BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER At its meeting on September 3, the CHV city council began a discussion ab...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Cherry Hills Village City Council Bill 4 of 2019, passed unanimously on f...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER After considering four bids received from local contractors for the proje...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER The City of Cherry Hills Village will hold an American Red Cross training...
BY FREDA MIKLIN GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER At its regular city council meeting on June 4, Mayor Russell Stewart beg...
SUBMITTED BY THE CITY OF CHV The City of Cherry Hills Village adopted the Arapahoe County Multi-Hazard Mitigat...
BY FREDA MIKLIN GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Everyone is invited to Cherry Hills Village’s grand opening celebration...
BY FREDA MIKLIN GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER At the Feb. 5 regular city council meeting, CHV staff pressed city counc...
BY FREDA MIKLIN GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER As has been well-reported, the Swastika Acres subdivision in Cherry Hill...
The City of Cherry Hills Village and the City of Greenwood Village are holding a joint public meeting to discu...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
At its meeting on September 3, the CHV city council began a discussion about how it will gather information for its citywide master plan, last fully updated in 2008. Said Chris Cramer, director of community development, “The master plan is a vision, a roadmap of how we’re going to move forward. Sometimes that means change and sometimes that does not mean change.” Cramer explained that the master plan informs future city council decisions about budgets, ordinances, and specific development plans that require findings of master plan concurrence. He pointed out that it is important “because it really is led by public input.” Cramer said that the proposed structure he provided to city council for how the master plan will move throughout the process “really puts public input in the front seat.”
Cramer described a plan to use a consultant to manage the process of obtaining input from the overall CHV community on the topics of:
• Confirming the continued importance of the preservation of the community’s character.
• Exploring more multi-modal opportunities (vehicular, cycle, pedestrian, equestrian, etc.).
• Exploring transportation strategies that improve mobility for Cherry Hills Village residents, with minimal effect on cut-through traffic.
• Considering more energy efficient and sustainable policies and standards.
• Exploring policies related to an aging population.
One aspect of the needs of an aging population that the city council touched on very gingerly during its study session was the subject of CHV citizens who want to downsize and stay in CHV as they age. Council member Dan Sheldon said, “This might be a type of lifestyle that this city is missing.” Mayor Pro Tem Katy Brown said, “This would be a monumental shift for the people of CHV.” She proposed that the idea be explored only if it is generated by a grass roots initiative from the community, not city council. Everyone agreed, making it clear that it the city council does not want to get ahead of the residents on any significant policy change. Council members Al Blum and Mike Gallagher saw the master plan process as a way to garner public sentiment on the subject, but very definitely not taking any steps toward adopting a policy or plan that would potentially change the feel of CHV. Council member Randy Weil was even more cautious, warning fellow council members against a “solution without a well-defined problem.” In the end, the city council agreed on the importance of only going where its citizens lead, not the opposite.
Cramer expects to begin the process of seeking an outside consultant to begin shortly.
In nearby Greenwood Village, the city’s laws historically identified the residents, represented by the appointed planning and zoning commission, as the people who were charged with initiating changes to the city’s comprehensive plan, GV’s equivalent of the CHV master plan. That changed in the months following the November 2017 city council election when the newly elected GV city council revised its laws. Instead of starting the process with public input and ending it with city council approval, the council passed a new law that said that they could initiate changes themselves, then send them to the planning and zoning commission. Later that year the city council did just that, putting the planning and zoning commissioners in the awkward position of having to “recommend” the changes to the comprehensive plan that the elected officials had already written and informally approved.
Cherry Hills Village City Council Bill 4 of 2019, passed unanimously on first reading on July 16, was adopted to bring CHV into compliance with a new state law, HB 19-1148, one of 454 bills signed into law by Governor Polis during the recently completed 2019 legislative session.
The state law was enacted with little fanfare on March 28 and takes effect on August 2. The language of the bill states that it changes “the maximum jail sentence for certain crimes from one year to three hundred sixty-four days.”
According to the nonpartisan Legislative Council Staff of the Colorado legislature, “convictions of one-year trigger a federal immigration action for offenders with immigrant status and under certain circumstances, a county jail may be asked to hold an immigrant until they are transferred into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. While this bill is not anticipated to impact the number of misdemeanor cases or convictions it is assumed that the number of plea bargains will increase by an unknown amount, because under current law defendants are more likely to challenge misdemeanor charges in court to avoid a potential one-year sentence and the federal immigration action. Overall, such impacts are expected to be minimal.”
