Virtual Town Board Meeting: June 8, 20209 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Meeting, we heard our annual audit of the Town of Superior financial statements, approved a final development plan for Marshall Road Bridge over Coal Creek in Downtown Superior, and opened a public hearing to consider building the Parq at Rock Creek on what’s commonly referred to as the Zaharias property. Ready to find out more on what happened? As usual, you may read this post in written form, subscribe to the Laura for Superior podcast, 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 2E – Public Comment
Before getting started, we decided to try something new with our agenda, and move public comment before Board Reports. There was some disagreement among the Board as to whether this was a good idea; the intention was to allow Board members to respond in their reports to items brought up in public comment, but some Board members did not feel it was appropriate to respond to public comments. However, it was a moot point as there were no public comments outside of the agenda items.
Item 2D – Board Reports
During Board reports, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis made an anti-racist statement on behalf of the entire Board. We have also invited the Boulder County Sheriff to our June 22nd Board meeting to discuss how we can keep the community safe while ensuring that Black Lives Matter. I did not prepare a personal statement on racism and inequality, as I knew Mayor Pro Tem Lacis would be making a statement on behalf of the full Board – and I stand behind everything he said. But on a personal note, I am currently examining my own biases to understand exactly where I am on my own journey to become anti-racist and an ally. I would welcome any suggestions from residents as to tactical actions I can take to ensure Superior is an inclusive community, and suggestions for resources you’ve found helpful. For my part, I will encourage everyone to take five minutes and sit down with their family to watch the YouTube video called “Understanding White Privilege Through a $100 race” – it uses the metaphor of life as a race to explain white privilege so that even kids can understand it. If you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts on this topic, you can visit my personal blog here.
On a less somber note, I want to commend Town Staff for successfully opening the pools on Monday. I was able to go for a quick lap swim between meetings that day, and was very impressed by how well-trained the staff were; I understand they worked through the weekend to have the new policies and procedures finalized and the facility ready. For those who have questions about the new system, you may visit SuperiorRec.com or email email@example.com.
Item 2F – Presentation – Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Paul Niedermuller from CliftonLarsonAllen presented our annual audit of the Town of Superior financial statements. Once again, we received an “unmodified” rating – meaning that our financial statements fairly represent our financial position in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Item 3 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board unanimously passed the consent agenda – including a proclamation for gun violence awareness day, reappointment of our municipal judge and associate judge, and reappointment of members to our various committees.
Item 3D, an amendment to the municipal code to update write-in candidate guidance and election cancellation deadlines to align with state law, was pulled for discussion. If we did not want to align with state / county policy, we would need to run our own election for municipal candidates (i.e., the Board of Trustees) rather than being part of the state / county ballot every other November. Essentially, this amendment says that if a voter writes in a candidate, but that candidate has not filed an affidavit of intent with the Town Clerk verifying that s/he wants the office and is qualified, the vote will not count. Furthermore, if there are no more people running for an office than spots to be filled, the election may be cancelled and those candidates would automatically become elected. I completely disagree with both of these changes, as they take power away from voters to elect who they want. This item passed 4-3, with Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis, Trustee Sandie Hammerly, and me as the dissenting votes.
Item 4 – Sister City Agreement with Khandbari
We pulled this item from tonight’s agenda, and will instead cover it at our next meeting.
Item 5 – Continued FDP for Marshall Road Bridge over Coal Creek in Downtown Superior
The original planned development (PD) plan for Downtown Superior was created in October 2012; five amendments have been processed since then to accommodate design changes. At Monday night’s meeting, we considered an FDP to extend Marshall Road over Coal Creek to provide access to Downtown Superior. In short, the proposed FDP would allow Marshall Road to extend south over Coal Creek and connect the northern area of Downtown Superior / Superior Plaza with the downtown core. At our last meeting, our Board asked for more context around the designs for Parks 1 & 2 (on either side of the bridge) before making a decision on the bridge.
The original FDP for parks 1 & 2 was approved in 2017; for this meeting, Town Staff summarized the changes to Parks 1 & 2 since that FDP was approved. A summary of those changes is below:
Clearly, the design of these parks has changed quite a bit – we’ve removed the Great Lawn, amphitheater, north parking lot and restrooms, stairs, and splash pad amenity. I agreed with some of my fellow Board members that it’s problematic to approve a bridge in the midst of those park changes, since the potential approval of this FDP might lead to a conflict with the park designs. (I.e., if we approve the bridge, we will be stuck with certain design changes for the park.) We were in a tough spot to determine exactly how this FDP would affect the parks, because the park design already needs to change due to the realignment of Coal Creek. While we were assured that the parks could still have all the elements originally planned, I was unable to get an answer as to whether the cost of any of these elements would increase as a result of needing to rearrange – a major concern, since we have a limited budget for parks 1 and 2 and while some elements might be technically feasible, I was concerned they may no longer be financially feasible.
The Board voted to approve this plan 4-3, with Trustee Sandie Hammerly, Trustee Kevin Ryan, and me as the dissenting votes.
Item 6 – Public Hearing on the Parq at Rock Creek
Finally, we opened a public hearing to hear a final subdivision plat (FP) and final plat site plan (FPSP) for the Parq at Rock Creek, on the 24-acre property commonly referred to as “the Zaharias property”, between highway 36 and 88th Street. The proposed FP would divide the land into one 15.4-acre development lot (Lot 1, Block 1); one publicly dedicated tract of land (Tract A) at 3.8 acres for use as open space; two privately owned tracts of land for use as open space and storm detention; and 0.97 acres of publicly dedicated right-of-way (ROW) along the eastern edge of S. 88th St. This land is currently all zoned as Commercial, though it has never been developed, so some members of the community erroneously believe it is Open Space. In conjunction with this is a request to zone Lot 1, Block 1 to Residential, so that the applicant could build 180 apartments along with the associated private streets, public and private utilities, as well as landscaping and site improvements.
We heard the initial presentation from the developer, and then a few members of the Board asked some questions before we took public comment. Public comment had not concluded by our meeting end time of 11:00pm, but a motion to extend the meeting time did not pass, with Trustees Sandie Hammerly, Kevin Ryan, Neal Shah, and me as the dissenting votes. A member of the Board spoke up vehemently about the decision not to extend; however, I was cut off from responding to those comments in the meeting so I will provide my rationale here.
Although I am always eager to hear from our residents, I do not believe it is respectful to you if we continue public comments past 11pm, when our Board is exhausted rather than fully engaged with what you are saying. I would like to point out that I was intentionally quiet after the developer presentation because I wanted to prioritize public comment, so I was pretty frustrated to then be attacked (by a member of the Board who spent a lot of time asking questions) as not wanting to hear from the public. I apologize to those residents who did not have an opportunity to speak on Monday night, but encourage you to email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org so that they may be put into the public record and thoroughly read and considered by each Board member prior to the next meeting. Emailing us your comments is not only more efficient, but also allows you to make all your points without fear of hitting the time limit used in meetings 😉 That said, if you prefer to speak, you may alternatively join our next Board meeting for the continuation of this public hearing.
A motion passed 6-1 to continue this to the next meeting on Monday June 22nd, with Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis as the dissenting vote. As such, this application is still under consideration, so I am not legally permitted to comment on it outside of the formal Board meetings.
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.