Littleton City Council Meeting Minutes October 23, 2007

Littleton City Council Special Meeting

District 1

23 October 2007

  Jim Taylor hosted his district’s meeting.  He spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the different projects in District 1.

Alexan – The new 350 unit high-rise, high density project at Belleview between Rio Grande and Santa Fe was just approved by the Council last week.

The Enclave – The 10 acres on the north side of Bowles that is currently zoned agricultural.  The project was previously slated for 18 homes and an entrance on the east side.  This new proposal is for 16 homes with the entrance on the west side.  At the November 6th meeting the council will set the date for the 2nd hearing.

Wynetka Ponds Park – The 1st phase of the South Suburban Park will be for a 45 car parking lot with access from Lowell.  Pathways will be built in addition to an off-leash dog park.  A later phase will increase the parking, provide for a playground and shelter.  Playing fields will be built when the budget allows.

Littleton Lofts – This is a 66 foot high, 5 story mixed-use project just east across the street from the McDonald’s on Santa Fe Drive.  Three homes will be demolished for the project.  Five commercial spaces will be on the first level with 52 units on the 2nd – 5th levels.

Ancient Arts Healing Center will be adding a second floor that is set back from the first.  They will be adding space to the back of the building on the first floor.

The old Veto’s building will be getting a new “old” façade and a second floor.  The new façade will be based on photos from the building in its younger days.

Littleton Crossing – Three more homes will be demolished to build 34 “for sale” condos.  Taylor said the building will be 3 stories but the picture showed four stories.

Residence at Nevada Street – There will be underground parking for the 37 units built on the west side of Nevada and the 31 units on the east side of Nevada.

Santa Fe Business Center – This is the commercial area where the new Lowe’s is located.  Part of the project is in Littleton and part in Englewood.  A Discount Tire Store is about ready to open and the Burger King on Federal will be moving into their new home in this project.

 

Riverside Downs – There are 86,000 square feet of office and commercial space.  Tenants include Office, Depot, 24 Hour Fitness, The Egg and I, Celtic Tavern, Starbuck’s, Spicy Pickle, and a Bike Shop.

Arapaho Hills has been placed on the list of “merit” by the Historic Preservation Board.  This will require a 30-day waiting period before any home can be cleared to build a larger home.  They are investigating moving Arapaho Hills into the Historic District.

John Ostermiller talked about the coyote concerns and since it was just recently covered in council meeting minutes I am going to by-pass his talk.  There was no new information offered.

Taylor asked the group to report any sighting of a coyote.

Taylor talked briefly about the budget process then Ostermiller gave a run down on the events taking place in the near future at ACC.  He also mentioned some of the programs being offered at ACC such as:

            Electrical and Computer Technology courses

            Crime Analysis Program

            Automotive Program

            Music Business Curriculum

            Pharmacy Tech Program, and the

            Nursing Program

Questions from the Citizens:

Citizen:  Why didn’t the City Council put the Open Space Fund money on the ballot?

Taylor:  Because we went to the voters in 2006 and they said no.  We couldn’t go back and ask again.  The Citizen’s Budget Advisory Committee actually came back with the recommendation that we ask to keep the Open Space money.

Jim Woods clarified that the City was not refunding the Open Space money – the Open Space money is still in the budget.  The TABOR refund is from the General Fund.

The citizen said the money is fungible and he thought the TABOR limit should be raised by the amount of the Open Space money received from the Counties.  He disagreed with Taylor on what was learned from the 2006 election.  The council did not state what they were going to use the TABOR money for as they have in the past.

Another citizen said the last TABOR question before the voters was for a TABOR override without any limit.  Before the request was for a period of time – that made a difference.

Citizen:  What about the home at Wynetka Pond?

Taylor:  It’s a private residence.

Citizen:  Do you think he will ever paint it?

Citizen:  What’s council’s position on high density?

Taylor:  To make downtown viable we need to have more residents.  The new developments are within walking distance to the light rail.  The Alexan is the only project that had to get approval.  The other projects were already zoned for high density.

Citizen:  How can a citizen get their comments into the record if they are unable to attend the public hearing?

Taylor:  Any comments can be emailed to either city council or staff – all of them will be part of the public record.

Citizen:  The gentleman said the citizens were unable to rebut some of the statements made at the Planning Commission meeting last night.  How can they do so now?

Taylor – Put your comments in writing and make your statements at the podium at the meetings.

Citizen – What about a more favorable alternative to the Enclave project – when would it be appropriate to present it? (He had been told that he could not make the suggestion until the Richmond project had been through the complete process.)

Woods said the general rule at a zoning hearing under the Quasi-Judicial laws of Colorado is that the project has to be considered on its own merits.

Citizen:  The new developments, new urbanism and high-rise projects – virtually all are in conflict with the height limitations of the Complan.  Why have a Complan if we aren’t going to follow it?

Taylor: They are Planned Development Overlays and they can override the development already there.

Citizen:  Who does that?

Taylor:  The Planning Commission approves all the Planned Development Overlays.

Citizen:  Has the City and the Littleton Public Schools ever talked about working together in order to save money?  Examples were fleet maintenance, fuel purchases, trash pickups, and building maintenance. 

Taylor:  The savings are not there since it would not reduce the number of personnel.  If they combined services it may require a larger facility.  Taylor said that South Suburban and the school district have talked in the past and learned that it does not produce that much in cost savings.

Citizen:  What’s going on at Marathon Oil and who maintains the open space in Littleton?

Taylor:  The lady is just sitting on the Marathon Oil property.  South Suburban maintains all the open space with the exception of the South Platte Park which is maintained by both the City and South Suburban.

Citizen:  Concern about annexing property that is not contiguous with Littleton – have we learned our lesson?  (Reference is to Sterling Ranch which both Conklin and Bagley have expressed interest.) 

Taylor:  Nothing on annexation has come to the council.

Citizen:  The question concerned whether or not the City is actually getting enough money from the Fire Districts to cover the expenses. 

Taylor:  The largest source of revenue to the general fund is from the Fire Districts. 

Citizen:  Could the other Fire Districts “wag that dog?”

Woods:  No.  All three entities have to agree – nothing can be forced on the City Council.

Citizen commended the City on the Danny Dietz Memorial.

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