August 14, 2018

City Council Adopts 2011 Priorities

On Thursday night City Council formally adopted priorities for 2011.  This is generally a continuation of the priorities we established last year, but it’s worth formally identifying them to help us stay focused and help keep the community informed about what we are focused on.

We adopted five major priorities:

1) Protecting the city’s financial health and sustaining the community’s economic vitality.

2) Supporting and strengthening our neighborhoods (“The Year of the Neighborhood”), including implementing our new neighborhood grant program, completing pending neighborhood plans, and considering all of the policy recommendations in the adopted ones.

3) Maintaining our aggressive efforts to keep the beltway out of Golden and working to protect Golden from the impacts of growing regional through the Golden Plan or similar improvements.

4) Updating the Comprehensive Plan and revamping/updating the land use process to give neighborhoods a stronger voice in shaping their own future and to make the process less adversarial and combative.

5) Revisiting and updating the city’s long-term streets plan.

Other 2011 priorities include:

1) Making sure Golden is ready for light rail in 2013, including our own community bus.

2) Adopting a preliminary strategic transportation plan (in advance of preparing a thorough one in 2012).

3) Finalize our new performance evaluation system for the city and city manager, including performance metrics

4) Review and update the long-term plans for the city’s major recreational facilities.

5) Update the city’s economic development tools, structures, and strategies. This may extend into 2012.

6) Support the Quiznos Pro Challenge Professional Bicycle Race.

And some additional 2011 projects:

1) CSM Master Plan (although the timing is up to Colorado School of Mines).

2) Clear Creek Master Plan.

3) Evaluate and consider sewer/waterline insurance. DONE – Council decided to educate community members about the value of having this insurance but not to enter into a special agreement with any specific insurance providers.

4) Consider adjusting the cost of special use permits for chickens. DONE – Council reduced the special use permit fee for keeping up to six hens.

5) Evaluate and potentially update the strategy for managing amplified outdoor music.

6) Evaluate and consider updating traffic fine schedule.

7) Evaluate and consider updating leash laws.

8) Initiate long-term city financial health evaluation.

9) Evaluate and update medical marijuana regulations.

10) Update noise mitigation priorities.

11) Complete the City of Golden web site revamp.

12) Further development, testing, and training on the new Emergency Operations Plan (primarily staff).

13) Plan for major software updates (finance, planning, police, fire, courts) (primarily

14) Major public works projects: South Reservoir and office building reconstruction (primarily staff).

15) East Downtown Vision and Plan (potentially).

Three City Board Openings: Parks, Planning, & Sustainability

Three important city boards have openings, and they both represent great opportunities for Golden residents to play a role in shaping Golden’s future. The Planning Commission generally has responsibility for carefully reviewing land use proposals – rezonings, site plans, and other issues – and making recommendations to City Council about final decisions. The Planning Commission recommendations carry a great deal of weight with City Council, so this board plays an important role in shaping how land use occurs in Golden.  In addition, they are playing a major role in writing the new Comprehensive Plan for Golden, work on three neighborhood plans, and infill development issues.  This opening is for an alternate position that runs through January 2014.  The alternate is a full member of the PlanningCommission except that he or she only votes if someone else is absent.  In practice I think this means that the alternate plays a significant role.  The application deadline is 5 p.m. on February 24.   Learn more information about the application process and about the Planning Commission.

 

The Sustainability Advisory Board serves as the steward of Golden’s ten-year Sustainability Initiative.  Their responsibility is to guide our efforts to accomplish our ambitious ten-year sustainability goals on water use, energy use and renewable energy, solid waste disposal, and other long-term sustainability issues.  The opening is for a term that ends in February 2012 (after which you could apply to be reappointed).  The application deadline is 5 p.m. on February 23.  You can download the application and learn more on the city’s web site, and you can learn more about the board itself on their web page.

 

Finally, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has openings coming up as well.  Their role is to advise the PlanningCommission and City Council on the development and growth of our parks and recreational facilities within the city, and there is a lot going on: wrapping up the Clear Creek Master Plan, working on improvements to existing parks, new neighborhood parks, open space issues, and a master plan for the Tony Grampsas park as well.  The application deadline is March 30 at 5 p.m.   Learn more about the board and download the application.

The Splash Opens for the Summer Season

I had a chance to swing by Golden’s family water park, The Splash, on opening day last weekend. Despite the overcast weather, they were having a great day with tons of happy kids. It’s a great place to spend time with the munchkins (not to mention or some lap pool time) and a great place for birthday parties and other family-friendly gatherings.

Creative Ideas for the Clear Creek Corridor

Small groups explore ideas for the Clear Creek Corridor last night at the Golden Community Center. Carlos Hernandez, a transportation planner working on the project, took the photos.

Last night we had a terrific community meeting about the Clear Creek Master Plan, looking at an impressive diversity of ideas and configurations for the entire Clear Creek Corridor (between U.S. 6 and Coors and between roughly 10th and 11th).  Wenk Associates, the community’s main consultant on the project, walked everyone through some ideas they had compiled, after which everyone broke into small groups to craft their own specific proposals.  I wandered from table to table and mostly just listened to the conversations and deliberations.  I was impressed with the diversity of community participants.  The group seemed to cover most parts of town, a wide range of ages, a wide range of longevity in the community, and a wide range of interests and perspectives on the Corridor.  Councilors Sloan and Oxman were also able to join as well as a number of city staff.

