City Council Regular Meeting Citizen Minutes – 1 November 2016

Regular City Council Meeting       1 November 2016         Citizen Minutes

Citizen Comments

Paul Bingham spoke in favor of the Riverside General Planned Development (PD) located at 5000 and a portion of 4900 S Prince Street. (Consent Agenda item (h))

Stephanie Thomas and Rachel Miller spoke in favor of the Windermere Street traffic calming plans.   (Item 7a)

Pam Chadbourne was concerned about Ordinance 27 – Handicap Code – she recognized the need to conform to the Federal and State laws but wanted to ensure that the changes did not create less protection for the citizens.   She does not support the Riverside General PD. She thinks the river set backs are too small and there’s not adequate open space.

Consent Agenda

  1. Emergency Medical Transportation (EMT) Enterprise Budget – pulled by Doug Clark.
  2. Littleton Sewer Utility Enterprise Budget – pulled by Doug Clark
  3. Littleton Stormwater and Flood Management Utility Enterprise Budget – pulled by Doug Clark
  4. Comcast Cable Communications Management Contract modifications – pulled by Peggy Cole
  5. Highline Business Improvement District Operating Plan and Budget – pulled by Doug Clark
  6. 2017 Fee Schedule – pulled by Doug Clark
  7. Update on definitions for a Group Home for Persons with Handicaps, Handicap and Assisted Living Facilities
  8. Rezoning on firs reading for the Riverside General Planned Development (PD) located at 5000 and a portion of 4900 S Prince Street
  9. Easement to Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Colorado State University for a streambed study in South Platte Park
  10. Broadmoor 7th Filing Minor Subdivision Final Plat – pulled by Doug Clark
  11. Minutes of the 18 October 2016 meeting – pulled by Doug Clark

Consent Agenda items f, g, h, and I were approved 7/0.

  1. EMT BudgetClark stated his concern that Section 38 of the Charter requires an Ordinance to pass appropriations and not Resolutions. The same concern exists with b) and c) of the consent agenda. Clark recognized that even though resolutions had been used in the past he would prefer to go about this approval according to the Charter. (The difference between a resolution and an ordinance is – resolutions need only one reading and ordinances require two readings and a public hearing.) He read from the Charter:

Sec. 38.When Required.

  1. In addition to such acts of the Council as are required by general statute or by other provisions of this Charter to be by ordinance, every act making an appropriation, authorizing borrowing money, levying tax, establishing any rule or regulation for the violations of which a penalty is imposed or placing any burden upon or limiting the use of private property, shall be by ordinance.

CLARK MOVED TO TURN DOWN RESOLUTION 55-2016 AND HAVE STAFF BRING BACK THE REQUEST IN THE FORM OF AN ORDINANCE.

Jerry Valdes asked to hear from the attorney who told council that he was not aware of the issues and would need to look into it before offering advice. Doug Farmen, Director of Finance, said it was very perceptive of Clark and he appreciated him bringing this to their attention.

JERRY VALDES SECONDED AND MOTION PASSED 7/0.

Consent agenda items b) and c)CLARK MOVED TO TURN DOWN RESOLUTIONS 56-2016 AND 57-2016 AND HAVE STAFF BRING BACK THE REQUESTS IN THE FORM OF ORDINANCES. MOTION PASSED 7/0.

  1. d) Comcast Cable Communications Management contract modifications. Clark still has concerns about the Limitation of Liability clause contained in the contract. The Colorado Constitution does not allow the city to indemnify a corporation, the city insurance does not cover such and he did not like assuming liability without knowing how much. Attorney Fellman said he has seen this language in lots of contracts. Many times the corporation will refuse to do business with you without the language in the contract and the way cities deal with it is to preface the language with “to the extent allowable by law” which will protect the city.

Clark mentioned a memo from another attorney firm saying that even so nothing precludes the city from having to go to court to defend themselves. He thought Comcast should adhere to the Colorado Constitution. Motion was made to approve the contract on first reading. Passed 5/2 with Cole and Clark dissenting.

