Virtual Town Board Meeting: April 12, 2021

Virtual Town Board Meeting: April 12, 20219 min read

Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Meeting, we heard a request for a retail pet sales ordinance; approved the Town’s subscription to Xcel’s Windsource program to supply 100% of the Town’s municipal electricity use; provided feedback on proposed sculptures and ground murals for a pilot phase of the Superior ARTery; approved $37K in art for the 1500 Coalton Road Community Center; provided feedback and approved an update to our PROST Master Plan; and discussed several carryover items from last week’s Town Board work session, including fire service, sustainability, gun violence prevention, street racing, affordable housing, and a potential tax for road maintenance. 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. At the request of my fellow Board members, I am not attributing any points to them. For the most unbiased and complete information, I encourage residents to watch the meeting video and draw their own conclusions – visit the town website at SuperiorColorado.gov for the official meeting video and meeting minutes.

Item 2E – Public Comment

During public comment, Joyce Cohen shared some details about the puppy mill industry and asked the Board to consider passing an ordinance banning the sale of dogs / cats in pet stores, to help shut down puppy / kitten mills. So far, nine towns in Colorado have passed similar ordinances, and Ms. Cohen said they are best enacted preemptively, as once a pet store that sells live animals opens it is very difficult to get this ordinance passed. You can learn more about these types of ordinances here. I would be interested to learn how Superior residents feel about this issue – please reach out with your feedback.

Also during public comment, Resident Brad Walker shared his perspective on that morning’s Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport Noise roundtable.

Item 3 – Consent Agenda

Next, our Board unanimously passed the consent agenda – including meeting minutes, a proclamation for Arbor Day, a tastings permit for Superior Liquor, an ordinance amending the Superior Municipal Code to allow alcohol on Town properties (including the Community Center) with the appropriate liquor license, and a resolution approving Town Membership in Colorado Communities for Climate Action and Joining Local Governments for Sustainability

Item 3D, a modification of the Whole Foods premises to permanently expand the beer display from 12′ to 20′, was pulled for discussion. This expansion has been requested by customers, and would include both beer and kombucha. This passed unanimously.

Item 3H, potential approval of the Town’s subscription to Xcel’s Windsource program to supply 100% of the Town’s municipal electricity use, was also pulled for discussion. By subscribing to Windsource, we would earn renewable energy credits (RECs), which allow organizations to commit to clean energy even when onsite solar panels or wind turbines aren’t an option. Essentially, we would be paying extra (roughly $45K) to pay for the cost of creating this energy from renewable sources. This passed unanimously.

Item 4 – Cultural Arts and Public Spaces

The first item on the main agenda was a presentation from our Cultural Arts and Public Spaces (CAPS) committee, to consider approving their recommendations for future projects. We spent quite a bit of time discussing the process for decisionmaking and what is appropriate to delegate (as I outlined coming out of our 4/5 Town Board Worksession). We discussed a proposed policy for committee authority where all permanent improvements / installations would require a full agenda item for Board approval, and all temporary events / installations should be placed on the consent agenda for Board approval. Advisory Committees would not need Town Board approval to spend discretionary funds allocated through the current annual budget process (currently set at $5K per year). While I would much prefer we give our committees more authority to get things done quickly, without micromanaging, I was glad we were at least able to give more clear direction to committees on which items need Board approval.

As for the actual recommendations, we provided feedback on proposed sculptures and ground murals for a pilot phase of the Superior ARTery, an interactive walking path envisioned to wind through the entire town. I am so excited about this concept, and I was also really happy that CAPS has been working with our public works department to not just create beautiful art but also use it to enhance safety. There were some concerns about putting art on the north side of Coalton Road, but I think doing so will encourage existing pedestrians to traverse the entire side of that sidewalk to the crosswalks at T&C Nails and Rock Creek Parkway / Circle, rather than cutting across in the middle like they do today; a median sculpture will also help to discourage jaywalking.