One observation: despite the diversity of views in each of the small groups, all of them were able to agree on a bunch of issues (although the conclusions varied quite a bit from group to group).  I also noticed a lot of folks who would start with one reaction to an idea but change in the course of discussing it with other folks and thinking through what it might mean and how it might work.

Since this new master plan is a 15-20 year plan, it means we might include some elements that won’t happen for many years.  A few of the more creative ideas that came up:

  • Close 10th at Maple and extend Lions Park all the way down to the Creek.  Build a road connecting 8th down through the old city shops complex down to the main Community Center parking lot and to the RV park.
  • Replace the pond in front of the Community Center with other park features, potentially including a gentle side stream from Clear Creek that would be safe for kids to play in.
  • Replace the RV park with some other sort of community or public use.  For example, that area could become the main kayaking parking lot and put-in, freeing up the areas along the trail that now get clogged with kayakers, bicyclists, and walkers.
  • Relocate City Hall and the police station to the eastern part of downtown Golden (i.e., between Washington and Ford), moving them out of the floodplain.  Although the fire station is new, given that we talking a decade or two out we could also look at moving the fire station as well.  Use that space for additional parking and a community plaza (which could work well as a home to the Farmer’s Market).
  • Relocate the library out of the flood plain, perhaps into downtown.
  • Move the Golden History Center to the south side of Clear Creek just west of the Clear Creek History Park.
  • Use the small parking lot west of Clear Creek History Park for the community garden, or for a neighborhood park.
  • Relocate the ball fields along Clear Creek and replace them with an outdoor bandshell or stage, or instead install a bandshell or stage in Parfet Park.
  • Build a boardwalk on the north side of Clear Creek connecting Parfet Park with Vanover Park.

These are just some of the ideas that folks discussed.  Some were popular, some weren’t, and I’m sure that community members will think of a bunch of other interesting ideas that we can all consider.  Wenk Associates will post the summary of the meeting online within a week or so, so you can get a better sense of which ideas had the most support.

If you have any opinions at all about what should happen along the Clear Creek Corridor – ‘changing everything’  or ‘keeping it exactly as it is’ or somewhere in between – please weigh in. You’ll find all sorts of background information on the project at the Clear Creek Corridor web page. You can leave comments on that web page or plan on attending the next community meeting later in the summer.

2010 Budget Summary

The Citizens Budget Advisory Board and the city’s Finance Director do a great job putting together a summary of the city’s annual budget. It was in the May issue of the Golden Informer, but just in case you missed it or want a recap, here are some of the highlights:

  • Golden is a “full service” city, meaning that the city itself provides most of the services residents and businesses use. This includes police, fire, water, wastewater, storm drainage, and flood control. In many cities, those services are provided by separate districts.
  • The city’s total 2010 budget is about $47 million.
  • Of the city’s total projected revenues in 2010, sales and use tax make up 31%, property taxes are 11%, charges for services is 30%, and utilities charges amounts to 18%.
  • Our total projected sales and use tax revenue in 2010 is about $14.6 million, one-third of which has to be used for capital improvements. This is the reason that the city is always able to invest at least something in improving streets, sidewalks, and other capital projects even when revenues drop.
  • Only 14% of your property tax bill goes to the city. Most of the rest funds the Jefferson County School District and Jefferson County.
  • Because we have a largely volunteer fire department, our fire department budget is much smaller than it would be otherwise. We have four fire stations across town staffed by 11 paid staff and more than 80 volunteers.
  • Our police department has 42 sworn officers and 18 full-time staff. They responded to 64,689 calls in 2009.
  • Golden’s water system includes 108 miles of water mains, 834 hydrants, eight pump stations, nine treated water storage tanks, three raw water reservoirs, and one interbasin tunnel. The system provides nearly three million gallons of water to residents each day. Our wastewater system has 78 miles of sewage lines.
  • Our Parks and Recreation Department offers 253 acres of parkland, 20 miles of trails, 377 acres of open space, two indoor swimming pools, a water park, five tennis courts, two skate parks, an RV park, a highly rated public golf course, and a world-class kayaking course.
  • The city maintains a Moody’s rating of A-1 for our water bonds, a Standard & Poors rating of A for our sales and use tax bonds, and an AA- rating for our drainage utility bonds.

What's Your Vision for the Clear Creek Corridor?

Golden has always been defined, in part, by Clear Creek, and it goes without saying that the Clear Creek Corridor is part of the heart of Golden. We’ve done a lot of work on the corridor in recent years, including the new bridge just east of 6th Avenue, the new trail (to be completed hopefully later this year) on the south side of the creek connecting to a new trail along 6th Avenue, the Golden Community Garden, and improvements to the whitewater course. There are plenty of other ideas swirling about, and we are about to launch a new master plan process to sort through all the ideas and adopt a plan for the next ten to fifteen years.

