Virtual Town Board Meeting: April 26, 2021

Virtual Town Board Meeting: April 26, 202110 min read

Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Meeting, we passed a resolution encouraging state legislature to address mass shootings and gun violence in Colorado by instituting at least a six day waiting period for the purchase of firearms and a ban on assault weapons; approved a concept plan and $75K incremental funding request for a new park and playground in Tract H; selected transportation projects to put forth for CDOT and DRCOG grant funding; agreed to move forward with drafting a ballot question for Superior residents to vote on a sales / use tax increase to fund future transportation improvements; and went into Executive Session to receive legal advice on the topic of the purchase of open space 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. 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 2D – Board Reports

During Board reports, I brought up two potential changes to our ordinances that were suggested by members of the CAPS committee.

Today, we have an ordinance (Sec. 11-1-90-b-2) prohibiting food trucks from parking for more than 15 minutes in one location. Some residents in Downtown Superior are interested in organizing food truck nights, where the trucks would park there for some time and allow everyone to come, potentially along with music. After some initial research on my part, a reason for this ordinance is that some restaurants do not appreciate food trucks being near them and taking their business, so it is important to regulate food trucks in some manner. My suggestion would be that we allow food trucks to park for up to three hours once per week – that would allow for one-off or even weekly events (e.g., Fish Fry Wednesdays) without competing with permanent restaurants.

In a similar vein, it doesn’t seem like there are any specific policies about PODS being left in Downtown Superior, so residents who are moving in / out need to just cross their fingers and hope for the best if they chance leaving a POD on the street. I might suggest we allow short duration (maybe 72 hours?) parking of PODS without a permit, and require a permit for any longer periods.

Item 2E – Public Comment

During public comment, resident David Cantliffe spoke up with concerns about trails being widened / destroyed as our landscaping companies use pickup trucks rather than ATVs to plow.

Waterford Estates President Terrie Clark shared some comments on our agenda items, including asking the Board to remove a proposed trail between the culs-de-sac of Karval and Wiggins from the consideration list.

Resident Rainer Kunz commented with his support for agenda item 6, a potential sales tax increase to fund road improvements, rather than a property tax increase.

Item 3 – Consent Agenda

Next, our Board unanimously passed the consent agenda – including meeting minutes, a proclamation for Economic Development Week, a Q1 2021 financial summary, approval for the Superior Historical Commission (SHC) to resume monthly in-person tours, an amendment to the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) mission, an intergovernmental agreement to provide funding for the last segment of the US 36 Bikeway Extension Project, a liquor license transfer from the former Delvickio’s to Tequila Y Mezchal, approval of the removal of a member of the Cultural Arts and Public Spaces (CAPS) committee due to non-attendance, and a resolution encouraging state legislature to address mass shootings and gun violence in Colorado by instituting at least a six day waiting period for the purchase of firearms and a ban on assault weapons.

We pulled item 3G, a recommendation from OSAC on potential future Boulder County Open Space acquisitions and trail projects, for discussion. OSAC’s ranked list of properties for acquisition is the Zaharias property, the Bolejack property, and 3rd Avenue Tract 919; their ranked trail list is a connection to Davidson Mesa, surface / safety improvements for Coalton Trail, additional links to the Coal Creek Regional Trail, stairs to Oerman-Roche trailhead, and an additional access point to the Meadowlark Trail. At the end of public comment, OSAC Chair Ryan Welch commented on this item and encouraged us to pass it as-is. Although there was late-breaking information on Monday that 3rd Avenue tract 919 was sold last month, Mr. Welch pointed out that the recommendation process typically takes 6-8 months by BCPOS to approve and it is common for things to change in this time. We unanimously approved the recommendation to be sent on to BCPOS, which you may read in full here.

Item 4 – Concept Plan and Funding Request for Toll Brothers Tract H Park and Playground

In September 2019, we approved an FDP for Blocks 16-24 of Downtown Superior, including the Tract H Park property. Representatives from Toll Brothers and DTJ Design presented the updated Concept Plan for the 1/2 acre Tract H Park and Playground, south of Central Park Way, east of Tract H, and west of US 36 Highway. Access to the park will be from the Tract H trail/pathway and from a short trail/pathway connection to the sidewalk along Promenade Drive.

The playground is anchored around a “ninja warrior” concept, with elements like a parkour set, pullup bars, balance beam, and climbing net; there are also earth mounds and “mining tunnels” to pay homage to Superior’s history. Click here to view renderings of what this might look like. Toll Brothers had allocated $300K for this, but the proposed design is estimated to cost $375K, which Town Staff proposed paying from Town reserves.

