Virtual Town Board Meeting: May 26, 20209 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Meeting, we passed an ordinance allowing restaurants to operate in parking lots adjacent to their businesses, approved financing and a contract with PG Arnold for construction to renovate 1500 Coalton Road, decided to paint town fencing a new test color, began considering a final development plan from RC Superior for the construction of the Marshall Road Bridge, and heard a presentation for a potential Sister City affiliation with Khandbari, Nepal. 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 2D – Board Reports
During Board reports, Mayor Clint Folsom reminded everyone that he posted a video with his annual State of Superior; you may watch it here. As an update on the pool discussion we had at our last meeting, the current state guidance does not encourage the reopening of pools, but Town Staff will continue to monitor the situation.
Item 3 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board passed the consent agenda – including meeting minutes and a proclamation for June Pride Month.
Item 3C, a lease agreement with Rock Creek After School for office space at 2800 Rock Creek Circle, was pulled from the consent agenda for discussion. Item 3D, an ordinance to enter into agreements for financing for the renovation of 1500 Coalton Road, was also pulled for discussion. Both of these items would be covered after item 5, a construction contract with PG Arnold for renovation of 1500 Coalton Road.
Item 4 – Outdoor Restaurant Operations
We considered an ordinance allowing restaurants to operate in parking lots adjacent to their businesses, to allow for increased physical distancing and safety. Final state guidelines are still in development, and restaurants would need to go to the state for ultimate permission. However, this ordinance would temporarily waive Superior requirements for banner permits, waive building permit fees for outdoor patios, and allow our Town Clerk to approve temporary modifications of liquor-licensed premises. All of Superior’s restaurants currently exist within broader complexes / shopping centers, where they are surrounded by parking lots; both Brixmor (who owns the Superior Marketplace) and J&B (who owns Rock Creek Village) were supportive of the ability to do expanded patios within common space areas and/or parking lots. The ordinance passed unanimously.
Item 5 – Construction Contract with PG Arnold for Renovation of 1500 Coalton Road
Next, we considered a contract with PG Arnold for construction to renovate 1500 Coalton Road to become a community center for the town. The project was initially estimated at $2M, but as the design consultants dug into the project, there were structural issues and accessibility issues that increased the price. The new price, which PG Arnold has guaranteed, is $2.51M, which works out to $158/square foot and is in line with similar projects (like Improper City in Denver). However, there will also be an additional ~$300K in cost for furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
The agreement passed unanimously. With the agreement approved, construction will begin in June and run through March 2021, so we can open the facility in spring 2021.
Item 3 – Consent Agenda, continued
We then went back to Item 3D, an ordinance to enter into agreements for financing for the renovation of 1500 Coalton Road. With Item 5 approved (and clarification on the total amount, including furniture, fixtures, and equipment), this passed unanimously.
Next, we went back to item 3C, a lease agreement with Rock Creek After School for office space at 2800 Rock Creek Circle. Rock Creek After School is, sadly, closing next week; they would like to transfer the remainder of their 2.5 year lease to the Town, which is in need of space for twelve Parks & Recreation staff and storage. The $10,672/month all-in lease is less expensive than modular office options, but more expensive than space at Superior Way (in the Old Chicago location); however, the facility is better suited than Superior Way because of its location, capacity, and lease timing.
I had some concerns about the long length of the lease, since demand and prices for office space are dropping rapidly due to COVID19. My own company is having extended discussions about when to reopen our offices and who truly needs to be there (right now, the answer is “nobody”); when we do reopen, it’s likely that we won’t need nearly as much space given the number of people who will continue working from home. With this trend in mind, it doesn’t make sense in Superior to lock ourselves into a 2.5 year lease at today’s office space prices.
We did not end up voting on agenda item 3C, but instead asked Town Staff to identify alternate plans to find space for staff to work.
Item 6 – FDP for Marshall Road Bridge over Coal Creek in Downtown Superior
Next, the Board considered a final development plan from RC Superior for the construction of the Marshall Road Bridge to span Coal Creek and connect planning areas 1 and 2 in Downtown Superior.
After significant discussion from the Board, a motion passed 5-2 to continue this to the next meeting on Monday June 8th, with Mayor Clint Folsom and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis as the dissenting votes. As such, this is still an application under consideration, so I am not legally permitted to comment on it outside of the formal Board meetings.
Item 7 – Town Fence Color
Next, the Board engaged in discussion around a color for the Town-maintained fencing. The Town maintains ~150K feet of fencing, which it paints / stains on a four-year rotation (meaning, 1/4 of the fencing is repainted each year). The Rock Creek HOA covenants require the fence color to be “Cabot Dune Gray”; however, the current color painted throughout town is actually a different color than the originally intended color. As we have heard significant discontent throughout town with the current color, the Rock Creek HOA Board has been discussing options for changing the fence color designated in the covenants:
1 – Keep the status quo (even though it’s not Cabot Dune Gray), which I will informally refer to as “Rock Creek Yellow”
2 – Revert to the actual Cabot Dune Gray (that is, not the current color that’s painted all throughout Rock Creek)
3 – Take a request to the residents to amend the covenants and remove Cabot Dune Gray from being named, so that the HOA has more flexibility in picking a different color without always needing a majority of households to respond
After several Rock Creek HOA meetings, a decision has not yet been made by the HOA Board; however, our Town contractor needed to begin painting on June 1 in order to stay on schedule. A member of the Board proposed a test-and-learn approach where we paint some sections of fence and wait to paint the rest until we can get community feedback; however, our Town Manager pointed out that we would not have time to gather feedback before the rest of the painting would need to start.
Instead, I proposed that we paint this year’s entire portion of the fencing (i.e., 1/4 of the Town-maintained total) with the correct Cabot Dune Gray, and then use that entire portion as our “test and learn” – soliciting feedback from residents before next year’s rotation of painting. If there were to be significant negative feedback, we could go back to the current Rock Creek Yellow, and the consequence would just be that one quarter of our fencing would be a different color from the rest for four years. I noted that while I was down in Highlands Ranch for a doctor’s visit a few weeks ago, I saw they have different fence colors throughout town; it is actually not very noticeable unless you’re paying close attention and looking for it. As long as we aren’t going with a zebra-stripe approach where every post is a different color, I think having two colors will be hardly noticeable for this test and transition period. The rest of the Board agreed to this approach, so you’ll start seeing the actual Cabot Dune Gray color on the south side of Rock Creek within the next few weeks. I look forward to hearing your feedback!
Item 8 – Sister City Agreement with Khandbari
Finally, we heard a presentation from resident Narayan Shrestha for a potential Sister City affiliation with Khandbari, Nepal. Unfortunately, we were quite short on time at this point in the meeting, so we didn’t have time for comprehensive Board questions by the time the meeting ended. An initial motion was made to extend the meeting past 11:00pm, and we agreed to extend it to 11:15pm, but as we had not gotten very far into our Board questions at that point (let alone discussion), I, for one, voted not to extend the meeting once again (since I didn’t think a short extension would give the time we needed to cover this). Instead, we decided to continue this item at our June 8 meeting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or to me specifically at email@example.com. 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.