City Council Meeting Minutes November 6, 2007

Littleton City Council Regular Meeting

6 November 2007


Tom Mulvey was back in his chair looking as spry as ever.  Welcome back Tom – you were missed.

 The meeting was rather short since it was election night but there were a couple of agenda items that are worthy of mention. Highline Business Improvement District

The Highline Business Improvement District’s (HBID) 2008 Plan and Budget was up for approval.  Doug Clark asked that it be removed from the consent agenda.  He was concerned because he had not seen a copy of the annual audit report.  Brad Bailey, sitting in for Larry Berkowitz, said that he had a copy but did not copy the council members.  There were no problems and nothing adverse in the audit report.


Clark said he would not be voting for the approval without seeing the audit report first.  Jim Taylor asked if Clark wanted to look at it now or later.  Clark said he did not want to review it during the meeting.


Taylor then asked what would happen if the approval was delayed.  Bailey said nothing – there was a December 15th deadline so there was time.


Clark moved to table the item to the December 4th meeting.  Taylor asked why December 4th and not November 20th. 


Clark said they had a zoning hearing on the 20th and the new council would be sworn in on the 20th at 8pm. 

 Taylor said the Charter says they can’t be installed before 8pm but after 8pm.  (The Charter actually reads, “Terms of Councilmen shall begin at eight PM on the second Tuesday following the election.”)  

Clark said that was not the way he reads the Charter and the December 4th meeting will meet the December 15th deadline.  Motion passed 6/1 with Conklin dissenting.

 Enclave Rezoning

Richmond Homes has asked for a zoning change on the property owned by the Water Department from A1 (Agricultural) to PDR (Planned Development Residential).  The land is located north of Bowles Avenue west of Platte Canyon.  Richmond Homes has submitted a plan for 16 single family homes.  The approval on the first reading would set the public hearing date.


Clark said he did not think it was right to do the first and second reading across councils and he did not think it was right to table a motion across councils either but it was the only alternative they had.  Clark moved to table the first reading to December 4th.  Mulvey seconded the motion.


Rebecca Kast asked Taylor if she was allowed to comment on a “table” motion.


John Ostermiller asked, don’t we have to set public hearing date before we table it?


Clark said the first reading sets the date and the public hearing would be two weeks after that – the 18th.


Taylor asked if Clark’s motion was to table all this until December 4th.


Ostermiller did not like the December 18th date for the public hearing since it was the week before Christmas and it was not fair to the applicant or the neighbors.


The motion to table failed 2/5 with Taylor, Kast, Conklin, Ostermiller and Stahlman dissenting.


Kast said she would prefer not to have the public hearing on the 20th – generally we don’t do much business on the night we swear in a new council.  I thought I had done my last public hearing. 


Kast asked if there was a timeline for Richmond Homes that they needed to be aware of when making their decision.

 The representative from Richmond Homes said they did have a time line but they would submit to the council’s best judgment.  He preferred to have the hearing in front of this council since Richmond has a history with this council.  (Richmond Homes’ first zoning request was turned down by this council earlier this year.) 

Amy Conklin said she had given this a lot of thought and could argue either way.  She moved that the ordinance be approved on first reading that the public hearing be set for December 4th.  Kast seconded.


Taylor said the public hearing could be held before or after the new council is seated and either way would be legitimate.


Ostermiller said since this is a resubmittal that it makes sense for this council to hold the public hearing.  They could move through the public hearing before the new council is sworn in.  We are familiar with the application and it would be fairer to the applicant and the neighbors if this council heard the request.


Tom Mulvey thought there would be a large turnout for this rezoning request and it would take a few hours to get though.  He agrees that the public hearing should be held on December 4th.


Clark said it would be much better for this council to hear the matter but the new council is sworn in at 8pm and they have the potential of getting half way through the hearing and it would be 8 pm and time to install the new council.  He thought December 4th was still pushing it for a new council and that the 20th would be even better.


Bruce Stahlman asked for Bailey to respond to the disagreement on when the new council would be sworn in. 


Bailey read from the Charter, “Terms of Councilmen shall begin at eight PM on the second Tuesday following the election.”  What that means is whatever council’s past practice has been.  It is not like Cinderella’s dress and coach that will turn into a pumpkin.


Kast said they have never sworn in a new council at 8pm – it usually happens when the meeting starts.


Stahlman said this is this council’s problem and we are best capable to make the decision. 


We could start the meeting before 7pm.  Bailey said they could start at 1pm.


Kast said, what about our reception.  How many years have I waited for this?


Clark said this pushes the limits of what passes the smell test – moving up the start time when the citizens have already asked that the matter not be heard on the 20th. 


Kast asked that the new council members receive copies of the first hearings and that it be made part of the record.


The motion to pass the ordinance on first reading and have the public hearing on December 4th failed on a 3/4 vote with Taylor, Stahlman, Ostermiller and Clark voting no.


Ostermiller moved that they approve the ordinance on first reading and hold the public hearing on November 20th at 7pm.  Conklin seconded.


Taylor said this council should hear this rezoning and PD plan.  We are the ones familiar with it and we need to resolve it and not pass it on.


Clark said he thought that was why the charter stated a specific time for the swearing in – to prevent an outgoing council from passing legislation under the gun.


Taylor said he disagreed and did not think it was the case at all.


Clark said they have a difference of opinion.


Kast said Clark could not interpret what 1 line in the Charter meant – it was a stretch.


Taylor said it is our normal operating procedure to do it on the 20th. 


Mulvey said it would be a long meeting.  Motion passed 4/3 with Mulvey, Kast and Clark dissenting.


Ostermiller asked Charlie Blosten about the water seepage on Mineral (just east of Santa Fe and west of Jack Ass Hill on the eastbound lane).  Charlie said this has been an on-going problem and it has not deteriorated the pavement.  They have put 2 underground drains to move the ground water to the storm sewer.  It has dried up but is now back.  They will be putting in a third drain and hope that solves the problem.  This area, when it gets cold, freezes and the city has to sand it.  Installing the third drain will create traffic issues but there is no other way to do it.


Clark asked if there was a policy or a memo about how to keep police cars from being stolen.  He also wanted to know the policy of shooting at fleeing police cars.


Tom Mulvey thanked everyone for the cards and prayers.


Taylor moved that the council give the City Manager a 3% raise on his anniversary date.  Motion passed 6/1 with Clark dissenting.

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