First Friday: March 20217 min read
As a kid, I used to scream when the doctor told me I needed a shot. But yesterday afternoon, I screamed and danced around the house with joy when I got the surprise call: if I could make it to the pharmacy by 3:30pm, I could get a COVID vaccine that would otherwise expire and be thrown out! Our vaccine distribution system is definitely a mess, but I’m glad they are doing everything possible to get shots into arms and not let any doses go to waste. And while I know many people have had issues with the second dose of Moderna, I’m choosing to look on the bright side and get excited for a planned sick day (or three). I’m going to block my calendar off, stock up on soup and ginger ale, have a stack of books at the ready, and just be fully prepared to feel crummy for a few days. It is totally worth it to no longer live in fear of catching COVID – and hey, perhaps my planned sick days will be a nice little respite too. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year, it’s that taking a step back from your routine can be a positive thing if you have the right attitude 😉
When it’s your turn – don’t hesitate. Do your part to get the shot and stop the spread!
This morning, I hosted Month’s First Friday virtually, along with Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis and Trustee Paige Henchen. As usual, I will not attempt to provide a complete recap of every point, but will provide a short rundown of the topics I heard, which can help provide a pulse of the town.
Topics discussed at March’s First Friday include:
- Parking in Downtown Superior: A resident asked about what future parking will be like in Downtown Superior. At our July 8, 2019 Board meeting, we heard a presentation with details on parking, which you can view here. However, the short version is that every time we consider a development application, we generally spend a lot of time discussing parking and trying to ensure it’s adequate. With full buildout of downtown Superior, there will be a parking garage that will allow for both residential parking and visitor parking for people wanting to patronize the retail in downtown Superior; however, we as a Board do not have visibility into exactly what the details of that garage parking will be, since it is privately owned.
- Pools: We haven’t yet had any discussions as a Board about the plan for the pools this summer. However, I think the good news is that our reservation system last year worked (from a safety perspective), so I would expect we will at the very least open the pools with a reservation system; optimistically, we may be able to increase the capacity for each block of reservations, and/or remove the reservation system. As far as vaccination of pool staff, our current assumption is that the general public will be able to get vaccinated before the pools open, so there is no current plan to lobby the state to prioritize pool staff.
- Superior Business Passport Program: Our Board will be discussing this program on Monday. A cover letter for Monday’s discussion can be found here. XYZ
- Rock Creek HOA: For those living in Rock Creek, our annual assessment was due on March 1st; however, with the transition to a new management company for the HOA, many residents have had trouble logging in to pay this, and a resident spoke up about how difficult this has been. I agree – it took four emails requesting help for me to get a response from the HOA, but I was finally able to log in to pay my assessment. The Rock Creek HOA is a separate entity from the Town, so this isn’t an area where I have any authority, but I finally succeeded by emailing both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and would suggest trying that.
- Zaharias property: Back in the 1980s, it was expected that there would be an off/on-ramp to highway 36, which is why the Zaharias property was originally zoned as Regional Activity Center; however, as a result of this zoning, any residential development would require the land owner to request rezoning. At our February 8 Board Meeting, we heard a concept plan for this land that includes both residential and commercial buildings, and residents at First Friday were wondering if there were any updates. We have not received a development application for this land since that meeting, but it should be noted that the Town Board will serve as a quasi-judicial body for any development applications, so we cannot speculate on a prospective application.
- Affordable housing: We had a robust discussion around affordable housing and some potential means to create affordable housing in Superior. As a reminder, at our October 12 Board meeting, we enacted an ordinance to require affordable housing to be included as part of all new residential development in Superior; more recently, at our last Board meeting, we discussed a potential redevelopment opportunity to add an affordable housing development at the RTD McCaslin Park-n-Ride, which would require significant subsidies of $7.5-10M to build. In my opinion, the main reason to deploy subsidies for affordable housing is when people can’t afford to live where they work and businesses are struggling to attract workers as a result (e.g., in cities like New York and San Francisco); however, while the majority of Superior workers don’t live in Superior, they do live in neighboring communities, which I think is to be expected when our town is so small and there are so many lovely neighboring communities that aren’t necessarily inferior to Superior (well, perhaps in name 😉). I continue to support affordable housing in Superior if and only if we require residents of Superior’s affordable housing to actually work in Superior – not if they work in Boulder or Denver and want to use Superior as a bedroom community from which to commute. It’s just not acceptable to me to spend significant Superior taxpayer dollars to subsidize housing costs for workers in other communities.
- Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport: A potential new resident asked for the history / backstory of Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA) noise. In short – RMMA is located quite close to the south side of Superior, and all homeowners in Rock Creek HOA had to sign papers as part of their home closing acknowledging that there may be impacts from planes overhead. However, in the last few years, airplane noise has dramatically increased. I know when I bought my home six years ago, I rarely heard planes; now, I am frequently kept awake late at night or woken up by planes. At today’s First Friday, I asked one of our resident pilots in attendance about something I noticed two days ago on my morning run – in winter, the planes have died down quite a bit, but as the weather gets warmer, the airplane noise seems to be increasing. I understand that we don’t have jurisdiction over the airport or airspace, but my hope is that we can better understand why trends like this exist, and perhaps work to shift behavior so that it’s a win for everyone. My guess is that many residents would be less bothered by plane noise in the winter, when they are indoors, than in the summer, when more people want to be enjoying the outdoors – so perhaps the airport could try to encourage pilots to shift their training from summer to winter?
Hope to see you at next month’s First Friday! If you have thoughts on these or other topics, I would encourage you to attend our next virtual Board meeting on Monday March 8th, where you may speak up in public comment, or email the full Board at email@example.com.