Virtual Town Board Meeting: December 14, 202010 min read
Hi neighbors – and happy New Year! My apologies for the delay in getting this posted; with trying to prepare for Christmas, I didn’t realize I hadn’t hit publish on my post and video! Nevertheless, I wanted to make sure I keep you in the loop on everything that happened in our last board meeting.
In December 14th’s Virtual Town Board Meeting, we conducted the swearing in of our new and re-elected Trustees (Paige Henchen, Tim Howard, and Mark Lacis); heard an update on the PROST Master Plan; appointed Mark Lacis as our Mayor Pro Tem for the next two years; discussed Trustee committee assignments; reviewed art proposals for 1500 Coalton Road and Oerman-Roche Trailhead; discussed a potential ordinance for third-party food delivery platform fees; and heard a presentation for a final subdivision plat and final development plan for blocks 26 and 27 in Downtown Superior. 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. For the most unbiased and complete information, I would 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. Finally, I’d also encourage you to check out EngagedCitizens.us, 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, all the incumbent members on the Board congratulated new Trustees Tim Howard and Paige Henchen on their election, and expressed appreciation for former Trustee Kevin Ryan’s four years of service.
Item 2E – Public Comment
During public comment, resident Rainer Kunz spoke to encourage the town to add a staircase as an amenity at Oerman Roche Trailhead. Mr. Kunz also expressed concerns that Downtown Superior has not yet progressed into a thriving, vibrant downtown, but continues to market this downtown to new residents. Resident Dylan Beeson spoke up and echoed the same concerns about moving in three years ago and still having no downtown, as promised. Resident Anthony Harrigan also commented to express concerns about Remington Homes as a builder.
Finally, resident Brad Walker expressed concerns about Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Lacis serving as our Board’s representative to the Airport Roundtable, and urged the Board to consider having a different member of the Board step up.
Item 2G – Presentation – Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails (PROST) Master Plan Update
Next, we heard a presentation from PROS Consulting Principal Mike Svetz, who shared a summary of levels of service, equity mapping, and concept plans for our PROST Master Plan – you can view his presentation here. Some residents have expressed concerns about the move of the North Pool described in this presentation; however, please note that any concepts included in this plan are suggestions only, and still have yet to go through rigorous review and feedback from both PROSTAC and the community at large. The final plan is expected to come before the Town Board in March for potential approval and adoption.
As for my opinion, I am potentially supportive of new amenities on the Town 15, depending on what exactly they are, but I am not supportive of relocating the North Pool. I understand that the facility is aging and may even need to close for a season to be rebuilt from the ground up, but I am not at all supportive of moving an amenity when so many home values are based on proximity to that amenity. To me, this is similar to the decision to block off Weldona – some residents bought homes in that neighborhood with a promise that they would have access to 88th Street, and we closed that off, which I don’t think was fair.
Our Board often talks about unintended consequences. I believe that if we relocated the North Pool, we would be lowering home values of the houses currently closest to the pool. We would potentially be raising the value of homes closer to the Town 15, which is good for those homes; however, I don’t think that’s fair to artificially shift value from one set of homes to another in that way. Let me know what you think!
Item 3 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board unanimously passed the consent agenda – including meeting minutes and a non-exclusive utility easement agreement.
Item 3E, a Right-of-Way (RoW) agreement with the Victor C. Thomas Family, LLC and CLADD LLC for the 88th Street Improvement Project, was deferred to a future meeting.
Item 3D, an intergovernmental agreement with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office for Dispatch Services, was pulled for discussion; after some questions, it passed 6-1, with Trustee Ken Lish as the dissenting vote.
Item 3F, contracts between Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District (RMF) and Mountain View Fire Protection District (MVF), was also pulled for discussion. RMF and MVF have merged, with the merged District encompassing approximately 85,000 residents over 250 square miles, including the Town of Superior. While Superior was previously part of RMF, we will now get all fire and rescue services from MVF. The Town currently has an intergovernmental agreement and lease with RMF for Fire Station 5 on Indiana Street; as part of the merger, RMF has asked us to reassign the IGA and lease to MVF. This item passed 6-1, with Trustee Ken Lish as the dissenting vote.
Finally, Item 3G, an amendment to the Subdivision Improvement Agreement (SIA) for the Morgan-Ranch Main Street Final Development Plan (FDP) in Downtown Superior, was pulled for discussion. Morgan-Ranch received approval of their FDP for Main Street in 2019, but is now in the process of selling their project to Carmel Partners. If the sale is completed, Carmel Partners would build the project, so as part of the sale, Carmel Partners is requesting to be added to the SIA, and is also requesting an extension to complete the public improvements associated with the FDP due to the pandemic. This item passed unanimously.
