Littleton City Council Meeting – District IV – 22 April 2008

 District IV Littleton Council Meeting – Debbie Brinkman, Host

22 April 2008

 

Debbie Brinkman, council representative for District IV, opened the meeting with introductions and a run down on the current state of affairs for certain properties in District IV.

 

Superchi – This property consists of 21 acres west of Santa Fe Drive and east of the river.  The City purchased the acreage in June of 2003 and sold 10 acres to South Suburban.  South Suburban will be creating more river access points with a parking lot, picnic area, restrooms and a boat dock for canoes and kayaks.  Access will be Briarwood.

 

South Platte Reservoir – The new reservoir at Platte Canyon and C470 is now complete and the reservoir is filling.  This is a water source for Highlands Ranch.  There will be a walking path and educational signage in the area.  The views from this site are unobstructed and some of the best around.

 

Ensor Property – This is 130 acres west of Santa Fe Drive and south of Mineral.  The property is for sale and is no longer under contract.  The City would like to purchase some of the property for open space using the Arapahoe County open space funds, funds from South Suburban and the City. It is a slow process.

 

River’s Edge – This area, just behind Aspen Grove, was zoned for business and rezoned residential by the previous council.  McStain, who was going to build the residences, ran into development issues and pulled out of the project.  McStain is interested in returning to do business in Littleton but the recent problems in their industry need to settle down first.

 

Aspen Grove – J. Crew has left but Edie Bauer will be expanding into the vacated space.  There are new stores slated for opening.  Also, a pet spa is now located next to Café de France.

 

Hampton Inn – This hotel will be built just west of No-No’s.  It will be a 5 story building with 106 rooms.

 

Riverside Downs – The new retail center located at Prince and Belleview area.  Several businesses are now open.  There is access to this retail center from the River.

 

Alexan Station – The old Electron property (Santa Fe and Belleview on the SE corner) is in the final site development stage.  350 apartments are planned.

 

Q&A

 

Jack Randall asked what was going on across the street from the City Center.

 

Charlie Blosten said they are in the process of tearing up Sycamore between Berry and Main.  The street was built in 1930 and is being totally reconstructed.  In the process they uncovered old concrete that had to be removed and a gas line had to be relocated.  Once this project is complete there will be only a couple of streets in downtown that haven’t been reconstructed.

 

Question:  Is there anything new on the retail area of Platte Canyon and Mineral?

Dennis Swain – There is no new information on this site.

 

Jim DuBose asked about the South Platte Reservoir – does it belong to the City of Littleton?

Charlie Blosten – Centennial Water District owns the land and South Suburban is responsible for managing the open space.

 

DuBose asked if the property was within the city limits.

Charlie Blosten – Yes, it is – just as McClellan is which is owned by Englewood.

 

Question:  Whose responsibility is it to repair sidewalks?

Charlie Blosten – The property owner.  If the sidewalk is in need of repair, the City will share the cost of the repair with the property owner 50/50.  It is a great deal and they are booked up until 2009.  If there is a safety concern the repair can get bumped up on the list.  The City is using old costs so it really a good deal.

 

Question:  Who’s responsible for the maintenance of the median strips in office parks?

Charlie Blosten – The “association” if one exists.  The City does have responsibility for some of the medians located in the city – Mineral and Broadway are two examples.

 

Question:  It was requested that there be some talk about the South Platte Working Group and the Legacy Grant.

Jim Taylor said the South Platte Working Group is a consortium of several entities.  They began meeting 18 months ago to create a master plan.  From the master plan they have identified sites they would like to purchase.  One of their ground rules is they would not condemn any land they wanted to secure.  There is currently $20 million available to help acquire land.  This money is a combination of the Legacy Grant, open space money at the county level and other open space revenues.  Littleton has been one of the lead agencies on the group.

 

Charlie Blosten was complemented on finally resolving the water problem on Mineral.

 

Don Bruns commented on the 2030 document that was available in the Community Room.  He noticed that there were meetings on the Complan in January and February and he assumed there was good participation.  He requested an update on the status of the planning effort.

 

Brinkman said the council is currently working under the 1981 Complan that had a number of updates since 1981.  The 2030 Complan was brought to Council and they did not share the same vision as the 2030 Complan.  Speaking for herself, there were two primary issues with the 2030 Complan.

 

1.     It did not include any neighborhood plans.

2.     It was not a good document to use for land use decisions.   There was a lot of forecasting and guessing and it did not make a good land use planning document.

 

She said the Council has decided to look at neighborhoods more closely and to look at specific corridors.  She commented that her neighborhood did not have a neighborhood plan.  The Planning Commission and the Council will work together on the CA district in downtown Littleton.  The next area to really consider will most likely be the Santa Fe Corridor.