The types of crimes to which this law applies are any violations of municipal ordinances which are heard in municipal courts in Colorado and currently provide for a possible jail sentence of up to one year, along with certain drug misdemeanors and petty offenses. According to CHV City Attorney Kathie Gluckenberger, there are several sections of the city’s municipal code that permit the municipal court to impose a sentence of up to one year in jail, though Gluckenberger said that she believes no one has ever been sentenced to one year in jail in CHV, in response to a question from Mayor Stewart.
After considering four bids received from local contractors for the project, the Cherry Hills Village City Council approved a contract on July 16 with HPM Contracting, Inc. of Centennial, CO for up to $3,456,700 for the construction of the John Meade Park/Alan Hutto Memorial Commons Project located on 14 acres of donated land adjacent to city hall at 2450 E. Quincy Avenue. HPM was the low bidder for the project at $3,026,700. The additional $430,000 was added by CHV afterward for additional work and contingencies not included in the bid package.
Formal preparation for this project began in 2014 with the creation of a master plan. After extensive community input over the next two years, a final design for the project was created by Mundus Bishop of Denver, who describes themselves as “a landscape architectural firm that specializes in the design and planning of public places.”
According to the Cherry Hills Land Preserve (CHLP), “the park’s new design is based on feedback from local residents, gathered through three years of community meetings and surveys. the parks, trails, and recreation commission and city staff worked intensively with the consultant, Mundus Bishop, to ensure the new park is as enjoyable as it is functional.”
Features of the park listed in a recent CHLP newsletter are: a central picnic shelter, a playground that includes natural features like logs and boulder and large hammocks, wetlands with diverse plantings, fishing piers, and a small amphitheater in the Alan Hutto Memorial Commons.
This project was included in the certificates of participation (COP’s) issued by CHV in 2017 that paid for the new city hall building and the relocated public works department in Sheridan. There is $2,183,400 remaining from the COP’s. Additional funds for the project of $500,000 are expected from a grant from Arapahoe County Open Spaces and $200,000 from Urban Drainage Flood Control District. Due to the fact that the original amount included in the certificates of participation was an estimate and the cost of dredging the pond in the park was not included in the bid documents, there is a shortfall of $573,300, including contingencies. That amount will be allocated to the project by the CHV parks and recreation fund, to be used if necessary. Should the amount used cause the parks and recreation fund to be materially depleted, city council pledged to increase the parks and recreation fund from unallocated general fund monies.
Construction will begin in the next few weeks and is expected to be completed within one year. The project manager is Emily Black, CHV’s parks and recreation coordinator, who can be reached at 303-783-2742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Cherry Hills Village will hold an American Red Cross training at its Civic Center at 2450 E. Quincy Avenue in CHV on Thursday, July 18. The event is free and open to the public. It will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It is recommended that participants be age 18 or over.
The Active Threat Preparedness program contains curriculum and hands on training in four key modules: active shooters, bleeding control techniques, hands only CPR, and disaster mental health. It is designed to train lay responders to provide lifesaving treatment to those who are injured prior to the arrival of trained medical personnel.
For additional information or to register, contact CHV City Clerk Laura Gillespie at email@example.com or 303-783-2732.
BY FREDA MIKLIN
At its regular city council meeting on June 4, Mayor Russell Stewart began by calling for approval of the agenda. Mayor Pro Tem Katy Brown immediately moved to amend the agenda to remove an item listed as “Community Security Shelter Code Amendment.”
CHV has specific requirements in its municipal code for guardhouses, which are commonly found in gated communities in the city. Typically, the streets within a gated community are private roads, making general maintenance and snow removal on those streets the administrative and financial responsibility of the homeowners, unlike public roads, which are maintained and plowed by the city.
Included in the information provided to city council for the meeting was a new proposed ordinance, or code amendment, permitting community security shelters. A memorandum from the city manager indicated that CHV’s current municipal code only allows guardhouses on private streets. It soon became clear that a community security shelter is similar to a guardhouse, but potentially used in neighborhoods with public streets.
Council member Al Blum seconded Brown’s motion to remove the community security shelter code amendment from the agenda. Mayor Stewart explained that the purpose of putting it on the agenda was to have a public discussion on the subject, which is permitted under CHV city council rules of procedure. That explanation did not appear to change Brown or Blum’s position on Brown’s motion.