The basic question is pretty simple: what do we want the Clear Creek Corridor to be like over the next ten to fifteen years? Some of the specific questions might include:

  • Are there recreational amenities that we’d like to expand, or new ones that we’d like to add?
  • What are the best ways to reduce the amount of conflict between users (e.g., between different kinds of trail users)?
  • Should the current location of the Golden Community Garden become its permanent home?
  • Do we want to keep City Hall and the Golden History Center in their current locations or do we want to consider creating a new municipal center in East Downtown? Relocating them would open up some public land along the creek that might be really valuable for other community uses, and it would move City Hall out of the floodplain, but there are good reasons to keep them where they are.

We are starting with a series of community meetings at which everyone is welcome to share your ideas and thoughts.

Monday April 26, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Golden Community Center. Topic: neighborhoods
Thursday, April 29, 3 – 8:30 p.m. at the Golden Community Center. Topics: events, history, education, and the natural environment
Saturday, May 1, 9 – 10 a.m. at City Hall. Topics: “The Creek Meeting”
Saturday, May 1, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at City Hall. Topics: trails, circulation
Saturday, May 1, 1 – 3 p.m. at City Hall. Topics: “active recreation”

If you can’t attend any of these meetings, or if you just want to learn more, visit the Clear Creek Master Plan web site.

What’s Your Vision for the Clear Creek Corridor?

Golden has always been defined, in part, by Clear Creek, and it goes without saying that the Clear Creek Corridor is part of the heart of Golden. We’ve done a lot of work on the corridor in recent years, including the new bridge just east of 6th Avenue, the new trail (to be completed hopefully later this year) on the south side of the creek connecting to a new trail along 6th Avenue, the Golden Community Garden, and improvements to the whitewater course. There are plenty of other ideas swirling about, and we are about to launch a new master plan process to sort through all the ideas and adopt a plan for the next ten to fifteen years.

The basic question is pretty simple: what do we want the Clear Creek Corridor to be like over the next ten to fifteen years? Some of the specific questions might include:

  • Are there recreational amenities that we’d like to expand, or new ones that we’d like to add?
  • What are the best ways to reduce the amount of conflict between users (e.g., between different kinds of trail users)?
  • Should the current location of the Golden Community Garden become its permanent home?
  • Do we want to keep City Hall and the Golden History Center in their current locations or do we want to consider creating a new municipal center in East Downtown? Relocating them would open up some public land along the creek that might be really valuable for other community uses, and it would move City Hall out of the floodplain, but there are good reasons to keep them where they are.

We are starting with a series of community meetings at which everyone is welcome to share your ideas and thoughts.

Monday April 26, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Golden Community Center. Topic: neighborhoods
Thursday, April 29, 3 – 8:30 p.m. at the Golden Community Center. Topics: events, history, education, and the natural environment
Saturday, May 1, 9 – 10 a.m. at City Hall. Topics: “The Creek Meeting”
Saturday, May 1, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at City Hall. Topics: trails, circulation
Saturday, May 1, 1 – 3 p.m. at City Hall. Topics: “active recreation”

If you can’t attend any of these meetings, or if you just want to learn more, visit the Clear Creek Master Plan web site.

Jacob's Golden Update: Mountain Bike Skills Park and Other News

Jacob’s Golden Update: March 16, 2010

1. Mountain Bike Skills Park Gets the Green Light
2. Golden Vision Summit: March 23
3. Jackson Street Corridor: Additional Refinements
4. City Council Supports Renewable Energy Bills
5. 2010 Census Kicks Off
6. Shelton Elementary’s Big Heart
7. i-Neighbors: Beverly Heights
8. Jacob’s Golden Blog Roundup
9. Other Upcoming Events
10. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, April 8
[Read more…]

Jacob’s Golden Update: Mountain Bike Skills Park and Other News

Jacob’s Golden Update: March 16, 2010

1. Mountain Bike Skills Park Gets the Green Light
2. Golden Vision Summit: March 23
3. Jackson Street Corridor: Additional Refinements
4. City Council Supports Renewable Energy Bills
5. 2010 Census Kicks Off
6. Shelton Elementary’s Big Heart
7. i-Neighbors: Beverly Heights
8. Jacob’s Golden Blog Roundup
9. Other Upcoming Events
10. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, April 8
[Read more…]

Seattle’s Killer Mountain Bike Park

P1000425On my vacation earlier in the month I had the opportunity to visit Seattle’s new mountain bike park.  It’s pretty remarkable: through a collaboration between the mountain bikers, the city, and the state highway department, they cleaned out a nasty and dangerous area underneath I-5, built a sizable and impressive skills park for bikers, incorporated a small fenced dog park, and connected the parts of the neighborhood on either side of I-5 with nice trails.  We are slowly working through ideas and options for a mountain bike park here in Golden . . . a good collaboration between the mountain bike folks and the Parks and Recreation staff.  It’s a slow process

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but I think we’ll end up with a better project for the effort.P1000430P1000435P1000437P1000434