  1. e) Highline Business Improvement District (BID)Clark wanted an explanation of their budget. Mike Braaten, deputy city manager, said there was no one in attendance. Clark wanted to know what happened to the $110,000. (2015 Ending Fund Balance is $397,669 and the Beginning Fund Balance for 2016 is $282,510.) Clark moved to postpone approval to November 15, 2016. Motion passed 7/0.

j) Final plat approval for the Broadmoor Seventh Filing Minor SubdivisionClark had two issues. First being the requestor does not have the authority to make the request and secondly there’s a minor error in the Plat itself. Fellman said it was not uncommon for land use approvals to be executed by the tenant for the owner. The owner will sign the plat when it is approved. Clark brought their attention to Note 8 on the Plat. CLARK MOVED TO POSTPONE THE APPROVAL TO NOVEMBER 15, COLE

MOTION FAILED 1/6 WITH CLARK THE ONLY AYE.

  1. DEBBIE BRINKMAN MOVED TO APPROVED THE VIDEO MINUTES. MOTION PASSED 6.1 WITH CLARK

6a) 2017 Budget

Clark asked if the $120,000 was sufficient to cover the King Soopers tax increment. Farmen told him that they had a separate agreement with King Soopers and since King Soopers was in the North Broadway area it had been included in the base calculation but not included in the increment calculation and would not be until the tax shareback agreement had been met or expired. PHIL CERNANEC MOVED TO APPROVE THE BUDGET AND VALDES SECONDED.

Clark said it was important to get the increment expenditure correct so it would be visible to citizens how much urban renewal is costing us. He did not see how the increment for one store could be excluded. If the King Soopers increment was meant to be excluded it should have been excluded from the UR plan. But the intent was to collect both the sales and property taxes for increment. Council could have removed King Soopers from the plan area but did not.   There is clearly a cost for urban renewal – three years for increment and still no projects. There is an obvious cost to the taxpayers.   Valdes asked for the legal opinion that led Farmen to the conclusion to exclude the King Soopers increment.

MOTION PASSED 6/1 WITH CLARK DISSENTING.

6b) Ordinance to set the mil levy at 6.662. MOTION WAS MADE AND PASSED 7/0.

General Business

7a) Windermere Traffic Calming Measures – After much discussion a MOTION WAS MADE TO APPROVE TWO TRAFFIC CIRCLES ON WINDERMERE SOUTH OF RIDGE ROAD; ONE AT SOUTHRIDGE WAY AND THE SECOND AT DAVIES AVENUE.   MOTION PASSED 7/0.

Public Comment

Frank Sierra – Expressed his surprise that there was no public hearing to approve the 62 units known as Littleton Crossing on Nevada Street in downtown Littleton.

Scott Wilson thought Littleton Crossing would create a net economic detriment to the city – the net beneficiaries would be those that live in the low income housing. He stated a Stanford Economists study that concluded low income housing in a high income area suffered a decline in value and the higher the home prices the higher the decline ratio.

Fran Wilson – She asked the council why they supported this project and expressed her concerns over parking which is already a problem in downtown.

Scott Keyser did not think there was a need for low income housing (LIH). He asked for a study of the impact of adding more LIH in a small neighborhood. He was frustrated with city council and asked for a revamping of the city codes. He thought the out of state developers solicited support for their project with false information.

Ann Kirkpatrick said Summit Developers misrepresented themselves to the community last December. The reality is that many of the units will be Section 8. Parking impacts the downtown merchants who have expressed their concerns as well. Everything has to work together to work well.

Karen Witt asked why council wanted to import crime into downtown? This will move Littleton backwards. Section 8 imports social problems into the suburbs. Summit has a history of poor management practices.

Mike Witt as a mathematician presented several statistics relating the rise of crime in Section 8 areas. He cited Gloveville – Section 8 imports crime – crime went up 3xs in Globeville – it is a preview of what is coming.

Ralph Alvarez – A business owner looking to relocate his business to either Morrison, Golden, Bel Mar or Littleton. He may go elsewhere if this development happens. He was called by the Denver Post who wants to do an investigative story. He said that Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) did not get the opposition letters when reviewing the application.

Deanna Cook expressed her concerns over parking, the negative impacts of LIH. At a minimum a public hearing is in order.

Betsy McCain is a property owner in downtown Littleton and thought there were other areas better suited for this type of development. She is frustrated with the lack of transparency and the letters in opposition not making their way to the CHFA board. She asked council to step back and work with constituients.

Don Bruns said the South Platte Park Management Plan is not a plan at all. Don read so fast that I really can’t begin to relay what he said.  He has provided me with his comments.

