City Council Study Session – 22 May 2018 – Belleview Corridor/Charter Changes

City Council Study Session.       22 May 2018.         Citizen Minutes

Review of the draft Belleview Corridor Plan

Three individuals from Clarion Associates presented the draft plan to council.  The plan is to provide a guide for future land use decisions and improvements.   The vision principles are:

  1. Create a more distinct identity for Belleview
  2. Improve mobility and safety
  3. Protect and reinvest in corridor neighborhoods
  4. Support existing businesses and revitalize underutilized properties
  5. Create more gathering places for people

On specific areas comments were made:

  • Columbine Square is not likely to redevelop anytime soon.
  • Riverside Downs has underutilized river frontage
  • Arapahoe Center and Centennial Plaza shops – people really like this area but there are circulation and access issues. It is heavily used.

Corridor Enhancements – new pedestrian crossings are needed, sidewalks and bike lanes need enhancing, connectivity needs enhancing as well as the streetscape and center medians.

The community appreciates the neighborhood as it is.

Debbie Brinkman commented that they said the river frontage at Riverside is underutilized – we just spent $2,000,000 to enhance and attract people.  What’s underutilized?  Dorothy from Clarion said that it had not been leveraged and it is not connected to anything.  The surface parking could be used for other things – food trucks or bicycle rentals. The signs along the Mary Carter Greenway are great but they need to be brought up to the corridor.

Jerry Valdes asked about the concern of the residents about high density.  Clarion spokesperson said the primary concern is Columbine Square. People want uniform density along the shared edge.  How the transition happens is concerning and they will have to try to balance – the owners will need some density to make a project viable.

Karina Elrod thought they did a great job – she liked the short term and long term elements – they feel actionable.  She asked if there were any nuggets from the citizens.

Dorothy said the people want gathering places – small things can make a big difference.

Pat Driscoll asked if they talked to the owner of Columbine Square.  Dorothy said they did a couple of months ago and the talked about an overall concept.  In their mind they have an idea and they are aware of the issues and their eyes are more open now.  Brinkman said they are waiting for this plan.

Carol Fey said she could not find anything in their plan about economic sustainability.

Matt, from Clarion, said the retail health along the corridor is paramount.  A lot of improvements have been identified – more access will drive more demand.  The challenge in Columbine Square is people would like to see retail but it is difficult to attract larger retailers.  Main thing we heard is people want better connection and way finding will help retail.

Fey commented on the wider sidewalks and additional bike lanes – how do you do that – make the street more narrow?  What we have heard from the people is there’s too much density and traffic congestion.

Dorothy said Belleview is controlled by CDOT and there’s a lot more study that needs to be done.  It will happen piece meal.  The medians are a bigger discussion – that’s a pretty serious change if you want to go down that road.

Fey thought there were a lot of great ideas but not a lot of detail about how to get things done.  How does this plan fit in with the work that Kendig & Keast (K&K) are doing?  This seems to be a different style.

Jocelyn Mills said K & K are very aware of where we are – she doesn’t know the answer – their work may influence a portion of this plan.

Mark Relph said a master transportation plan is being created – it will include travel demand models that can be used to predict how the corridor will be used in the future.

Fey thought the plan could be Anywhere, USA.  Driscoll thought they should look at winding Belleview rather than keep it straight.

Mills said the next step is implementation  – they have a lot of plans that have not been implemented.  They need to identify what can be done.

Littleton Listens

Keith Reister started by telling council that a lot of the questions they are asking on the Belleview Corridor fall into the transportation master plan.   He addressed downtown Littleton saying he compared our downtown with other vibrant and sustainable downtowns.  Of the nine elements of a successful downtown Littleton could only claim to have one in place.  The challenges identified by Reister are:

  • No multi modal Transit Oriented Development Plan
  • Maintenance and sidewalk sweepeing are xamples of unclear areas of operations
  • No formal working organization for downtown
  • Demand for eents and hours of operatio continue to grow
  • No strategic plan for downtown
  • No consensus on parking issues downtown
  • We have light rail but no plan to integrate it.

What makes a downtown? There are organizations that can help make a downtown.

Reister said we spent $3,000 on signs for downtown but there is not one sign that tells people where to go to park.  We should have a downtown transportation plan.  From the city’s perspective it is a challenge to provide strategies because “they” are not partners – we need to get into a partnership with downtown.

Relph said the city can’t solve the parking issue alone.  Downtown needs to be a partner  – could be a DDA (Downtown Development Authority) or a BID (Business Improvement District).  Downtown needs to ask for the conversation – ultimately we need business owners and property owners involved.  Brinkman said she loved the idea of a formal, legal relationship with staff.  Reister said the organization would be there to bring resources to facilitate and push the discussion – they exist to help the process.  A parking structure is $25,000/space.  He would rather work with what we have and work with ACC?  At some point it will take a huge financial outlay and we need to figure out how to have that conversation.

Charter Changes

Section 29 – Consolidated into Section 23.  (Housekeeping)

Section 58 – Change “judge of the court” to “Presiding Municipal Judge” and adding language that would allow the Presiding Municipal Judge to appoint one or more Associate Judges for two year terms subject to confirmation by the council.

Section 54 – Changes the years of experience for a city attorney from two to five years. Establishes annual evaluation of the city attorney.

Section 55 and 56 – consolidate Section 55 and 56 (duties of the city attorney) into once section.

Section 57 – Rewording of the current language  – more housekeeping.

Section 117 & 118 – consolidate into once section with the exception of changing the voting requirement from 2/3 to 51% regarding laying side tracks and switches along or across any public thoroughfare.   There was talk about eliminating Section 117 and keeping 118.

Section 27(A) – Would change meeting requirement for council from at least once a month to meeting at least once in 45 days.

Section 27(C) – this is the element of the Charter that citizens voted to remove council’s ability to meet in secret behind closed doors. The changes that have been suggested would allow them to meet behind closed doors once again.  Valdes asked if they were just throwing out the ballot issue and if that’s so just do it!  Steve Kemp, city attorney, said another approach would be to just remove what the voters put in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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