Toll Brothers’ goal would be to open this playground within 9-12 months, which the Board pushed back on; Toll Brothers replied that they intend to start construction on the other side of the development, so moving the playground to finish sooner would open it while there is still nearby construction (and the associated dangers). My personal perspective is that I’d rather see us stick with this timeline – while it would be great for the playground to open sooner, I don’t want to encourage kids to come play next to a construction zone.

The Board unanimously approved this concept plan and funding request.

Item 5 – Revitalizing Main Street Grant Program

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is launching the Revitalizing Main Streets grant program, with two separate grant programs

The larger safety infrastructure grant would provide up to $2M to improve user safety along urban arterials or main street corridors, especially for vulnerable users like pedestrians, bikers, motorcyclists, transit users, elderly adults, and people with disabilities. Town Staff identified three candidate projects for this program: a roundabout at McCaslin and Indiana, protected pedestrian crossings at intersections on Rock Creek Circle, and four RRFBs and four speed radar signs. We had robust discussion about which project to prioritize, given that only one application could be submitted. While I was a big champion of adding a roundabout at McCaslin and Indiana, we don’t believe this project has a good chance of being funded through this program, since it was submitted in 2020 and not selected (feedback was that it didn’t seem to meet program goals / demonstrate better multimodal access to vulnerable users outside the local area). Given the imminent opening of 1500 Coalton Community Center and the expected increase in pedestrian / bike traffic to get there, we chose protected pedestrian crossings at intersections on Rock Creek Circle for submission.

The other grant would be for small multimodal & economic resiliency projects, with up to $150K per project to support infrastructure projects that provide improved spaces for mobility, community activities and economic development in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Town Staff identified four candidate projects for this program: a Downtown Superior Main Street Kick Start, Rock Creek Village/ARTery events, Downtown Superior Travel Demand Management Implementation, and wayfinding between US 36 Bikeway and Downtown Superior. Within this category, applicants can submit multiple applications (though can only receive $250K in total), so we directed Public Works Director Alex Ariniello to submit all four projects.

Finally, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) has a Community Mobility Planning and Implementation Projects Grant Program to support small area planning and small infrastructure projects. Town Staff identified three candidate projects for this program: protected pedestrian crossings on Rock Creek Circle, a McCaslin Multi-Use Trail Crossing to connect Tract H Trail with Oerman-Roche trailhead, and a Rock Creek Parkway Right-sizing Feasibility Study. We had a lot of discussion about the right-sizing feasibility study, but it was suggested that we should solicit more community feedback before embarking on something like this. We decided to submit the underpass across McCaslin to connect Tract H with Oerman-Roche trailhead.

Item 6 – Potential Ballot Measures for Tax Increases

At our last two Quarterly Board work sessions (on April 5 and February 1), we discussed potentially putting a tax increase on the November 2021 election ballot to help fund future capital improvement projects.  The Town has typically funded capital projects on an annual basis with available funds for the year. However, there are always more capital projects for any given year than funding available, resulting in some projects either being delayed or not happening. One particular gap area for Superior is transportation projects; in our March 8 Town Board Meeting, Director Ariniello emphasized that we have a $1.4M a year deficit in our ability to maintain the roads in their current condition. You may also click here to see a list of currently unfunded transportation projects.

We have a current Superior Metropolitan Interchange District (SMID) sales and use tax of 0.16% that will sunset on 12/31/22, so one option would be asking the voters to continue this tax for CIPs; we could also ask the voters to raise this sales / use tax further. Alternately, we could increase property taxes by 4.197 mills (resulting in about a $150 annual increase in property taxes on a $500K home) without going to the voters, which would result in more than double the revenue.

Based on previous discussions with the Board, Town Staff recommended we move forward with a sales / use tax increase of 0.44% to fund future transportation improvements in town, which would generate an additional $1.6M annually. (This would be a net increase of 0.28% after the SMID tax sunsets in 2022.) Our sales and use tax rate would then be 8.725%; the chart below shows how this compares to other communities:

Proposed_Superior_Sales_Tax_Increase_Comparison

Our Board unanimously agreed that we should move forward with that option; Town Manager Matt Magley said he expected to have potential ballot language to the Board for review at our May 24th meeting.

Item 7 – Executive Session

Finally, we went into executive session to receive legal advice on the topic of the purchase of open space property.

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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