We also considered a contract for art at the 1500 Coalton Road Community Center, where six potential artists / designs were shortlisted by CAPS. Although I had a slight preference for one of the artists / designs that was not recommended for selection, I voted to approve CAPS’ recommendations – in the spirit of “walking my walk” when it comes to not micromanaging. We ultimately voted to approve a $10K agreement with Heather Dawn Patterson McCulloch for the Superior wall and a $27K agreement with Fawn Atencio for the South wall, by a vote of 6-1, with Trustee Neal Shah as the dissenting vote.

Although we provided feedback, we didn’t need to vote on item 4C, CAPS’ recommendation to partner with the Superior Chamber to sponsor an annual award for creative businesses. As agreed during our earlier discussion, CAPS says that this will be funded out of their discretionary funds.

Item 5 – 2021 PROST Master Plan Update

PROS Consulting (an independent consulting firm) has been working with our Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PARC) to update our Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails (PROST) Master Plan. After a year of work, PARC unanimously approved the 2021 PROST Master Plan, and now sought Board feedback and approval on the plan as well.

A lot of our Board discussion centered on the recreation experience prioritized needs (page 11), with questions about the methodology behind these rankings. I was rather confused by the explanation, which was first that special interest groups (like seniors) were deprioritized; however, this didn’t make sense, as it seemed like other special interest groups (like parents of toddlers) were still getting prioritized activities. I requested that we move senior programs / services up from the “low” priority ranking, as it seemed to me to be a much broader category than some others that ranked higher. While our population today has more families than seniors, we’ve heard lots of feedback that people want to stay in Superior even after their children are grown, so I think it’s important for us to ensure we have programming for this demographic.

Item 6 – Work Session Carryover Items

Finally, we discussed a few items we didn’t get to in last week’s Town Board Work Session.

First, we considered the possibility of entering into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) for service from Mountain View Fire Protection District (MVFD). In my opinion, it was not clear what benefit we would get from entering into an IGA with MVFD rather than continuing without an agreement. We agreed to schedule an executive session with our Town Attorney to discuss this further.

Next, we heard an introduction from our new Town Sustainability Analyst, Alyssa Vogan; she mentioned that she had spent her first few days on the job learning more about our sustainability priorities, and she fully supported the concept of “what gets measured gets managed” and would be working to have KPIs for any new initiatives. I was thrilled to hear this!

We discussed potentially taking a local position on gun violence prevention, with some potential suggestions including a ban on assault-style weapons or an ordinance focused on requiring safe storage of firearms. Our Town Attorney let us know that it would be difficult for us to do anything right now, as there is potential legislation working its way through the state levels, but we agreed that we should revisit this as options become available to us.

Next, we discussed how to discourage the street racing that has been going on down US-36, with participants congregating in the Superior Marketplace parking lot. Town Manager Matt Magley updated us that after conversations with Brixmor (the owners of the Superior Marketplace), they planned to put up signs that said the parking lot is not open to the public when stores are closed, which would then allow the sheriff to ticket those who congregate there. Manager Magley is also working with the Boulder County Sheriff to increase police presence. A photo of the new signs is below:

We briefly discussed some updates from staff on the possibility of creating affordable / attainable housing in Superior. As I have said before, although I am generally supportive of affordable housing, my goal in creating it would be to resolve commute / quality of life issues where workers cannot afford to live a reasonable distance from where they work. However, I have still not seen evidence that this is the case in Superior, given the small physical size of Superior and proximity of more affordable neighborhoods, like Arvada and Broomfield. If we are going to be spending Superior taxpayer dollars on affordable housing, I want that affordable housing to be reserved for people who work in Superior – not use our taxpayer dollars to subsidize Boulder’s housing shortage.

Our application for funding from the Colorado DOT Safer Main Streets was not granted; a Trustee identified a potential solution to create a 0.28% sales tax increase, the proceeds of which would be dedicated to funding road maintenance in perpetuity. This would need to pass via a ballot measure, which would come before voters in November. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this before we move forward with working to add it to the ballot.

Wrap Up

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 townboard@superiorcolorado.gov, or to me specifically at lauras@superiorcolorado.gov. 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.

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