Littleton City Council Meeting – 21 October 2008

Littleton City Council Regular Meeting

21 October 2008


Jose Trujillo was absent.


Consent Agenda

Ordinance on first reading regarding 2009 Annual Appropriation, and 2008 Tax Mill Levy passed on a 6/0 vote.


Motion to approve the use of Elati Street for the Soap Box Derby was approved 6/0.


A request for a letter of support for LHA’s HOME Fund application for 2009 was approved 6/0.


Second and Final Reading on Ordinances and Public Hearings

Ordinance on second reading granting permanent drainage and temporary construction easement to Arapahoe County was approved 6/0.


Rezoning of 5590 South Windermere Street from R-5 to T

This rezoning was discussed at their last regular meeting and there was a concern about the definition of “contiguous” as it relates to zoning changes.  A piece of property can be rezoned if it is contiguous to another parcel with the same zoning requested.  The question about this piece of property is that it is only contiguous at one point in one corner.  The Council was eager to approve this request but had questions about whether or not the rezoning would comply with the City’s zoning rules.


Doug Clark showed a map of the neighborhood and how rezoning could happen in a checkerboard fashion if contiguous was defined as meeting in one point.  He did not believe that is what was intended by the zoning rules.  He said these are our laws and we are obligated to follow them.  He suggested that the Council turn this request down and have the applicant reapply for a B-2 zoning.  He was concerned about setting a precedent.  He made a motion to have the request be resubmitted at no cost to the applicant and notices sent to the surrounding neighborhood.  Debbie Brinkman seconded saying she applauded the staff for trying to find a way to solve the issue.


Jim Taylor said he had no problem with the request and from his days of teaching math a point can be infinitesimally small and he had no problem with this property being contiguous with the T-zoned property across the street.  He asked the City Attorney if the restriction placed on the property could be overridden by a PDO at a later date without Council’s approval.


Suzanne Staiert said a change in the restriction would require council approval as the restriction was placed on the zoning and not the result of a PDO.


John Ostermiller agreed with Taylor.


Peggy Cole had a problem with the B-2 class – it open up more potential threat to the character of the neighborhood.  She suggested that the Planning Commission be asked to provide a definition for future clarification.


Clark’s motion failed on a 3/3 vote.


Taylor moved to approve the rezoning.  Ostermiller seconded.    Brinkman said she would support the motion because they needed to provide for the vitality of the building.  However “contiguous” being defined as a point is a horrid definition for planning and the term should be defined by the Planning Commission for the Complan. Motion passed 5/1 with Clark dissenting.


Amending City Code Section 11-7-1(A) pertaining to parks and open space fees as they apply to senior living facilities

This has to do with the request to eliminate the Open Space Fees for the senior living facility that has been approved on South Broadway by the “boat park.”


Ostermiller moved and Taylor seconded the motion to 10-1-2 to eliminate the open space fees.


Brinkman said the location of the facility by the park is a benefit for the developer and the park will be used by residents of the facility, visitors and staff.  She believed that there should be some ownership from the developer but not the full fee of $700 per 76 units.  She thought 50% might be more appropriate.


Cole agreed and thought ½ of the multi-family resident fee might be more appropriate.


Tom Mulvey said he would not support eliminating the open space fee.


Ostermiller said this is what some on council want – services for seniors and now they want to tax them quite heavily.  We (meaning Littleton) are open but you keep closing the doors – these are not multi-family living units.  All we are doing is increasing the cost of care for the residents.  It is totally wrong and against our economic goals.  Peggy – you said this is what “we” had in mind.


Taylor said it was just another example where a majority of Council is anti-development.  The developer may pull out – this will discourage future developers from coming to Littleton.


Clark said for years the Council collected water tap fees that sat unused.  We set the open space fees at this level to match the water fund so it is neutral cost for the developers.  This action alone will not discourage developers.  Spectrum liked the site because of the parks.  They have 50 years to recover their costs ($3,000) since they are leasing the units.


Ostermiller said the property already had a water tap and they would not have had to pay for one. 


Clark said it would depend on the size of the water tap – it might not be big enough. 


Taylor’s motion failed 2/4 with Brinkman, Mulvey, Clark, and Cole dissenting.


Clark wants to see the open space fees brought back using a different formula.  Taylor asked by bed and Clark said no he thought per unit.  Others agreed and it will be brought back to Council.



Amending City Code Sections 10-1-2 and 10-3-2 pertaining to zoning definitions and land use tables as they apply to senior living facilities.

This amendment would add definitions for independent living facilities, skilled nursing facilities’ and assisted living facilities in Section 10-1-2 of the city code, and amending section 10-3-2 of the City code by adding independent living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities as permitted uses in the R-5 Residential Multiple Family District, T Transitional District and CA Central Area Multiple Use District.  Staiert cautioned the Council that the Ordinance was moot since the previous motion did not pass.  Jim Woods told the Council if they did move forward it would eliminate the need to go back over this in the future.  The definition will be useful.  Motion passed 6/0.


Metro Ambulance Contract

There were three outstanding items for negotiation.

  1. AVL – Rural Metro has agreed to put a monitor in our dispatch room
  2. Transport Rates – they will keep the rates stated in the original proposal
  3. An ambulance will be posted specifically for TrailMark


Contract was approved 6.0.


Permission was granted to allow construction access through South Platte Park and to discharge Normandy Gulch storm water into Cooley Lake after assurance that the water quality would be protected.  6/0


The elevator inspection fees were approved 6/0.



Woods reported a concentrated enforcement effort has begun in the NE part of Littleton.  There are 14 apartment buildings and one was done that day.  The effort will take 60 to 90 days – there is some sense of urgency since some of the properties have gone into foreclosure.


Brinkman reminded people of the leaf recycle program at Pirate’s Cove November 1-8 (8am to noon).


Brinkman rode along with the Bike Patrol for 3 hours on Friday and saw some very positive changes occurring in the NE neighborhood.  She was impressed with the relationship the police have with the neighborhood.


Ostermiller reported on the LPS Facilities Task Force.  The Board of Education will be discussing their report on November 6th.


Mulvey congratulated the Museum staff for the Harvest Festival.


Cole moved to ask Planning Commission to provide definitions for adjacent, contiguous and whatever other terms they deemed needed.  Brinkman seconded.


Taylor saw problems with the task.  This could fool a lot of the people and not in a positive way if the Planning Commission definition is different than the dictionary definition.


Ostermiller thought if definitions are needed that they should come through staff and then go through the Planning Commission and the Council.


Clark said it is not so much definitions as what it is that we want the zoning code to convey.  He thought it would do the Planning Commission good to dive into the code with the Complan process in front of them and he saw value in sending them the task.


Motion failed 0/6.


Clark moved to ask staff to go through the job descriptions to see if Littleton has a position(s) for the developmentally disabled and if we do go and recruit.  Brinkman seconded and motion passed 6/0.

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