Virtual Town Board Meeting: January 11, 20218 min read
Hi neighbors! In Monday night’s Town Board Meeting, we heard a presentation on ACES’ draft Energy Action Plan; approved a new ordinance improving transparency of third-party delivery platform fees for local restaurants; and denied an application for 24 single family homes on 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. At the request of my fellow Board members, I am keeping their points anonymous. 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. 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, meeting videos, and meeting transcripts, and allows you to search within a video to jump to critical parts or keywords. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!
Item 2D – Board Reports
During Board reports, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis and Trustee Tim Howard reported that they attended the first Airport Noise Roundtable meeting that morning. They said that while Monday’s meeting was more of an introductory meeting, they are feeling positive about this new group and its ability to reduce noise from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA).
Item 2E – Public Comment
During public comment, resident Brad Walker expressed concerns that during the Airport Noise Roundtable meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis continued to push for landing fees at RMMA, which Mr. Walker says are not a viable course of action.
Item 2G – Presentation – ACES Draft Energy Plan
Our Advisory Committee for Environmental Sustainability (ACES) drafted an Energy Action Plan to better connect Superior’s residents and businesses with resources to reduce energy use across the community; ACES committee member Mike Foster presented the draft plan. The plan includes four key strategies:
- Engage businesses in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs
- Engage residents in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, and support community solar
- Promote energy efficient new development
- Explore feasibility of electric vehicle fleet expansion
Our Board’s feedback was largely positive; personally, I am so excited about setting tangible targets for the energy improvements we hope to make! My only point for potential revision is that strategy 2 includes a goal of reducing energy consumption 10% by 2025, with a baseline of 2018. However, COVID19 has dramatically changed the way we live and work; my own energy bill has been significantly higher this year with me working from home rather than leaving home for work. Although the vaccines will certainly help us “return to normal”, I believe that working from home (at least part-time) is here to stay, and I suggested that ACES consider finding a way to incorporate this change in usage into their goals.
Item 3 – Consent Agenda
Next, our Board unanimously passed the consent agenda – including meeting minutes; a resolution around public posting locations for meeting notices; a proclamation for Radon Action Month; a manager change for Chuck E Cheese; a right-of-way agreement with the Victor C. Thomas Family LLC and Cladd LLC for the 88th Street improvement project; agreements for on-call and emergency repair services with Superior Maintenance, Brannan Sand and Gravel and Naranjo Constructors; and a resolution for the triennial continuation of the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council.
I pulled item 3F, a resolution approving the Town Board Representative and Committee Assignments, for discussion. At our last meeting, we rushed through these assignments, and they came out a bit lopsided as far as time commitments for each Board member. We ended up smoothing out this imbalance a bit more offline since the last meeting, but we hadn’t come to agreement as to whether Board members would be required to attend all Town of Superior committee meetings or if the liaison role would simply be to make ourselves available for questions. After discussion, we agreed that Board liaisons would not be required to attend every meeting of a committee, and it was suggested that we reach out to the Committee chairs to let them know of the change and advise them to let any Board member know if they have concerns or felt they were getting short shrift. This then passed unanimously.
Item 3G, an agreement for professional services with J&T Consulting, was also pulled for discussion. While the town contracts annually with many firms to provide various professional and maintenance services that our current Town Staff cannot fulfill, most of these contracts are under $100K, and so are signed by the Town Manager. Through an RFQ process, J&T Consulting was selected as one of the firms to provide general civil engineering needs for the Town, with potential work to include the 2021 street rehabilitation project, Promenade Drive extension, the McCaslin mill and overlay (from Coalton Road up to State Highway 128), the 2021 concrete repair project and traffic calming measure design support. This work cumulatively is expected to exceed $100K, which is why it came to our Board for approval. This item passed unanimously.
Item 3K, an ordinance regarding third-party delivery platform fees for local restaurants, was also pulled for discussion. At our last Board meeting, we 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. At the last meeting, a vote for this ordinance failed. I made a motion at the last meeting to pass this ordinance with the 15% fee cap removed, 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 at the last meeting, so no changes were made to our code. However, after reflection from our last meeting, several members of the Board supported putting this ordinance back on the agenda with that 15% fee cap removed, so that was what we voted on Monday night. This amended ordinance, now focused on transparency, passed unanimously.
Item 4 – Final Subdivision Plat (FP) and a Final Development Plan (FDP) for Blocks 26 and 27 in Downtown Superior
The bulk of our meeting was spent considering 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.
Due to topography, Remington submitted a request for front-loaded garages with individual driveways from Central Park Circle. Neither the Downtown Superior PD nor the associated Design Guidelines (DGs) call for front-loaded residential products; garages in Downtown Superior are all intended to be alley-loaded and accessed from the backs of homes. This variance request also created a cascade of additional variance requests. For example, front setbacks from Central Park Circle would be 11′-29′, rather than the standard 2′-8′. The width of Central Park Circle would also decrease from 58′ to 34′, with trees moved to the private lots rather than on a public tree lawn, and sidewalks being attached rather than detached (meaning, there would be no buffer between the sidewalk and the curb; however, these sidewalks would be 5′ wide, or wider than the traditional 4′ wide attached sidewalks in Rock Creek). Finally, while the Cottage units are permitted to have 1200-3000 square feet of floor space, Remington was requesting an additional 289 square feet for the twelve homes with walkout basements (a bit of a technicality, in my opinion, as traditional below grade basement floor space is not included in the floor area ranges).
As far as my reaction to those conditions, I liked the idea of front-loaded garages and extra floor space, and wasn’t too concerned about the attached vs detached sidewalks and the trees being moved to the private lots. However, I was very concerned about cars on the shortened driveways blocking the detached sidewalks. As a runner, I can tell you that it’s a common problem in Rock Creek for cars to be parked overhanging the driveways, forcing pedestrians to detour into the street. In Rock Creek, on cul de sacs and smaller streets, it’s annoying to have to detour, but in this part of Downtown Superior, it could be downright dangerous for pedestrians to need to detour into the streets. We discussed a potentially prohibiting people from leaving cars parked in the driveways, but this too was problematic and not supported by everyone on the Board.
Ultimately, the application failed by a vote of 2-5, with Mayor Clint Folsom and Trustee Paige Henchen voting to approve the application, and myself, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Lacis, and Trustees Ken Lish and Neal Shah voting to deny the application.
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.