City Council Regular Meeting May 3, 2016

City Council Regular Meeting        May 3, 2016         Citizen Minutes

Citizen Comments – Recreational Marijuana was on the Consent Agenda for a first reading. There were several members of the community that spoke for and against lifting the ban on recreational marijuana. The arguments are the same ones we have all heard before – in favor of the added sales tax revenue, don’t want to lose sales to other communities, Littleton citizens voted in favor of Amendment 64, don’t lift the ban – can lead to addiction and unproductive lifestyles in the young, lift the ban as the current marijuana shops have been good citizens of Littleton and are getting engaged into the business fabric of the community. (If I had all the time in the world I would go speaker by speaker but I know you know the drill.)

John Spencer spoke in favor of urban renewal and thought management of the LIFT board was important. (LIFT is a separate entity from the council and council has no authority over their actions. Council has to approve their plans but it is the role and responsibility of LIFT to implement the plans as they see fit. Colorado law provides them that authority.) He also supported the streetscape plan on the agenda.

Pam Chadbourne spoke against the Meadowbrook Metro Fire District agreement saying it was not good for the city. She pointed out that the Charlier Streetscape Plan still did not include an area north of downtown Littleton that is part of that neighborhood.   She supported recreational marijuana only in the areas outside the buffer zones.

Consent Agenda

  1. Service Agreement with the Meadowbrook-Fairview Metro District for fire and emergency medical response services
  2. Appointment of Christopher Cross as substitute municipal court judge for a two-year term – pulled by Doug Clark
  3. Contract approval for the $200,000 Streetscape Plan for Littleton Blvd and Main St with Charlier – pulled by Doug Clark
  4. Regulation and licensing of retail marijuana establishments
  5. Certification of April 5, 2016 regular meeting minutes – pulled by Doug Clark

Items A and D were approved 7/0.

Item B – Approval of Substitute JudgeClark thought the council should interview the substitute judge prior to approval. It is part of their responsibility. Debbie Brinkman moved to appoint C. Cross as a substitute judge. Phil Cernanec seconded. Clark moved to postpone the main motion to the first regular meeting in June to give council an opportunity to interview Mr. Cross. Jerry Valdes seconded. Motion failed 3/4 with Peggy Cole, Clark and Valdes in favor. Main motion passed 6/1 with Clark dissenting.

Item C – $200,000 Charlier Streetscape StudyClark thought this was an example of misplaced priorities and a waste of tax money. There are other areas in the city that need attention and he hears from citizens about those areas – such as the parking lot by Colorado Fabrics. We keep spending tax dollars to study the same areas over and over. We already have a bike and pedestrian Master Plan; we are on the second plan in the past four years and three in the last ten years for the light rail stations. He did not think the public was in favor of installing more signs, moving trees, and more documents.

Valdes said Littleton Blvd needs something done and there had been so many workshops…he agreed with Clark. We have too many studies and we do nothing with them. He wants the city manager to put together a plan to address issues on Littleton Blvd – the Charlier contract does very little for Littleton Blvd. Valdes said he appreciated the two new crosswalks on Littleton Blvd but it bothered him to spend $200,000 on a study that has little to do with Littleton Blvd; there are other areas that need attention outside of downtown.

Brinkman said if we treat this as another study it would be just another study. We need to do something with them – it is incumbent on us. She said the improvements Clark referred to on Littleton Blvd were done before she moved to Littleton 14 years ago. It is a challenge to ride a bike on Littleton Blvd. We don’t have a forward thinking plan for that area based on the changing life styles. She said that all the plans overlay and overlap each other – this is the stuff that should have been done. She expressed concern over the downtown retail and parking. Littleton has lost two restaurant projects due to the lack of parking. We have a community without a solid plan for the future and for the growth around our city that will use our city.

Bill Hopping said the plan really lays a foundation for how downtown and Littleton Blvd function. He said we could have angle parking on Powers in downtown. He liked the interactive process that was proposed by the Charlier group. He thought it would dovetail with the light rail station area plans.

Phil Cernanec said the plan gives us an opportunity to plan and prioritize.

Clark said Littleton Blvd was improved beginning in 2000 with separating the sidewalks and tree plantings. The sidewalks were widened on the north side. That is a 13 year-old project and any future changes might ought to wait until it is time to repave the road. The plan does not address the neighborhoods or the incentives for the Historic District. We need to look at off site parking – how many do we need. The parking requirements are already prohibiting people from doing business in downtown.

Brinkman moved to approve the Charlier contract with Hopping seconding.

Valdes said that parking is a city code issue – the $200,000 contract will not help. We need to address the code. We know what the parking inventory is without spending $200,000.

Bruce Beckman recalled during the 2016 budget discussion the elimination of a $200,000 item because of the increasing needs of street maintenance. We need additional money for the streets and roads and he would like for this contract to come back to the council in the 2017 budget cycle. Motion to approve the Charlier contract failed 3/4 with Clark, Cole, Valdes and Beckman dissenting.

Item E – Certification of April 5, 2016 videoClark pulled. Motion to certify the video of the April 5, 2016 meeting passed 6/1 with Clark dissenting.

Ordinance on second reading to approve the additional expenditure of $200,000 for the Charlier Streetscape Contract – There’s no reason to approve the expenditure since the contract was not approved. Motion failed 2/5 with Cole and Hopping in support.

General Business

Hopping said he would not be in town for the study session on May 24, which is a joint session with the planning board and LIFT to discuss urban renewal. He moved to change the date to June 14th with a first reading on July 5, 2016. Clark called a point of order saying that the item needed to be pulled off the floor. Motion passed 5/2 with Valdes and Clark dissenting. (There was way too much discussion of this item – Valdes wanted to know if he had a conflict with June 14th would they be changing the date again? 

Citizen Comment

Carol Brzeczek asked the council to look into the matter of the Subdivision Exemption used to approve the Grove. Michael Penny has submitted that the property was not divided but was a combination of properties. The citizens have nowhere to go except to council and if they are unwilling to investigate what are citizens to do. They were elected to represent the citizens and to protect the citizens from government. She asked them to look into the matter before it became more costly to settle. If the citizens prevail in their quest for due process the potential lawsuit will only cost more the longer this is delayed.

Pam Chadbourne agreed with Brzeczek. She asked the council to please enforce the code; there is risk for the citizens of Littleton and they have a fiscal responsibility to all the citizens.

Chadbourne also commented on the Planning Board meeting saying that Jocelyn Mills, Community Development Director, did not provide any leadership or information to the planning board to help in their decision-making. Staff must bring information forward and it is not happening. She asked for a timeline and schedule.

Marty Brzeczek said he has asked about the use of the Subdivision Exemption code for the Trail Mark fire station and for Breckenridge Brewery but has yet to get a response.

Paul Bingham asked the council to make believe he said everything that Carol Brzeczek had said – you need to listen.

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