Littleton City Council Meeting 21 April 2009

Citizen’s Minutes 


Regular Meeting of City Council

City of Littleton, Colorado


                                                 April 21, 2009


1.         Roll Call


2.         Pledge of Allegiance


3.         Agenda


4.         Minutes


a)         Minutes of Special Meeting March 10, 2009


b)         Minutes of Regular Meeting of April 7, 2009


5.         Introduce New City Employees


6.         Citizens Appearances


a)         Guest Citizens – Littleton Rotary Group study exchange


b)         Scheduled public appearances


c)         Unscheduled public appearances


I did not get the gentleman’s name but he read a resolution on behalf of the Alliance of American Manufacturers and the American Steel Workers asking the Council to adopt the resolution on spending the 2009 stimulus money.  He will return in a couple of weeks to see if Council will pass the resolution.


James Kerber, who resides on Main Street, came to talk to the Council about building a parking garage in downtown Littleton.  Doug Clark suggested that he attend the Planning Commission’s meeting on the revision of the Central Area Complan.


Wayne Duffy recently bought two beehives and found out that they are not permitted in Littleton by zoning regulations.  He would like the Council to change the zoning to eliminate bees from the agricultural zoning where they are currently located.  He had a zoning policy on beehives from Aurora as an example for Littleton to use.


Jim Taylor asked for a draft ordinance at their next meeting since the fruit trees will be blooming soon.  Jim Woods told him that the devil would be in the details.  He guaranteed that there will be citizens that will want to voice their opposition and if you are pressing to speed this through – you need to have an opportunity for the citizens to voice their opinions.


John Ostermiller said since it was a zoning change don’t they have to go through the Planning Commission first?  Suzanne Staiert said since bees would have to be removed from current zoning it would have to go through the Planning Commission first.


Taylor said they need to move – spring is coming and the flowers are blooming.


Clark suggested that it be on the Council’s study session on May 12.


Staiert said she drafted the Aurora ordinance and she could take it to the Planning Commission as early as Monday but you need public awareness.  There were a lot of negotiations with beekeepers in the Aurora ordinance to make the regulation reasonable.


Taylor wanted to get this moved along as expeditiously as possible.


Clark said the Planning Commission could take it up on the 27th of April and it could come to the Council on first reading on May 5th and second reading on May 19th.


Carol Brzeczek complimented the staff and Urban Drainage for the work recently completed on the Lee’s Gulch Trail behind her home.  The project was completed and the area was left better than they found it.  The changes in the creek were beautiful and she wanted the Council to know what a great job they did. 


7.         Consent Agenda Items


a)         City of Littleton Ethics, Protocol and Standards of Conduct – Staiert drafted two policies on Council travel and Council budget and offered them to the Council as a starting point for their discussion.  There had been some changes in the Standards of Conduct draft and certain Council members said they would like time to review the document before discussing it.  Staiert said Peggy Cole’s changes were not substantive.  Clark said it sounded like a study session topic to him as he suspects the travel policy will be very interesting subject.  He moved to postpone the discussion until May 12.  Mulvey seconded and motion passed 7/0. 

b)         Authorization to expend $100,000 from the Conservation Trust Fund for Berry Avenue Community Vegetable Garden – Passed 7/0.


8.         Second and Final Reading on Ordinances and Public Hearings


a)         Ordinance regarding Amendments to Wastewater Utility Ordinance (7-5-25), specifically Industrial Pretreatment Requirements – Passed 7/0.



9.         General Business


a)         Discussion regarding funding request for NLC Board of Directors Meeting at     Littleton Museum – Taylor has asked the Council to allocate $3,000 to host a board meeting for the National League of Cities at the Littleton Museum for a BBQ lunch.  If the $3,000 is more than is needed it will not be spent but lunch is based on a per person cost and he wanted to make certain the money was available to cover all participants.  Clark asked if it should come from the contingency fun and Taylor sad yes or the Council’s budget.  Woods said it would depend on how much has already been spent.  Kelli Narde told Council if they want the money taken from their budget that is what she will do.  Clark asked Woods if he would bring it back to the Council as a Contingency transfer.  Taylor asked if it could be done tonight – and moved that $3,000 be moved from the General Fund’s Contingency Fund into a special account for the National League of Cities Board meeting.  Clark seconded.


Staiert said the Charter requires a 5 vote majority to transfer the money and it requires a first and second reading.  However, the money could be transferred from the Travel and Training account tonight.


