Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, November 1, to discuss possible adjustments to City Council district boundaries, the proposed HUB development, a couple of grant applications, and a possible land agreement with Stryker and Company.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Doug Glaspell, Dave Frank, and Anthony Russo met in City Council Chambers along with city staff. Members of the public were also able to attend in person or via Zoom. Councilor David Reed attended via Zoom.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT OPTIONS
City Councilors were presented with new information related to City Council districts that will have to be adjusted due to an increase in residents in the city.
The council discussed the current district map, along with six options for addressing population changes reflected in the 2020 Census. Changes to district boundaries require a unanimous vote of the City Council.
The 2020 Census results were released in August 2021. Pursuant to the City Charter, the City Council must adjust the district boundaries within one year of the publication of the Census results, which would be August 2022. Council may choose to adjust the boundaries prior to the April 2022 municipal election but is not required to do so.
The city’s total population according to the 2020 Census is 20,293, which sets a target of 5,073 per district. Each of the six map options presented shows the resident count per district and the deviation from the target number.
Pursuant to the City Charter, if City Council opts to make adjustments to districts effective for the April 2022 municipal election, the adjustments must be adopted prior to Tuesday, January 4, which is the first day City Council candidate nomination petitions may be circulated for that election. Election information, including the updated City Council district map, will be made available for potential candidates by mid-December.
Article I, Section 13 of the Charter of the City of Montrose outlines how the four City Council districts are established and states:
"The City Council shall divide the City by ordinance into four Council districts of approximately equal population, to be numbered 1 through 4, prior to May 1, 1981. The district boundaries shall be adjusted from time to time by the City Council as required to maintain approximately equal populations, and such an adjustment shall be made within one year following the publication of the results of each United States Decennial Census. Changes in district boundaries shall not be effective for any election unless adopted prior to the time petitions for nominations may be circulated for that election. Petitions for nomination for all Councilors shall be signed by at least 25 registered electors residing anywhere within the city."
LAND EXCHANGE & DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT - CITY OF MONTROSE AND STRYKER & COMPANY
City Councilors were presented with a possible land exchange with Stryker & Company.
In response to business growth, Styker & Company, Inc. is seeking additional space to grow its commercial construction company. In order to do so, they are seeking a new location that provides for a better, more consolidated office with room to expand. According to City Manager Bill Bell, the city-owned 1.3-acre parcel located on Air Park Way is well suited for this growth.
Stryker & Company, Inc. would like to trade a 1.2-acre parcel that they own, located off Chipeta Drive and overlooking Chipeta Lake, for the city’s land on Air Park Way. Maps of these two parcels are attached for reference.
Project Process and Timeline
1. City of Montrose and Stryker & Company, Inc. will enter into a Memorandum of Agreement, which states responsibilities for each party.
2. Create a minor subdivision for the city parcel on Air Park Way. Minor subdivisions are administrative actions and take 1-2 months to complete. A draft plat is currently in the review process.
3. Rezone of the city parcel from “P” Public District to “B-3” General Commercial District
• Planning Commission 10/27
• City Council 1st Reading 11/2
• City Council 2nd Reading 11/16
4. Approval of Development Agreement by City Council on 11/16/2021.
THE HUB AT MONTROSE CROSSING DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
City Councilors were presented with a potential development agreement with 1890 Homestead, LLC to facilitate the development of the Hub at Montrose Crossing’s first phase to include 160 market-rate rental apartment units within the City of Montrose.
Montrose City Manager Bill Bell said 1890 Homestead, LLC started to evaluate and develop preliminary plans for a multi-family residential housing complex in 2019 in response to rising housing needs in the community
Through this process, they developed a plan for the Hub at Montrose Crossing (formerly 1890 Homestead) to be situated near the intersection of 6450 Road and Cobble Drive within the City of Montrose. The project was first discussed with City Council at a work session on August 31, 2020, when the project was envisioned to ultimately include a senior living building and approximately 21 separate two-story apartment buildings dispersed throughout the site with green space and pedestrian trails in between. At the August 30 work session, fee waivers and infrastructure support from the city with a value of up to $2.3 million were discussed to help facilitate the first phase of the project (192 apartment units) and, in doing so, help to meet the community’s housing needs. The city then budgeted for this assistance in the city’s 2021 budget.
