Text of Comments Made to Planning Commission on the 2030 Plan

Comments to the Planning Commission (Printed with Steve’s permission)

Regarding the Comprehensive Plan on December 10, 2007

Presented by Steve Bockenstedt, Alternate Commissioner   

This section bothers me. When the Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) developed the 2030 Plan, it comes across to me as being selfish. Every member of the CAC lives in the Areas of Stability (AOS). The proposed Comp Plan repeatedly says is to preserve, protect and enhance their neighborhoods. All developments in AOS should respect the character of the surrounding area while reflecting changing conditions, including changes in market demands and regulations. When developments happen in AOS, land use, character and intensity will remain relatively stable. If an AOS is experiencing changes that residents believe might negatively affect the character of the area, the city will work with the land owners and residents to protect, preserve and enhance the area.

On the other hand, CAC has declared the Areas of Change (AOC) as the City’s sacrificial lamb to protect themselves. The AOC is the area the “COMMUNITY” thinks will and/or should experience significant change in land use, character and/or intensity. With this plan, this area will have significant change and be a non-desirable part of the city to live. There are absolutely no limits to development or redevelopment in these areas. 

The plan encourages any and all development without protecting, preserving or enhancing anything in the area including residential neighborhoods, South Platte Park, Aspen Grove, or the Downtown Area.  Directing new development to AOC provides Littleton an opportunity to concentrate and highlight growth while reducing impact on AOS. 

The plan states review City’s codes and programs including capital improvement programs for their ability to encourage new development and redevelopment in AOC at sites that 

A)         Are currently vacant, undeveloped, underdeveloped or under performing.    

B)         Have structures, concepts or uses that are no longer viable.Make any revisions necessary to implement this comprehensive plan.Not only is this plan setting up the AOC for any and all developments, it is also setting the stage for possible eminent domain of properties. 

I am the first person working for the City and working on developing this plan that lives in the AOC.  I cannot and will not sit back and let this happen to the AOC in its current form.  It was mentioned to me to me that we may be able to make my neighborhood (Wolhurst Landing) part of the AOS.  This should happen; however, there are other citizens that live in the AOC and areas of the city that need to be protected, preserved or enhanced in the AOC.           

The concepts of AOC, AOS effectively eliminates the declaration of public policy for rezoning, since the 2030 Plan says that areas of potential development are in the AOC.  These concepts take away the citizen’s right to argue;

A)    The proposed rezone is not consistent with the comprehensive plan since every development is now consistent.

B)    That change and changing conditions are not present, since it is declared it is an AOC. 

This removes the checks and balances for rezoning and the power of the citizen to influence zoning decisions. The Comprehensive Plan should be a tool that citizens have to provide a cross check with city government. We need to work to include citizens in decisions, not to remove them and create doubt in our government. Areas of Stability And Change Goal C says “New development in an AOS will build upon and enhance the distinct character and livability of the area where it is located, as well as the character, livability and the economic health of the city as a whole”.   Why would this not be an accurate statement for the entire city?

2 Responses

  1. I was completely taken aback by the council and the planning commission meeting on the 22nd of Jan 2008.
    While I understand that there are sometimes emergencies that require almost immediate action by the council and that at these time, since their meeting are televised a large group of the citizens are able to know of changes to their agenda, we can expect the Council to act quickly and openly.
    The call by the director of communications for the city to provide direction seems to me to have been an overreaction to the response by some citizens to the publishing of the call for participants in the “Littleton Community Retreat”. The web site clearly states that from time to time items of interest to the community shall be allowed to be published on their website. It also clearly states that no political organnization will be allowed to publish.
    Since the chairman of the Planning Commission stated that he had been part of the “retreat” planning and that the city staff had provided some support it seems to me that this falls under the category of items of interest. Further since there was no mention of things political I suppose it would not be excluded for that reason.
    However, of greater concern was the statement that the City of Littleton had been keeping the funds for the group. The mayor expressed surprise by this.
    There was no other discussion of this except that ms F Bullock stated that “they” ,no names in particular, had made a commitment to the location in the mountains. That commitment of organization funds for rental had to be met.
    I don’t think that these actions should really be a surprise,especially in light of Councilman Ostermller’s comments that this group had always been thought of as a- my word’s not his- de facto City organization.
    Another concern that I have is that at the last “retreat” I believe that one of the speaker was a ms Utter who was later hired by either the planning commission or the Citizen’s Advisory Committee to “educate” the public during their so-called community outreach meetings. Now that the chairman of the planning commission has revealed that he is or has been a part of the “Retreat” organization is there a question of conflict of interest? I do not know but I feel the question should be asked.
    I would surly like to hear from other readers of this blog as to their reaction to this most unusual set of revealed facts.

  2. They are clearly a political group trying to establish policy for the city. Compare the C4LF contribution list with the attendees to the LEADERSHIP retreat (as it was known until this year).
    The city has favored them with staff time, management of funds, and reimbursed the expenses for Council members and former council members who were not exactly “hardship “cases.
    I received an invitation a few years ago and engaged Ms. Thornton in a discussion about the time involved vs. the nature of the forum. I choose not to attend, some of those who went confirmed my concern.
    Perhaps the activities of this group mirror C4LF closely enough to need to be declared as political activity… as the expedittures and relatiionship are exposed this will become clearer.

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