Taylor said it needed to be done tonight.  Clark ruled his motion out of order.  Taylor moved to take the $3,000 from the Travel and Training budget.  Ostermiller seconded and motion passed 7/0.


b)         Liquor Licensing Authority request for approval to not televise August 2009 meeting – There is a conflict on August 12 with the Carousel of Music and the Liquor Authority meeting cannot be televised. They have asked for Council’s permission not to televise the meeting and permission was granted 7/0.


c)         Discussion of South Platte River issues – Information was given to the Council on the reclassification of Segment 14 to Warm Water Tier II.  No action was required.


d)         Added Agenda Item by Clark – Clark moved to make public the appraisal of the Mineral Building.  Ostermiller seconded.  Debbie Brinkman asked Staiert if there were any concerns on her part about making the appraisal public.


Staiert said the confidential nature of the appraisal is really to protect them because negotiations can head in a direction where you don’t want to show their hand too soon.  However, this is a little different because so much has been done in the open and she did not know of another bidder.  It is not typically done and you have to decide for yourself if there’s a risk of not getting your price.


Brinkman asked Clark why he wanted to release the appraisal.  Clark said the price is so high it makes the project undoable based on the workshop and to continue the discussion in an executive session is improper.  We are at a policy issue – how much will we spend and to have a public discussion on where we are going is impossible to do without disclosing the appraisal.


Taylor said he was trying to assess Staiert’s comments and Brinkman’s concerns and rather than Clark’s motion they should agree that they don’t have the money to move within the allocated budget and maybe we just not go forward with the building.  Clark said if we don’t go forward it doesn’t matter.


Brinkman said the appraised valued doesn’t mean that is what they would offer and she did not think the appraisal took the option off the table.  We have $11 million in the Water Fund and there’s the issue of solving space needs – we don’t know what the cost will be so why take it off the table?


Clark said they moved to spend $6 million at a previous meeting 7 to 0.  We can’t afford the project at the counter offer and to continue to grind through this and hope it is going to come back is a disservice to the public.  But this motion does not kill the building.  Motion passed 6/1 with Jose dissenting.


Clark said the appraisal was $5,100,000 and to continue down this path takes time away from the other Option that is possible.  He moved to remove the Mineral Building from consideration.  Taylor seconded.


Jose said they have $11 million and thought the Mineral Building would take care of space needs for a long time.  He thought even after paying off debt there was money available for this project.  He does not want to see the remaining $3 million go to the General Fund.


Taylor said they had had a lengthy discussion about the Water Fund in January and decided to pay off $3 million in debt and that will have long term benefits for the citizens of Littleton.  He also agreed to spend $6 million on police space needs – that is still his bottom line.  Frankly, he said, in today’s economy we need a Rainy Day Fund and he was not willing to go much more than $100,000 above the $6 million.  Removing this option will send us down the right path to solve the police problem.


Peggy Cole said she had gathered enough information to know that this option doesn’t fall within the limits.  She believes it will cost $8.3 million to purchase and move in.


Tom Mulvey said the Council and Staff have been fair on Mineral and it is now time to get going on a solution and he would like to see it done with this Council’s support.


Brinkman said it was obvious that there was not support for the Mineral Building and she has never seen an issue get such a vehement reaction from Council members.  She saw this building as providing solutions beyond tomorrow.  14,000 square feet on the back end of the City Center was short-sighted and the $6 million it will take is not fiducially responsible.  If Mineral had proved that we couldn’t support it she wouldn’t. But we haven’t seen the numbers –  people are pulling numbers out of the air.  We never gave it a real chance.  It was opposed out of the chute.  She was very disappointed in “My City Council” for the lack of a full purging of the option.


Ostermiller had not changed his mind – it is the worst thing in the world to pursue and not have the money to move in and then can’t afford the operation.  Times are tough and there’s no sign that things are going to turn around.  That money could be our salvation.  If staff can concentrate on one option we will get good, hard numbers. Motion passed 5/2 with Jose and Brinkman dissenting.


10.       Consideration of Committee, Commission and Board Matters


11.       Ordinances on First Reading


12.       Resolutions


13.       Comments / Reports


a)         City Manager


b)         City Attorney


c)         Council Members Cole mentioned an Ordinance she was supporting against feeding wildlife predators and learned that it could not be enforced.  But the Department of Wildlife has regulations against feeding predators.  She said people should call the DOW if they know someone breaking the regulation.  Staiert said citizens could call Littleton’s Animal Control Officer or the DOW.


Mulvey asked Tim Nimz to tell the Council about their current exhibit which is a collection of Columbine Tragedy items.  The Littleton Museum has the largest collection (900 items) that are mostly items that were left in the Park after the event.  The items are on display through September sometime.


d)         Council President


e)         DRCOG


14.       Adjournment

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