Hoping to keep the issue of the shelters open for discussion, Mayor Stewart asked the city attorney whether it was legally required that the agenda be adopted by a vote at the start of the meeting. That led to a debate about Robert’s Rules of Order that didn’t resolve anything.
Council member Weil was asked by the mayor if he wanted to discuss community security shelters. Weil, who lives in Cherry Hills Farms, began “I think we have some appetite for this type of structure. It’s not about Cherry Hills Farms…”
Mayor Pro Tem Brown interjected, saying, “Sorry, but doesn’t discussion…have to pertain to the motion, which is the approval of the agenda…? After some back and forth, Mayor Stewart said, “The chair rules that the agenda item which covers security booths or guardhouses is part of the agenda and it’s fully within the debate.”
That led to other council members stating their positions. Council member Mike Gallagher said, “There is an appropriate way to handle this. It shouldn’t start with city council. It should start at the Planning & Zoning Commission.”
Council Member Dan Sheldon was uncomfortable with the order of events. He said, “Why are we discussing the merits of an agenda item when a council member moved and another seconded removing the item from the agenda?”
Council member Al Blum agreed with both Gallagher and Sheldon. He said, “This should start at Planning and Zoning. Also, we have a pending motion to remove it from the agenda? We should vote on that.”
Council member Afshin Safavi said, “I’ve heard people talk about this. I’m all for it. If people want to go ahead and have a security shelter, I’m all for it. I want to vote for what people want.”
Weil shared that this issue had come up four years ago and city council had rejected the idea. Brown agreed, saying, “The decision four years ago was that it was inappropriate to have guard houses on public roads. If it is going to be considered again, it should begin at Planning and Zoning.”
After a half-hour of debate that was mostly about parliamentary procedure, Mayor Stewart finally acquiesced and called for the vote on Brown’s original motion. Brown, Sheldon, Blum, and Gallagher voted to amend the meeting agenda to remove the item about community security shelters from city council’s agenda for that meeting, including the proposed new ordinance permitting them. Weil and Safavi voted to retain it. The issue was removed from the agenda.
A few minutes later, Mayor Stewart said, “I’ve talked to people who support the concept,” prompting Blum to respond, “Didn’t we just vote not to discuss this?” The mayor said yes and moved on to other business.
SUBMITTED BY THE CITY OF CHV
The City of Cherry Hills Village adopted the Arapahoe County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan via Resolution No. 43, Series 2015 in October of 2015. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is available on the City’s website at www.cherryhillsvillage.com/386/Floodplain-Development as well as in paper copy from Cherry Hills Village upon request. Since the adoption date CHV has been actively engaged in implementing the recommendations outlined in this plan.
Specifically, CHV continues to enforce and implement the following action items which are specific to the city’s hazard mitigation and more specifically floodplain regulations and enforcement:
Action Item 2015-32: Enforcement of Floodplain Regulations to limit development in floodplain areas: Cherry Hills Village; Codes already adopted, will continue to enforce.
Action Item 2015-33: Adopt and Enforce 2012 International Building Codes: Cherry Hills Village has now adopted the 2015 International Building Codes and continues to enforce these codes.
The city continues to reach all objectives and implementation as outlined in this plan. As the city participates in the update to the joint Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan effort, which will be commenced prior to the expiration of the plan in 2020, some recommendations or new projects may include the following:
For questions or comments please contact the City of Cherry Hills Village Community Development Department at 303-783-2721.
Front exterior view of CHV City Hall.
Everyone is invited to Cherry Hills Village’s grand opening celebration of its new city hall Tuesday, April 16, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 2450 E. Quincy Avenue.
The council chamber that doubles as a place citizens can hold events.
The beautiful building, both traditional and contemporary, was designed with both form and function in mind. Containing everything from cutting-edge security features to plentiful art display walls, it has 10,000 square feet of offices, conference rooms, equipment rooms and of course, the city council chamber. Besides also functioning as CHV’s municipal court, this space was designed to double as a place to hold public events on evenings and weekends. It even opens up to a beautiful outdoor patio.
Financing for this project was approved by CHV’s city council in January 2017. Included in the plans was the relocation of the city’s public works department to 2101 W. Quincy Avenue in the city of Sheridan and the redevelopment of John Meade Park and Alan Hutto Memorial Commons.
CHV city hall lobby with all the departments people need to access.
