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Public Comment from Oct. 7 City Council Meeting

2013-10-07 Council Presentation re McIlvoy Park by Nancy Young

Good evening Mr. Mayor, City Council, and Citizens of Arvada

Thank you, Mr. Deven, for finally responding to my ongoing inquiry regarding McIlvoy Park.  Your response, however, has increased my concern that part of OUR park is about to be dedicated to a private use through the device known as a “revocable permit to encroach.”

Such an encroachment violates the restriction in Clemency McIlvoy’s original deed.

“It is agreed and understood that this land is transferred to the town of Arvada for the use of the public as a park and shall be known as The McIlvoy Park.”

This deed was recorded at 10:55 am on May 15, 1919, in the Jefferson County Recorder’s Office, Book 216, page 114, should any citizen wish to view this public record.

While revocable permits have legitimate uses, here its use has overtones of a Bernie Madoff scheme to defraud the citizens of their right to use this generous legacy as a park. Mr. Deven described 9 cement sidewalks for the private use of the apartment renters to enter and exit the park, with shrubbery in between. In effect, this part of the park will permanently be inaccessible to the public.

The draft agreement for the encroachment limits the City’s ability to revoke the permit. Item 3.2 states it can be revoked if the developer breaches the agreement. The developer has only one meaningful responsibility – item 3.5 – to carry insurance. Worse yet, item 11 states that no third parties – like the citizens of Arvada – have any rights whatsoever under the agreement.

The very fact that this Council would even consider this indirect method of removing public access to part of McIlvoy Park is unconscionable! Such action clearly violates Mrs. McIlvoy’s restriction regarding the use of the land. Arvada has a fiduciary duty to its citizens to assure that the public can use all of this land as a park.

I urge this Council to deny any application by this or any developer to use any part of McIlvoy Park on an ongoing basis for such private purposes.

City Council Meeting Notes October 7, 2013 by Susan Shirley

Councilman Allard was absent due to illness.

Mark McGoff began by reading a proclamation that October is Housing America Month. He said that there is a real need for low income and affordable housing, that 5.9% of rural homes are substandard, and that public housing is home to over two million people. He spoke favorably about the Block Grant and Section 8 programs which allow housing assistance to many low income people including female-led households and the disabled. Mr. Talbott accepted a plaque on behalf of Housing America.

There was a short but not very illuminating discussion in regard to the Municipal Judge mentioned at the end of the September 16 city council meeting, and also changes and corrections for the minutes of that meeting.

This was followed by public comment about Park Place Olde Town (PPOT.) The first speaker, James Beckman, is a former city councilman from Frisco, Colorado. He gave his opinion that public controversy and public involvement, even if it includes anger, shows a good job on the part of a city council, and that the way to defuse angry people is to bring them into the process. He went on to say that he believes the rules regarding building height were changed after the submission of the project and that he doesn’t believe that was the correct way for that to be handled. Mayor Williams said that it is normal for rules to change as part of the development code along the way.

Geoffrey Bruce spoke next. He said that during this year’s dispute over the Walmart, he was told by the city council that the majority of polling indicated the public was in favor of a Walmart. It was later discovered that the poll in question was not a citizen’s poll but involved paid pollsters who can earn anywhere from $3 to $12 per signature. He asked if that is reasonable to consider such a poll a measure of the public’s true sentiment. He then requested that City Council not put staff in charge of changes which will dramatically alter Arvada for generations to come.

He was followed by Betty Araya, speaking on behalf of Save Arvada Now (SAN.) She reminded the council that design rules are important for protecting the character of an area such as Olde Town. Then she told the council that SAN has consulting party status for the Section 106 investigation. Betty pointed out that the State Historic Preservation Officer issued a decision last spring that PPOT would have an adverse effect on the area, and she said that SAN “regret(s) that the city of Arvada approved this development even after that finding was made.”

