Littleton City Council Meeting Minutes – March 10, 2009

Citizen Minutes

 

Agenda

Special Meeting

Littleton City Council

Tuesday March 10, 2009

7:30 p.m.

 

Jim Taylor was absent.

 

1. Study Session Topics

 

BRINKMAN MOVED TO AMEND THE AGENDA BY ADDING AN ITEM TO RECONSIDER THE DUE DILIGENCE ON THE MINERAL PROPERTY.  Her motion was approved by consensus.

 

BRINKMAN MOVED TO AMEND THE AGENDA TO CONSIDER A MAI APPRAISAL ON THE MINERAL PROPERTY.  Clark objected and asked for a vote.  Mulvey seconded the motion which passed on a 4/2 vote with Clark and Ostermiller dissenting.

 

 

a) 7:30 p.m. Annual BIAAC Report – Mike Price, Chair of BIAAC, introduced committee members and gave a brief overview of the work the committee did in response to the Council’s charge to consider “Aging Gracefully” in Littleton.  Their report is available on the City’s website.

 

Each Councilmember was asked which one of the recommendations was the most important to them.

 

Cole was interested in the cost of joining the associations that were recommended.  If it was not cost prohibitive she would like to see Littleton participate.  She would also like to see the downtown merchants more engaged in doing something downtown.

 

Kim Glidden, BIAAC and downtown merchant, said she hoped Littleton would look into the Preserve America Grant Program. 

 

Debbie Brinkman liked the recommendation to have all businesses in Littleton register and for Littleton become a member of the American Society for Aging.

 

Jose was concerned about the housing stock and the future development of homes and his desire that it meets the needs of the aging.  Three story apartment buildings will not appeal to the aging – we need small homes for downsizing but we do not have the space for them. 

 

Price said he spoke with a builder that attended the builder’s show and there is a new paradigm.  The day of the McMansions has come and gone.  People are looking for smaller homes with some yard and a higher level of finish.

 

Tom Mulvey’s most important recommendation had to do with marketing Littleton in a way to compete for tourists.  He said it might be easier to get some of the budget if the merchants came up with some money too.

 

John Ostermiller said they need to keep an eye on the cost of services as Littleton ages.  We may need to charge for them in the future. 

 

Doug Clark said there were a lot of good recommendations.  The City already has a relationship with ACC.  The single recommendation he thought was worth time was the recommendation to study and reduce permit and use fees and to expand it beyond homeowners.  That will lead to a big discussion about limiting the types of renovations that can be made.  The character and charm of the neighborhoods needs to be maintained through the redevelopment process.  All the residential land in Littleton is used.  Any discussion about what type of housing should go in is difficult because there are not any opportunities to build.  We need to keep housing in Littleton desirable and right now it is.  The foreclosure rate in Littleton is low.  Clark admitted that there are areas that need attention.  On the subject of downtown he struggles with the concept of what “you” want it to be and the reality of what it can be.  Small neighborhood stores cannot survive with pedestrian traffic.  Downtown changed not because it was less dense.  Society shopped elsewhere for a whole bunch of reasons.  He had a hard time grabbing the concept that building 900 units will transform the downtown.  The reality of downtown is that buildings get rehabbed and rent goes up driving out business.  I don’t think you can put in enough condos to support business with walk-in traffic. 

 

The partnership with LPS is important and we are all concerned about our schools but the reality is there is not a whole bunch we can do.  Sharing equipment is difficult – when it snows all the snow plows are needed and can’t be shared.  We are concerned about the health of the schools but what can we do about that in light of the national demographics.

 

Added Agenda Items

 

Brinkman moved to reconsider the motion on the due diligence on the property located at 1101 West Mineral Avenue.  Mulvey seconded.  Brinkman said the objective of this motion is to pull the due diligence and she would be providing a second motion to have the building appraised.  She wanted to postpone the due diligence until after an appraisal is done.

 

Cole said a MAI appraisal could get the council a lot of information that will help them to know whether or not to proceed to the next step.

 

Brinkman said the appraisal should be the first step before spending $15,000 to $20,000 to see if the mechanics work.

 

Jim Woods said the discussion at last Tuesday’s meeting was in terms of the total budget – you are not an investor that would use the building as is – it needs a lot of renovation.  The appraisal will look at comparables, the square footage and replacement costs.  It will not move you closer to cost feasibility in your budget.

 

Brinkman said it will give them an idea of the cost of the building.

 

Woods thought it might confuse the issues too.  The appraisal will give you a market value compared to other property.  It will not address Mulvey’s questions from last Tuesday – you need the schematic drawings for that.

 

Mulvey said he did not expect it to answer his questions but it could tell us if we are over budget.

 

Clark said the counter offer is over budget already.  We offered $3.2 million and their counter offer makes it impossible to move in no matter what the due diligence is.  The appraised value doesn’t affect the selling price.

 

Woods reiterated what the appraisal will do.  It will address the comparables and possible income producing value.  It will address the cost to build something similar today and determine the best market value of the building in their opinion.

 

Cole said it could potentially come in at $3.3 million or just under the counter offer or anywhere in-between.

 

Woods said they needed to acknowledge that it may not be what Walker would sell it for and they have no idea what it will cost to move the police into the building.

 

Clark said he was hard pressed to know how the appraisal of the property will make any difference.

 

Cole said they had already made an offer on the building and an appraisal is a lot cheaper than the due diligence.

 

Clark said if it comes in at $3.3 million we still don’t know the cost of moving in the police.

 

He was reminded that he voted to offer $3.2 million without knowing how much it would cost to move the police in.

 

Clark said the appraisal will give us less information than the due diligence.  He did not understand why they would want to stop a process that would give them information for a process that won’t give them information.

 

Jose asked if they didn’t have the expertise on staff that could give the council an assessment of the building.

 

Woods said he would have to talk to Jim Thelan – in terms of evaluating the life cycle of the systems he did not think we had the expertise.  That would require certified engineers.

 

Cole said if Thelan could look at the roof and open and close doors and he would have a better feel than the council does and it would not hurt to get Thelan to review the building.

 

Clark said that is exactly what due diligence will do.

 

Brinkman said she thought due diligence was necessary but the appraisal comes first.  We have a budget and it is not a huge expense or a great deal of time – it is appropriate.  Motion passed 4/2 with Clark and Ostermiller dissenting.

 

BRINKMAN MOVED TO AUTHORIZE THE CITY ATTORNEY TO OBTAIN A MAI APPRAISAL OF 1101 WEST MINERAL.  Motion was seconded.  Motion passed 4/2 with Clark and Ostermiller dissenting.

 

 b) 8:30 p.m. Judge Kimmel Review – To the Judge’s credit this was held in a public session rather than executive session.  The discussion was more about what should be included in a formal evaluation that they are trying to develop.  Up to this point in time the review process has been very informal.

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