About the South Platte Park Management Plan – October 2016 Draft

“Limits of Acceptable Change” on page 46 of the draft states that these “…are managed through an operational document that establishes measurable indicators for intervention.” A posted remark then recommends “changing from a carrying capacity-based management system to a flexible adaptive management system based on defining acceptable changes with increased use…”

 

It does not identify what that “flexible adaptive management system” is. Instead, its loose verbiage commits park managers to sustainably achieving nothing.

 

  • “The challenge is not how to prevent any human-induced change, but rather one of deciding how much change will be allowed to occur, where, and the actions needed to control it.”

 “The LAC process requires managers to define desired wilderness conditions and to undertake actions to maintain or achieve these conditions.”

When responsively addressed, carrying capacity defines those essential conditions. The draft does not yet do that but instead misrepresents LAC by side-stepping the carrying capacity issue altogether.

For more than 30 years, Bo Shelby at Oregon State University and other recreation professionals have worked to show managers how to responsibly address carrying capacity, using LAC to help get there. At least four elements of capacity are being addressed wherever LAC is actually being applied:

Physical:                 Addresses the constraints of available space.

Social:                     Addresses constraints imposed by setting character conditions required to produce the beneficial outcomes that affected publics want—including visitors as well as adjoining neighborhoods, and avoid the adverse outcomes they want to avoid.

Ecological:              Addresses biophysical constraints imposed by land and water resources required to maintain the essential setting character conditions upon which the sustainable production of desired individual, social, economic, and yes—environmental outcomes depends.

Administrative:      Addresses operational constraints of available management staff, service providers, their professional expertise, and available fiscal resources.

Although District Four Council member Brinkman called the draft “excellent” at Council’s last study session, it is difficult to see how that can be true with these deficiencies in view. Now is the time for commitment and follow through. Otherwise, the Park’s essential and defining character will be eroded—as will the important benefits it provides to our communities who depend on it.

Thank you very much!

Carol Brzeczek had attended an Englewood City Council Meeting and learned that the Englewood Housing Authority had partnered with two different developers building high density apartments in Englewood. The partnership cost the Authoirty $100 each but passed along tax exempt status to both projects. Was that happening in Littleton?

Pam Chadbourne said zoning hearings are not about the pretty buildings that will be built but about the use of the land. She has asked the council and the planning board to present the citizens point of view several times in the past but to no avail.

Section 8 housing is very well managed. There are bad landlords but not residents. She was in favor of the LIH. This is our neighborhood – not the high income people’s. The homes were built in 1952 and several have been displaced by the high income. They are impacted by not having a house – there’s another side to this that needs to be discussed.

Reports

Relph read a statement regarding Littleton Crossing. It is supposed to be posted on the city’s website. I will try to locate and insert but right now I can’t find it.

Valdes said the bottom line is that tax credit projects cannot turn down Section 8 housing. Littleton Crossing can be 100% Section 8. In response, Clark requested a study session with CHFA. Bill Hopping mentioned the housing study RFP that would be assessing the housing needs for the city.

 

Relph said is Summit stays within the zoning code there will be no coming back for a public process – it will be approved administratively.

Cole wanted to know if there was an opportunity to work with the developer so the building would be built with quality products. Relph said yes but they needed to keep expectations realistic.

Hopping mentioned the parking study that is required based on the approval of the rezoning a few years ago. He wanted to know if they could modify the base because a lot has happened since that time.

Relph said it was difficult to interpret what to do with it as there is not a lot of detail. We need to think thorough it carefully. The larger conversation is downtown parking. We need to engage the citizens at an early level. We need to look at parking short term and long term.

 

Bruce Beckman said there were a number of concerns. CHFA did not review all the residents input. He requested a copy of the public record. Relph said the city has made a CORA request for the application material.

Valdes said Nevada Place was approved as I and II. Then there was a rezone with a majority of council supporting the change. District 2 has more than their fair share of LIH and so does District 1. Littleton has more than their fair share. Are we ever going to get the housing study?

Braaten reported that the RFP just went out last week and the study should occur early in 2017. Valdes was not happy – it was approved last January.

Cole said the city is not enforcing the downtown smoking ban. If it is not enforced it should be repealed.

Brinkman agreed with Cole. She has been disappointed in how poorly it has been executed. There has been no support from the city in messaging. Brinkman asked about the use of toilet paper in the crack seal effort in the city. Relph has issued a press release on the subject. The one ply toilet paper is applied to the crack sealant to help prevent the tracking of sealant by tires and pedestrians. The TP is biodegradable. If they don’t use the TP then there is another set of problems.

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