Nancy Young thanked Mr. Deven for his response to her six months’ worth of inquiries about the revocable permit. She reiterated that the permit violates the land transfer deed to the city of May 15, 1919 (public record, if anyone wants to look at it) which gave the land to the public for use as a park to be named McIlvoy Park. She pointed out that the revocable permit has overtones of a Bernie Madoff scheme. The revocable permit includes space for nine sidewalks for access to and from PPOT, all with shrubberies in between. In addition, there will be limited ability for this revocable permit to be revoked, and that third parties (for example, citizens of Arvada) will have no rights whatsoever to revoke. Ms. Young expressed her belief that this is “unconscionable and clearly violates McIlvoy’s restrictions.”

Mayor Williams responded by asking Mr. Deven if any of the access points are to be gated. Mr. Deven said no.

Cindi Kreutzer spoke on behalf of Stop Arvada Walmart (SAW.) She said that it is very important that we do whatever we can to maintain the unique character of Arvada. She believes that the demolition of the Masonic Lodge and five-story apartment building will “permanently degrade the historic legacy” that is Arvada’s.

Mark Atwater described the festivities planned for the weekend’s upcoming Arvada Scarecrow Festival, of which he is co-chair.

Public comment was followed by Resolutions R13-123 through -130, with the exception of -129 which they dealt with separately. These resolutions concern construction contracts, the water treatment plant, and hiring a forensic interviewer for the Ralston House. The resolutions passed 6-0.

Resolution 13-129 was examined separately. It provides for an increase in a maintenance contract between the City and WL Contractors, from the previous $460,000 to $1,341,000. John Feruzzi of the traffic control department demonstrated on a city map, the areas where fiber in conduit will be, or has been installed. In the area along West 58th from Sheridan to Wadsworth, the work was done concurrently with other road replacement. There will also be conduit installed from Wadsworth to Kipling along 80th, and around 8100 Vance at the police substation. There was discussion about why the work was done prior to receiving official approval and it was generally agreed that it is not a good idea to cut a brand-new roadway to install something underneath, so it was a good idea to apply common sense in this case and do both operations simultaneously.

Bob Fifer commented that Arvada is one of the first communities to pursue the federal government’s objective of broadband accessibility to homes. It is very difficult, he said, for the private sector to fund such a large-scale project. Mr. Fifer also asked about the $129,000 for the work on 80th in the original contract. He was informed by staff that if that was not amended, the city would run short of funds for scheduled maintenance.

The resolution passed, 6 to 0.

Resolution 13-131 was also about fiber optic cable, involving an intergovernmental project with the State of Colorado, which will not carry a cost to Arvada. It also passed, 6 to 0.

Resolution 13-132 involves a contract with Tower 1 Construction to build restrooms and a concession stand at Long Lake Park. The total cost of this project is not to exceed $660,000, which will be borne, in part, by APEX ($130K) Edge Soccer ($30K,) and Arvada Midget Football ($20K.) A large portion of this cost is for running water and sewer lines, not just the buildings. This resolution passed, 6 to 0.

Resolution 13-133 renews the long-standing lease of the non-profit Horse Protection League. The Horse Protection League is 100% volunteer operated, has been around since 1994 and has a mission of seeing to the rescue, care, and welfare of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. A brief video shown by the group stated that there are record numbers of these animals suffering from neglect, starvation, abandonment and abuse; the volunteers nurse them back to health and find adoptive homes for them. They have several programs for military veterans and their families, at-risk teenagers, and veterinary students. For more information, their website is thehorseprotectionleague.com; they are at 17999 W. 60th Avenue, and their address for donations (they had significant flood damage) is P.O. Box 741089, Arvada, 80006. They do have regular days the public can visit.

Annie Oden, the League President, thanked the City Council for their support, without which they could not have rescued over 100 horses.

Mark McGoff pointed out that there is an added benefit to the city beyond the $400 per month they pay for rent of their property, which is that the group also helps maintain very important historic structures on the property.

The resolution for the lease agreement passed 6 – 0.

