineer).
During the Work Session, David Lampert from the retail brokerage shared a map of all the retailers in the area, so we have a better picture of what’s surrounding this property. He noted that there will be some big box vacancies in Louisville (Kohl’s is moving and there is potential for Lowes to move as well); however, entertainment / experience businesses (e.g., movie theaters, Ninja warrior training facilities) and boutique retail shops are thriving. Mr. Lampert expects a mix of local, regional, and national tenants, and included a list of some potential types of businesses, seen in the picture below:
Ranch Capital developer Bill Jencks said that his goal is to submit an FDP by the end of May and begin construction in early 2020. It will take roughly two years to complete, though some residences and retail could open as quickly as 12-18 months after construction starts.
Key concerns raised during the discussion include adequate parking for both residents and visitors, private clubhouse fronting the park, and orientation of townhouses on the southern piece of the property. Later, during the Town Board Meeting reports, Mayor Clint Folsom encouraged residents to email in feedback as soon as possible to the concept plan that was presented tonight for downtown Superior. We really want to hear what you think! Please email feedback to our Town Manager Matt Magley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Board Meeting kicked off with the usual updates around the dais – a bit lengthier than usual, since we haven’t met as a Board since March 11 (meeting recap here). In addition to encouraging residents to provide feedback on the Downtown Superior concept plan, Mayor Folsom also reminded everyone about the 2019 State of Superior Mayor & Manager Update, taking place on Tuesday April 16th at noon at Brunelleschi’s.
In my own reports, I noted that at our last Transportation & Safety Committee meeting, we discussed making use of a formal process to evaluate neighborhoods for traffic calming measures. Along with our excellent transportation consultant Carlos Hernandez, Town Staff is working to create a one-page document that makes it easy for residents to understand what that process looks like and how to kick it off. (You can see the initial draft here, which is still being revised.) In the meantime, the part I want to make sure everyone knows is that we now have a form for residents to request traffic calming; fill it out and collect five neighbors’ signatures, and we’ll kick off the formal evaluation to determine whether and which traffic calming measures are warranted.
During presentations, the Board conducted an interview with resident Colin Duncan to potentially fill an open position on the Superior Youth Leadership Council.
Next, representatives from Boulder County Housing Authority presented some of the issues surrounding affordable housing, and discussed a potential ballot measure for either the 2019 or 2020 ballot, which would levy a 3.25 mill property tax to raise $20 million a year for the Regional Housing Trust Fund. By my calculations, a 3.25 mill levy would be about $130 per year on a house valued at $500,000. Members of the Board received a copy of the December 2017 Expanding Access to Diverse Housing for our Community, and I noted from the report that Superior was recorded as having 4,723 total housing units, but only 2 today are considered affordable (0.04%). One Trustee pointed out that the tax paid in will not necessarily come back to Superior in any given year, though the intention is that in the long-term, each community will get an equitable distribution. We will be discussing affordable housing initiatives at our Town Board Retreat on Monday, April 15.
Item 3: Consent Agenda
The consent agenda included approval of various meeting minutes, proclamations for Arbor Day and the 2020 Colorado Complete Count campaign (around the 2020 census), approval of a new manager for the Element Hotel, appointment of Christina Costabile to the CAPS committee, and approval of an intergovernmental agreement with Boulder County for use tax collection.
Item 3H, an agreement with Dewberry Engineers for design services on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Headworks and Odor Control Project, was pulled from the consent agenda for discussion. After a few questions from Trustees, this item too passed unanimously.
Item 4: Agreement with Better City LLC for Economic Development Services
Better City CEO Adam Hughes presented some case studies of the work his firm has done in various municipalities in Utah and Colorado. After the presentation, I asked about how Superior differs from the other municipalities with which Better City has worked; Mr. Hughes responded that our location is unique in that we can capture the workforces of both Superior and Boulder. Another Board member asked what makes Better City different from Buxton, a previous economic development firm our town hired (and later chose to stop working with); Mr. Hughes replied that Buxton focuses on retail. After questions from another Trustee, Mr. Hughes mentioned his initial goals for Superior include attracting an office tenant and focusing on entertainment over retail.
One Board member asked some questions around the focus areas for this plan, including the likely need for an eventual transition of the spaces of some of our big box stores; s/he also expressed concerns about Better City’s lack of a local presence (they are based in Utah). Another Board member said that s/he applauded the scope presented, but echoed my thoughts that there isn’t a lot of clarity as to what we’ll be getting after the initial work plan and cluster analysis are done in the first 60 days.
During Board discussion, this point was what I kept coming back to. While Town Staff did a great job working with Better City to put together a detailed scope of work for the contract, until we do the current state assessment in the next two months, we won’t know exactly what the rest of the work should be. For this reason, I wanted to amend the contract to run for the next two months (at a value of about $15,000), then sign a new contract once we’re clear on the rest of the deliverables, since that would ensure we know where the incremental $40,000 is going.
Several Trustees agreed that we’d like to frequently check in on progress. However, one Board member pointed out that sometimes we have a tendency to micromanage and s/he doesn’t think that’s necessary in this case. In the end, the Board voted to approve the contract by a vote of 6-1, with me as the dissent. After the meeting, I spoke directly with Mr. Hughes to let him know that while I voted no on the contract, I am still eager to see his work and help however I can. I plan to meet with Mr. Hughes this week, and am really looking forward to it.
Item 5 – Resolution Supporting a Motion by the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council to oppose Oil and Gas on and under Rocky Flats
Finally, a Board member shared a motion s/he drafted for the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council to oppose oil and gas exploration, production, and hydraulic fracturing on and under Rocky Flats. At the Stewardship Council, representatives from JeffCo, Broomfield, and Thornton were opposed to this motion. To lend support, our Board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting this motion.
Since the Board meeting, a citizen has reached out to me about potentially circulating a petition to show citizen support for this motion. I will be bringing this up at our Town Board Retreat to see if our Board is supportive, and will also keep you informed via my blog / social media how you can help.
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.