Items 4, 5, and 6 – Appointment of a Mayor Pro Tem, Review of Representative and Committee Assignments, and Town Board Meeting Schedule for 2021
Next, we had three administrative items to tackle with our new Town Board:
Item 4 – Our Municipal Code requires us to elect a Mayor Pro Tem at our first meeting after electing a new Board. The Mayor Pro Tem performs the Mayor’s duties in the Mayor’s absence. Our previous Mayor Pro Tem, Mark Lacis, and Trustee Ken Lish both announced their desire to hold this position; Mayor Pro Tem Lacis was reelected by the rest of the Board by a vote of 5-2 (with Trustees Ken Lish and Neal Shah voting for Trustee Lish.)
Item 5 – We reviewed the various Advisory committees and external entities requiring Board representatives, discussed the role of Board liaisons to Town Advisory committees, and made initial selections of Board members to these roles. We will review the assignments and sign off on them at our next Board meeting.
Item 6 – We reviewed the Board Meeting and Retreat schedule for 2021, and made adjustments for holidays and breaks.
Item 7 – 1500 Coalton Road Building Art
The Cultural Arts and Public Spaces (CAPS) committee has been evaluating the opportunities for art to be incorporated into the 1500 Coalton Road community center, and shared with us their vision for six projects and their associated budgets. CAPS presented these projects to the Board for feedback (which was largely positive) – you may view them yourself here.
Item 8 – Agreement with Flocus for Public Art Services at Oerman-Roche Trailhead
CAPS also presented a proposal for a $30K project at Oerman-Roche Trailhead – “This Must Be the Place”, an installation of large steel rings and a crusher fine path weaving between them.
Again, our Board provided largely positive feedback on the project proposal, and voted unanimously to move this forward. Kudos to CAPS for all their hard work in beautifying our community!
Item 9 – Third-Party Food Delivery Platform Fees
Colorado House Bill 20B-1005 was recently passed to allow local governments to regulate third-party delivery fees. Many local restaurants believe that third-party delivery fees can be excessive and cause additional financial hardship on already-struggling restaurants. Our Board considered a new ordinance for the Superior Municipal Code to restrict commission fees to a maximum of 15%, prohibit additional fees not agreed to by a retail food establishment, disclose all fees to customers, and require a receipt be provided to the customer.
While I was very supportive of the last three pieces around increasing transparency, I do not support setting an artificial cap of 15% on commissions. As much as I want to support our local businesses, capping commissions means that the price of providing delivery is just going to shift – and if we capped delivery commission fees, those who dine in or pick up their own food would have to subsidize the cost of anyone getting delivery. By not forcing delivery customers to actually pay the full cost of their delivery fees, we are robbing Peter to pay Paul, and while I do want to help our local restaurants (“Paul”, in this example), I don’t consider this an ethical way to do so. Furthermore, it wasn’t all that long ago that we couldn’t get many delivery options in Superior, and these third party platforms are a big part of why we have the options we do. The platform that the third party services provide is certainly valuable, and it costs money to develop and operate; if they were not providing delivery to Superior, restaurant sales would likely decrease. Middlemen aren’t necessarily fun, but they serve a need that restaurants weren’t meeting on their own.
The Board voted 5-2 on this ordinance, with Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis and I as the dissenting votes. However, since this is an emergency ordinance, it requires a supermajority vote of 6-1 to pass, so it failed.
I made a motion to pass this with section 6-7-20-b (the 15% fee cap) removed from the ordinance, so that we could improve consumer transparency and prevent the third party delivery platforms from listing restaurants on their websites that did not actually agree to work with them. Unfortunately, no one else would second my motion for an amended ordinance, so no changes were made to our code.
Item 10 – Final Subdivision Plat (FP) and a Final Development Plan (FDP) for Blocks 26 and 27 in Downtown Superior
Finally, we considered a FP and FDP for Blocks 26 and 27 in Downtown Superior. To date, 1,035 residential units, 103K square feet of commercial space, 62K square feet of office space, and 121 hotel rooms have been built or permitted for development in Downtown Superior, in addition to the 182K square foot Sports Stable. Blocks 26 and 27 are toward the southwest corner of Downtown Superior, and Ranch Capital and Remington Homes were seeking approval for 24 single family homes in this area. On Monday night, we heard a presentation from the applicant, but did not yet move on to the public comment portion of the hearing; instead, we continued this to our next meeting on Monday January 11th.
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.