Resolution 13-134 was authorization for a contract between the city and Arrow J Landscaping Co., for work planned for Memorial Park. There has long been friction between neighborhood residents and the disc golfers who also use the park. Mr. Deven discussed the efforts to create a design to address those concerns, meetings between residents and the disc golf associations, and putting the project up for bid. There is a block grant and trust fund providing monies for these changes.

Shelley Cook mentioned that many trees in Memorial Park have been marked with ribbons, but that those trees are not to be removed; the ribbons are only to help with the changing of the park’s layout.

Mr. McGoff asked a representative of the landscape firm why the bid came in at more than the architect’s estimate, which he said is highly unusual. The answer given was that there is currently an escalation of all phases of development, and today’s bidding environment is very competitive. Things just cost more now than when the plans were drawn, in other words.

The cost is $1,037,129, the project starts when funds are made available, and golf will be closed until the finish of the project, expected in spring 2014.

The resolution passed, 6 – 0.

Ordinances, first reading, read by Mark McGoff, concerned funding for 2014, a mill levy for the county, utilities and wastewater rates and water fees. There will be a public hearing on these matters October 21, 2013 at 6 p.m.
This passed, 6 – 0.

Susan Shirley then spoke on behalf of Citizens for a Better Arvada, about PPOT. She said that CBA believes PPOT does not fit within the historical context of Olde Town, and that other options should be explored; for example something along the lines of the Mission Meridian Village in California, which has a density of 40 dwelling units per acre yet blends in with its surroundings. CBA will be a consulting party for the Section 106 review.

Mention was made of Rachel Zenzinger’s upcoming “Councilor on Your Corner,” Tuesday, October 8 at Indian Tree Golf Course. It is open to all residents and the subject will be the update to the Comprehensive Plan.

Ms. Zenzinger also said that she is soliciting feedback on the restructuring of how DRCOG does business.

There followed a discussion among the council members about linking the two key transit stations along the Sheridan NW corridor and the Fast Tracks system, and about whether or not it would be a good idea to focus on two separate areas of transportation needs at one time.

Mark McGoff commended the Parks Department on finessing community involvement in improvements to Britain Park at 69th and Eaton. He said that the department took into account everything the neighborhood participants had to say, and that the neighbors love the park design as approved. There were approximately sixty residents involved in the process.

Mark Deven said there is a workshop scheduled on Arvada Center Task Force recommendations. There will be a public meeting about that on October 30. Mr. Deven said that an article in the Arvada Report neglected to mention that the city wants to solicit input about community values; that the city wants to know, specifically, “if the task force is to move forward, what community values and interests need to be included in any agreement?” He would like to have input before the November 25 workshop.

Next week there will be no workshop. The next City Council Workshop is October 28. It will feature Healthy Places, Community Corrections, Municipal Court Judge and Committee, Pay plan recommendations, and a request by the Action Center for capital program expansion.

Eye On Arvada: Who We Are

We are a group of citizens in Arvada Colorado who are loosely affiliated by our concern with the actions of City Council.   We have no political affiliation.  We have no funding.

Some members of SAW (Stop Arvada Walmart)  and SAN (Save Arvada Now) were talking and realized that not only did our groups have many members in common, but that there were other groups in Arvada who were literally trying to fight city hall.  It struck us that although all of our members might not agree with each other on all our goals for the city, all of our members did agree that we need to be more vigilant about keeping an eye on our government.  Some members of these groups have been actively involved with city politics for years.  Others have just realized that it is not enough to vote and leave the elected officials to do as they think best.  We all need to keep an eye on what is happening.  We invite other groups who are concerned with city issues to get in touch with us, and write a post about their issues here on this blog.

We will post updates on city council and Aura meetings.  We hope to keep readers up to date with the fight against Walmart in the triangle area as well as the proposed PPOT.

We want to let other Arvada citizens know that we are out there and would welcome their input.  And we want the city council of Arvada, and Aura to know that we are watching.

John Marriott: Response to Email about Walmart/Density

From: Christine Duncan
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 2:27 PM
To: John Marriott
Subject: Questions on Triangle

Hi John,

I’ve asked your opponents, Ted and Justin these questions.  It seems only fair to ask you.   What is your position on the Walmart proposed for the Arvada triangle area?How do you feel about the outline developers plan for high density in the area?