Following the August 2020 work session, the developer continued to refine plans for their project and initially presented a sketch plan and planned development (PD) to the city Planning Commission for consideration in December 2020. The project was presented as a PD plan as required by city code to allow for the development to place multiple residential structures on a single lot. Planning Commission meetings for the project ultimately extended into February of 2021 when the Planning Commission recommended approval of the PD plan but with a density restriction of no more than seven units per acre. It should be noted that the city does have the legal purview to place conditions on a planned development, versus a subdivision process where land uses are prescriptive by right through the city’s zoning and development codes).
The density restriction recommended by the Planning Commission was substantially lower than what was necessary to accommodate the project as planned by the developer and less than the density that could be achieved by completion of the project through a subdivision process. As a result, the developer elected to redesign their project to include a single, 160-unit apartment building on a single lot that was created through a standard minor subdivision. Site development plans and the minor subdivision for this application have been reviewed and approved by the city through the normal process.
Since initially discussing this project in August 2020, the need for housing has continued to increase in Montrose and throughout Colorado. When discussing housing issues with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), other state and local housing agencies, and anecdotally with members of our community, many would characterize the current housing situation as a crisis. Challenges being created by the lack of workforce housing in Montrose include, but are not limited to, workforce retention and recruitment issues, homelessness, and a dramatic rise in housing and rental prices. All of these issues have the potential to negatively impact the quality of life and economic vitality of our community.
To help resolve these housing issues, the city has continued to work with developers of the Hub project to facilitate the construction of additional workforce housing. To that end, a development agreement was prepared for City Council’s consideration, which includes potential financial commitments. Because the first phase of this project was scaled back to 160 units from the 192 initially proposed, the city’s financial contributions were reduced accordingly.
DOLA PLANNING GRANT APPLICATION FOR HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT
City Councilors were presented with a grant application that will allow city staff to file for a grant to fund a housing needs assessment in Montrose.
According to Community Program Coordinator Kendall Cramer, Colorado HB21-1271 created three grant programs under DOLA to help local governments better understand their housing needs and adopt policies and regulatory strategies in order to promote the development of affordable housing within Colorado communities.
The resolution to be considered by council states "the City of Montrose is eligible for the Planning Grant Program and the city has identified three regulatory strategies: implementing the creation of an expedited development review process for affordable housing, establishing a high-density bonus program to increase the construction of units that meet critical housing needs in the local community, and lessening the minimum parking requirements for new affordable housing developments."
The city is seeking $142,500 from DOLA for the assessment, with a required $47,500 match from the city.
USEPA BROWNFIELDS CLEANUP GRANT APPLICATION
City Councilors were presented with a grant application that will allow city staff to file for a grant with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, to improve conditions at the former Bullock Power Plant at 326 Water Avenue.
The former Bullock Power Plant operated as a coal-fired power plant from 1952- 1982 and then operated on natural gas until its closure in 1984. It has since remained vacant.
The property the plant sits on was acquired by the City of Montrose on October 11, 2021, and is eligible property for EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant Funds.
According to Community Program Specialist Briceida Ortega, the City of Montrose seeks to clean up the property to enable redevelopment and expand public access to the Uncompahgre River Corridor.
GENERAL CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION
City Councilor Barbara Bynum, the council’s representative to the Colorado Flights Alliance, said the entity’s main focus is to make sure flights to and from the Montrose Regional Airport are secure throughout the year, and not just at certain times like ski and summer seasons. Bynum said having these flights helps the traveling public as well as business travelers.
All City Council meetings are recorded and made available online via the city’s website and cable channels 191 for Charter subscribers and 970 for Elevate subscribers. Replays of council meetings are also broadcast at 6 p.m. on the same channels on days that the council is not in session.
In addition, each regular meeting is archived on the City of Montrose’s YouTube channel.
Residents can watch all regular City Council meetings and work sessions live through the city’s Public Meetings Portal.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.