 

Brinkman mentioned the work that has been going on in Denver.  Just because Denver is so large it necessitated that the city be divided into neighborhoods.  She was familiar with Athmar Park’s plan.  Athmar Park was content with the residential portion of their neighborhood but had concerns with the perimeter of their neighborhood so that group focused their report on the businesses and zoning along the perimeter in a way that would take the future growth of that area in a direction that would be supported by the rest of the neighborhood.  Cherry Creek North is another neighborhood but their focus was how to make their neighborhood more walkable and pedestrian/bike friendly.  A third neighborhood plan dealt with pop-tops and scrape-offs – how did they want to manage those types of challenges.

 

Brinkman said it was important to go into the neighborhoods and work with the neighbors and businesses in their own areas.

 

Question:  What is the financial status of the City?

Doug Farmen, Director of Finance, said the General Fund is doing quite well – we are paying our bills on time!  At the Council workshop a financial forecast team was established.  They will be giving their report to the full Council next month.  The problem facing Littleton is the growth of expenditures is growing faster than the growth of revenues.  Right now it looks like there will be excess TABOR revenue.

 

A citizen asked for comments on the open space money and TABOR.

Jim Woods told the audience we have $750,000 in “Shareback” funds from Arapahoe County.  TABOR has not kept the City from applying for grant funds.

 

Don Conklin said he heard a rumor that the TABOR cap may go down because the CPI went down.  Farmen said that was correct – when the rate of growth goes down the TABOR cap does as well.

 

Carol Brzeczek asked about the possibility of de-TABORing the open space money the City receives from the County – this is money that was already de-TABORed at the county level so why not ask the same taxpayers to deTABOR it at the City level.  Jim Woods said this may likely be one of the options for the Council to consider at their May 13th meeting when they will be discussing TABOR.

 

Frank Atwood invited the audience to the Economic Discussion Group at Bemis Library on May 7th, 10:00, when Chris Gibbons will be talking about the 19 shopping centers in Littleton.

 

Question:  Would the neighborhood plans address the size of homes on vacant properties?  This person was specifically addressing the new homes on Windermere just south of Ridge Road.

Brinkman said that would be the type of ideas that would be discussed in a neighborhood plan.

 

Could anything be done about them before the next one(s) are built? 

Dennis Swain said no – those owners have their rights in place.

 

Question:  Can something be done about the obstruction that is caused once the leaves are on the trees at the intersection of Davies and Windermere.  She has called before without results. 

Charlie Blosten will look into for her.

 

Question:  What is the planning process for existing properties?

Dennis Swain said Littleton does a lot more review than most municipalities.  The Design Review Committee meets every Thursday at 9am – the meetings are open.

 

Question:  What is going on with the Marathon Oil property?

Jim Woods said the Richardson’s are content to “land bank” the property.

 

Marty Brzeczek said the 2008 BIAAC Report was very controversial and since the Council gives the BIAAC their charge for every year what charge would they have for 2009?

Brinkman said the charge was approved at the last Council meeting – how to age gracefully – what economic opportunities exist in aging communities.  She read an article that some cities have created micro economies around serving an aging community.  There’s a lot of opportunity for Littleton.  The “baby boomers” are aging across the country – they are everywhere!  What’s unique in Littleton that we can build on is a question the BIAAC can discuss.  She expects the BIAAC to do their research, go out into the community and talk to people and talk to others outside Littleton that may be further along in capitalizing on the opportunities.  The report will be presented in March of 2009 and they will be looking for citizen feedback.

 

Officer Sam Mullins spoke briefly about the decline of graffiti in Littleton.  The SET team has been working with agencies of other cities trying to clamp down on graffiti artists.  They have seen they results – they have 28 graffiti artists charged. 

 

Mullins also commented on a legislative action that was not passed this year but they will try again next.  They would like to see the possession of graffiti tools considered a crime. 

 

A benefit of charging so many graffiti artists is they have talked to these people and come up with a list of similarities in their backgrounds.  They were not the popular kids in school.  They were not involved in school activities or groups.  They re working with the school and trying to identify these types of kids now and trying to get them involved.

 

 

 

 

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One Response

  1. The complan was intended to not have any nehighborhood plans. Most of the neighborhoods were stable that is why. forcasting and assumptions are what a complan are????? Unless you are nostradamus….

    Way to go Debbie….keep spending money while you educate yourself on what a complan is. It can not be prescriptive as a City is much to fluid to do so. That is why they are general in nature and used as advisory. Thank heaven Carol B and Debbie weren’t in charge of the natiion’s constitution assumptions and the fact they they new it would need to be interpreted and modified becuase the couldn’t be total p[rescriptive is a virtue

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