I did look for your stance on your website, but saw nothing.  I am hoping to share your answers with Citizens for a Better Arvada.

Thanks!

Christine Duncan

————————————————————————————————————————-

Christine,

Thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions, and feel free to share this with anyone.

Let me start by saying that I am for re-development of the Arvada Plaza and Triangle area. This is obviously not a controversial position as I think most people are in agreement that the shopping district is on the decline and has been for many years. The question really is what is the best way to proceed and what do we want the redeveloped area to look like. I have to say that while I am not enthusiastic about a Walmart store in our neighborhood, I would rather have re-development happen than have the area stay the way it is now for the next 10 or more years. Since the City Council has approved the Walmart development, the most important issue now is how do we make the new development fit in to our existing beautiful neighborhoods. This and a few other reasons is why I am running for City Council. It is critical that residents, neighborhood groups, and elected officials pay attention to every detail, and hold the developer to the highest standard when it comes to this development. Along with the redevelopment is going to come an increase in traffic, and we must control the flow of traffic to keep it out as much as possible from our neighborhood streets, and keep it on the main roads where it belongs. It is also important that all sides of the new development be attractive, and functional. It is not right for the backside of the proposed Walmart to look any worse than the front, and there must not be pallets, boxes, trash or other items outside the back of the store. It would not be fair for the residents that live on the south side of 57th, or any one else who uses 57th. These are just a couple of many details that, If I am elected to Arvada City Council I will be focusing on. Since you have served on the Arvada Board of Adjustment with me for many years, you know that I am a fierce defender of private property rights, and I can also be persuasive to others around me. I also am not in lockstep with the city staff, and I have no allegiance to anyone on the city council. These things make me the best person to fight for our neighborhoods during this time of big changes around us.

There are other items on the outline development plan (ODP), that I am opposed to. Most versions of the ODP show Garrison Street continuing south from Ralston Rd to 57th. I am completely against this. I see it having no value in efficiently moving traffic, and the amount of cut thru traffic to get to I-70, Costco, Home Depot, and other places would just increase. We have chosen to live and raise our children on the corner of Carr and Grandview, and a large increase in traffic would be tragic. Speaking of traffic I see the Arvada Ridge rail station as being a potential traffic generator for mine and your neighborhoods, and I would like to hear what you think of it. I feel like some ramps off Kipling Parkway to Ridge Road might be a good idea, so traffic coming from the north could use Kipling Parkway instead of Independence, or Miller St.

Another item on the ODP that I strongly disagree with is high density multi family housing at the current site of the community garden. The original intent of high density housing in the Triangle was to provide rooftops and customers for a walk able multi use development. Now that we are getting a large format retailer, I see no justification for high density housing, and I would like to keep the community garden where it is. As far as high density housing on the North side of Ralston Rd. I am in favor of multi use development there, and support a housing component of that use, but only if the housing is part of the commercial buildings I.E. commercial/retail on the ground floor and housing above.

I prefer to have discussions about important items face to face, because listening is as important as talking, so if you or any one else would like to meet, let me know.

John Marriott
Larson’s Ski and Sport
4715 Kipling St.
Wheat Ridge, Co. 80033

********************************************************************

Christine,

 

I wanted to respond to your question from Tuesday night about TOD developments in Arvada. I am generally a supporter of Transit Oriented Development, however I don’t believe in TOD without limits. Park Place Old Town is a good example of this.

 

 First a bit of history, I was opposed to the Water Tower Housing development in the late 1990’s. I did not feel that it would help Old Town, and I was against loosing the semi rural feel of that area of town. At the time I owned a business in Old Town on Old Wadsworth, and I did not see any benefit for me. I now realize that I was wrong about the Water Tower housing area. A lot of the vibrancy, and activity in Old Town is because there are now enough customers close by to allow impressive variety of businesses to succeed.

