City Council Study Session 5/8/2018 – Littleton

Council Study Session8 May 2018Citizen Minutes

Preliminary Project Plan process for “Littleton Retirement Residences” Parcel H, Tract 1, Littleton Village, Littleton CO

This is the first time the P4 Process has been used.   The idea is to allow the applicant to be heard, through staff, about a project before they spend lots of time and money on a project only to be rejected.  Staff will speak on their behalf in very basic terms about what they want to develop and allow council to ask questions and respond with the hopes that the applicant will learn of possible concerns and issues.  Update:  The developer, as a result of the study session, has decided not to build.

The project, as presented by Jocelyn Mills, is a four story elderly congregate care housing facility with 142 units.  The big concerns heard expressed by council were parking (plan called for ½ parking spot per buffet unit, 2/3 for a one bedroom unit and 1 space for two or more bedroom units) and the increase in density.  The existing PD plan for the parcel would need to be amended by:

  • Increasing density from 46 units/acre to 47 units/acre allowing for 142 units
  • Increase the number of congregate care units allowed from 50 to 142
  • Increase the number of residential units in Tract 1 from 600 to 624
  • Increase the maximum number of residential units in the entire PD from 900 to 905

Parking concerns included the parking issues that already exist in Littleton Village, employees of the congregate care facility – how many will there be and where will they park. Jerry Valdes, who was on the Planning Commission when Littleton Village was approved, was concerned about the incremental increase in density when they worked to get the density down when it was first approved.  Carol Fey was concerned about the mass of the building – would 100 units work there? Peggy Cole said she was not happy with the project and said it was important to do what was promised. Brinkman said they needed retail. Pat Driscoll wanted more background.

Parking concerns included the parking issues that already exist in Littleton Village, employees of the congregate care facility – how many will there be and where will they park. Jerry Valdes, who was on the Planning Commission when Littleton Village was approved, was concerned about the incremental increase in density when they worked to get the density down when it was first approved.  Carol Fey was concerned about the mass of the building – would 100 units work there? Peggy Cole said she was not happy with the project and said it was important to do what was promised. Brinkman said they needed retail. Pat Driscoll wanted more background.

Cycling Without Age

Brinkman brought this forward.  “Cycling Without Age” is an international program started in Denmark to get the elderly outside again in trishaws…..think rickshaw powered by an electric bike. Phil Cernanec and three citizens from Lakewood addressed the council about the program. They have a commitment from South Suburban to house and charge the trishaw(s) in their properties along the Mary Carter Greenway.  The idea would be to use the Omnibus to transport the elderly from Senior Housing to the Greenway then return them to their homes after a nice outing along the river.  The group was there to ask for $10,000 to buy their first trishaw.

Fey wondered how the council could consider funding a $10,000 trishaw when they were telling citizens that they can’t afford to maintain the roads.  Brinkman asked Mark Relph how they could fund the trishaw and he said it was not appropriate to use the Conservation Trust Fund or the Open Space Fund but there was about $9,000,000 in the Capital Improvement Fund that could be used.  Kyle Schlachter said he heard what Fey was saying but he loved it from the perspective that it does fit our community values but we need to be sure we are doing the right thing.  He wanted to know if the group would be self suffiecient or would they always need money.

Valdes made the point that they did not have their 501(C)(3), no address and no budget.   He asked if the Omnibus had time for this to which Relph said it was probably manageable for the first couple of years.

Valdes said budget season is coming and last year they had over 30 requests from non profits for contributions from the city and they can’t fund every group that makes a request. Last year they funded 16 of the 30 requests for $86,000.  It is the citizen’s money.  He said he would like to see the group come back and apply for the contribution like all the other non profits.  He was not comfortable giving an organization involving a former council member (Phil Cernanec) a contribution and they needed to go through the same process as other Littleton non profits.

Driscoll thought $10,000 was a lot of money for a trishaw and asked if they had looked elsewhere. The group said they were required to buy the trishaw from the Denmark group.  Driscoll then asked them how much money they had raised.  The group was from Lakewood and they had raised $8,000 and one gentleman said he raised $5,000 from his own personal contacts. Driscoll asked about liability and city attorney, Steve Kemp, said he did not see any significant issues.

Peggy Cole asked if they could take contributions from the passengers.  It is against the guidelines.

Brinkman said she didn’t have the angst that other council members had.  It is an amenity that we could add to Littleton.  She said she wanted to put it through the budget process and she disagreed with Valdes about going through the application process. She then asked Relph to include it in the budget.  Valdes said no – they need to go through the non-profit process.  If they don’t have their 501(C)(3) then they don’t’ get the money. It is a lot of money – come back with an application.

At that point Brinkman cut off the conversation and thanked the group for coming.

Sign Code – Commercial Mascots and Rotating Signs

Staff was looking for clear guidelines and some council members were looking for definitions. There was discussion about what is an electric sign versus an electronic sign, is a barber pole a rotating sign, sign twirlers versus someone standing and holding a sign, and what about a robotic sign.  Staff finally said that they heard enough to write a draft to bring back to council for first reading.

City Attorney and City Manager Updates

Relph wants a consistent process to respond to citizen comments.  Staff will be preparing responses and get them back to the council. Sometimes all that will be required is a phone call to the citizen by staff.  Karina Elrod said she appreciated the effort and thought it was a courtesy to respond to citizens.

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