The public works facility has been up and running since April 2018. Construction drawings for the two park projects are now complete. Those will go out to bid in the coming weeks. Construction is expected to take one year. All these projects were funded through certificates of participation issued by CHV in the amount of $11.8 million, along with a $200,000 grant from Urban Drainage Flood Control District for drainage improvements in John Meade Park.
At the Feb. 5 regular city council meeting, CHV staff pressed city council to take steps to open Quincy Farm (QF), a 17.5-acre intact farm at 4400 E. Quincy Avenue bequeathed to the city by Catherine “Cat” Anderson upon her passing in 2016. The property has a conservation easement arranged by Anderson with Colorado Open Lands in 2007.
Emily Black, CHV parks and recreation director, pointed out at the meeting that Anderson intended the property to be available for the public. It has been two and a half years since Anderson died, and the property has only been open to the public one day since then, during an open house last Aug. 25.
A Quincy Farm Committee (QFC), chaired by Mayor Russell Stewart before his election in November, was established in 2015, successor to the Quincy Farm Visioning Committee (QFVC) which met from 2012 to 2014. City council member Katy Brown served on that committee. The goal of both groups was and is to ensure that the property is used for the benefit of CHV residents, subject to the goals and restrictions of the conservation easement.
Susan Maguire, interim director of the Cherry Hills Land Preserve (CHLP) told city council that her organization was excited that CHV is finally looking at opening up Quincy Farm on a regular basis and that CHLP “wanted to reiterate its desire to work with the city to help maximize the city’s benefits from that facility,” primarily by helping to find volunteers, provide educational programs and fundraise.
QFC member Klasina VanderWerf said that the committee views this property based on its unique traits, including the conservation easement that governs its uses. She noted that the property “has two tenants for the next few years and it has neighbors who are getting used to the idea that they live adjacent to a public property.” VanderWerf told city council that the QFC believed that the city should open the public trail initially for limited hours and limited days, with a volunteer on hand to educate users and provide feedback to the committee and city staff.
Gordon Rockafellow, who lives near Quincy Farm, spoke on behalf of QF resident Jerri Neff, whose residence is at the front of the driveway at the entrance to Quincy Farm. He said she is concerned about security. Another neighbor, Howard Schirmer, told city council that when Cat Anderson asked for his agreement to her plan years ago, “The vision that we had was that this was going to be a rural area and pretty much kept the way it was when Cat was there.” He continued, “What seems to be happening is that we seem to be developing a city park…quite a bit different than what we envisioned when we gave up quite a bit of our rights to bring this project about.”
Lucinda Greene, QFC and CHLP member, emphasized that the intent of the conservation easement was “to preserve and protect in perpetuity the conservation values of the property.” Greene reported that the committee “has had several months of rather discordant meetings and discussions around this issue,” and that the QFC had held a public input meeting. The recommendation of the committee was for “a soft opening on a trial basis.”
Emily Black reminded city council that there was currently no visitor access to Quincy Farm other than the ability to reserve space in the main house for meetings. She asked for guidance about what to tell grant funders, private donors, and community members who asked when and how they would be able to visit the property. Black explained that both the QFC and Parks, Trails and Recreation Commission (PTRC) had discussed the issue at two meetings each. She added that the city manager, public works director, and parks operations supervisor had all met with the tenants of the property to discuss “ways to balance tenant privacy with the realities of living on donated public land.”
City staff and the PTRC were recommending that the nature trail be open daily from sunrise to sunset, unattended, similar to other open spaces in CHV. The Quincy Farm Committee was recommending that the trail be open only on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and staffed with a volunteer.
Black said that CHV had to get permission from Colorado Open Lands to open the property and that staff believed it would allow the city maximum flexibility if it requested approval for the more extensive days and hours that staff and PTRC had identified, since the city would not be required to open the property for all permitted hours, thus city council could reduce those days and times as it saw fit. Stewart, previous Quincy Farm Committee chair, noted that submitting the public access plan to Colorado Open Lands was not a requirement but rather best practices in order to avoid future issues.
After lengthy discussion, city council voted to request approval from Colorado Open Lands to open the property, including the nature trail, daily from dawn to dusk without an attendant. Councilors Al Blum, Katy Brown, Mike Gallagher and Dan Sheldon voted yes. Councilor Afshin Safavi voted no. Councilor Randy Weil was absent due to illness. All agreed to set an opening date and implement the plan once they receive the necessary approval and revisit the issue of days and hours after they have experience with having the property open for a few months.
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