  I support the idea of higher density housing within walking distance of shopping and transit, and the location of PPOT between the Wadsworth Bypass and Old Town is a good place for it. There are, however, things about PPOT that I don’t like. First I don’t like 5 stories of height, I feel 3 would have been more in keeping with the feel of Old Town. Second, I would not have been in favor of vacating the Teller Street right of way, and I don’t think this would have been necessary if the project were smaller. Third, I would like to have seen an aesthetic design more in keeping with the look of Old Town. I am particularly concerned with the large slab face of the East side of the building. This is another concern that would be less if the project were smaller. The biggest issue I have, however, is the process that this project was approved under. City Council in effect farmed out their approval authority to the Director of Community Development, by allowing him to grant wavers to the design guidelines. I favor the public process where community meeting are held, and ultimately elected representatives are the decision makers. One more issue with this development, I feel that projects such as these affect a much larger area of the community than typical developments, and should have a public process that is more robust and includes more stakeholders than normal.

 I support other TOD efforts, like the new housing around the Arvada Ridge station. As you know, that project was approved the normal way, and we even had several issues before us at the Board of Adjustment. I think this project has been done well, and will be very nice for years to come. At this time I don’t see any housing component of the Arvada Plaza/ Triangle as being TOD focused, but I do favor incorporating mixed use housing in the redevelopment of that area, I.E. commercial or office on the ground floor and residential above, or maybe residential facing Ralston Creek, and commercial closer to the main roads. I do not favor any large scale high density housing in the Triangle area.


John Marriott
Larson’s Ski and Sport

Ted Terranova: Response to Email about Position on Walmart/Density

Hi Ted,

  Thanks for the info.   I don’t know if you know or not, but I am opposed to many of the changes being made in the name of redevelopment in the triangle area.  Can you tell me your stand on them?  Or better yet, post your thoughts on Facebook on StopArvadaWalmart?  I am copying in Cindi Kreutzer from that organization in this email as SAW is very interested in your answer.

Thanks!

Christine Duncan

I am not a “Facebook” kind of guy- maybe I need to be. You are welcome to forward this email to whoever you wish. First of all- One of the reasons I entered this race was to be able to be an influence on what may happen next about Wal-Mart. Keep in mind the decision to allow the “type of development” is no longer an issue or referendable. Next- I fully support an attempt to put the financing question to a vote of the people- You cannot go wrong when the “people” speak. However, if the vote does occur and passes- the best hope for the opponents is a District Council representative that keeps his/her face in the process ALL along the way. I have seen projects like this get approved one way and end up another. IF- Wal-Mart becomes a reality I intend to keep a watchful eye on these matters for mitigation specifically. Because I am an experienced former Councilman and have a personal relationship with most of the current Council I believe I would be in the best position to “protect” the District of the current candidates.

Now, if this financing issue does go to a vote and the people reject the concept, keep in mind the developer and Wal-Mart MAY still go forward.

So what I am saying is while I respect the intention of SAW- they need to keep in mind a plan B just in case they are not successful at their efforts.

Now if Wal- Mart becomes a dead issue- there is still the question of what to do about the Triangle area. I would hope that if the Wal- Mart fails because the people say they do not want it that the entire city government needs to rethink what to do. Maybe nothing until something really good comes along that more of the neighbors can buy in to. I do not believe in jamming things down people throats- I would prefer to kindly spoon feed until there are some meetings of the minds. T.O., had asked me to speak to some group about the Wal- Mart issue before the vote was taken by Council. He presumed I was in favor of it. I said- You got the wrong guy- I am really concerned about the negative impacts related and am not completely convinced that the mitigation proposals go far enough. He assumed I was a “Chamber type” – while way back in the past I was the President of the Chamber- I am currently not a member  because I am not completely convinced they want what is best even for our “existing” business which could be negatively impacted by a Wal- Mart. Finally- I must say my wife HATES the idea of a Wal- Mart even though it would be 2 or 3 miles from our home. I hope that is helpful in understanding my general philosophies at service on Council- I see it a job of “representation”   

 

Ted Terranova

Owner

Aaark Total Home Services