Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Monday morning, September 5, to review a highway control plan, get an overview of the 2023 Community Survey, receive an update about a possible moratorium on adult gaming, and review results from the 2023 Housing Needs Assessment Survey.
Mayor Barbara Bynum and councilors Dave Frank, Doug Glaspell, David Reed, and Ed Ulibarri met in the City Council Chambers at the Elks Civic Building along with city staff.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
RESOLUTION 2023-17: U.S. HIGHWAYS 50 AND 550 NORTH MONTROSE COUNTY ACCESS CONTROL PLAN IGA
City Councilors were presented with Resolution 2023-17 that, if approved, would commit the city to an intergovernmental agreement, IGA, with the State of Colorado Department of Transportation and adopt the associated US Highways 50 and 550 – North Montrose County Access Control Plan.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has partnered with the City of Montrose over the years to create comprehensive access control plans for the highway corridors throughout the city.
To date, this has included the creation of the San Juan Access Control Plan (2010) and two South Townsend Access Control Plans south of Niagara Road (2009 and updated in 2019). As a continuation of this effort, CDOT has been working on an access control plan for North Townsend Avenue/Highway 50 & 550 extending north from North 9th Street to the Montrose County Line. This project is being performed by CDOT in partnership with the City of Montrose, the Town of Olathe, and Montrose County.
Access control plans are long-term planning tools that document access types, locations, and frontage road connections that are ultimately desired along a corridor. The plans aim to maximize the efficiency, contiguity, and safety of a corridor and to meet the requirements of the state highway access code. Typically, the plans are used to guide development/re-development and large highway projects as they occur and are therefore typically created for corridors likely to see continued development or redevelopment.
The project team first discussed the access control plan in public meetings with elected officials for the City of Montrose, the Town of Olathe, and Montrose County in late 2022. Following these initial presentations, the team then held public open houses and individual one-on-one meetings with adjacent property owners in early 2023. The team then worked to incorporate feedback received through the outreach process and to finalize the project’s planning documents.
The final step in the process is to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with CDOT and formally adopt the access control plan. Each stakeholder (City of Montrose, Town of Olathe, and Montrose County) will enter into independent IGA agreements with CDOT, which helps to simplify the plan revision process should any changes be necessary in the future. Additional details on the access control plan, the access study report and all of its supporting appendices are available online at: https://tinyurl.com/NorthTownsendACP.
SOUTH TOWNSEND AVENUE MISSING LINK SIDEWALK EXPENSE AUTHORIZATION
City Councilors were presented with a proposal to spend $70,000 for the construction of a missing link sidewalk on the west side of Townsend Avenue between Odelle and Ogden Roads.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said the city is planning to install the missing segment as part of its initiative to continually improve pedestrian mobility and safety.
City staff are recommending authorization of $70,000 in expenditures to construct this project using on-call concrete contracts. These contracts were bid in the spring of 2023 and established unit rates for typical concrete elements used on city projects and work is awarded through these contracts to the lowest cost contractor available within the on-call contractor pool.
Project design and CDOT permitting for the project were completed in-house by the city’s Engineering Department.
Once work begins on this sidewalk, it will take approximately three to four weeks to complete. The work is scheduled for completion by mid-November. All work will take place along the shoulder of Townsend Avenue and no lane closures are anticipated.
The 2023 budget included $75k in the capital improvement fund for this project, placing this it $5k under budget estimates.
OVERVIEW OF 2023 COMMUNITY SURVEY
City Councilors were presented with an overview of the 2023 Community Survey.
City Communications Department staff member David Spear said the survey gauges citizen satisfaction with the delivery of city services and identifies changes in public opinion since the most recent Community Survey performed in 2016.
Spear said the survey also evaluates the City of Montrose’s performance in comparison with other communities, both regionally and nationally.
Spear said the official survey was mailed last week to a randomly selected set of city residents who should receive the survey in their mailboxes in the coming days. Participants in the official survey group can complete the printed, English version of the survey or opt to complete the online version, available in both English and Spanish.
ETC Institute, the company hired to conduct the survey, has set a target of 400 completed survey questionnaires to generate statistically valid survey results that a representative of the community. Survey questions address satisfaction with city services and programs and invite community input on pedestrian safety, and transportation and road improvements along with a number of key local issues.
A second, ‘community-wide’ phase of the survey process will encourage all Montrose residents who were not part of the official survey group to complete an identical online questionnaire. This phase of the survey is expected to begin around September 18 and close in early October. Survey results from this phase of the process will be used to supplement official survey results.
EXTENSION OF ADULT GAMING ARCADE MORATORIUM
City Councilors were presented with proposed Ordinance 2639, which would extend the city’s moratorium on the relocation or establishment of any adult gaming arcade within the city limits of Montrose.
Assistant City Attorney Matthew Magliaro said the current moratorium would expire on September 22, 2023, and would be extended for 18 months under the proposed ordinance.
In March 2021, City Councilors first approved an emergency ordinance following disturbances at a number of arcades that opened in the city. In September 2021, the City Council passed the emergency ordinance in response to numerous concerns voiced by business owners, local residents, and police officers that adult gaming arcades had secondary, negative impacts on neighboring businesses.
According to Montrose police officers at that time, increased crime had been reported in the areas surrounding these businesses, including illegal drug use and distribution, public intoxication, violent crime, and increased calls for service from the Montrose Police Department.
The ordinance, if passed, would expire at the end of March 2025.
PROPOSED CAMPAIGN FINANCE ORDINANCE FOR MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS
City Councilors were presented with proposed changes to the city’s Municipal Code as it pertains to campaign finance rules for municipal elections.
City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo and City Attorney Ben Morris said some of the changes are broad in nature, while others clarify local rules. One clarification addresses filing dates for local candidates to disclose campaign donations.
The City of Montrose, as a home rule municipality, has the authority to set its own rules rather than adopting rules set down by the State of Colorado. Other changes include the retention of campaign finance records for a period of 10 years.
HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT PRESENTATION
City Councilors were presented with the city’s latest housing needs assessment.
Planning Manager Jace Hochwalt delivered a summary of the report. The report can be found here. LINK https://www.cityofmontrose.org/DocumentCenter/View/50585/Montrose-Housing-Needs-Assessment-Final-Report
Hochwalt said Points Consulting said the community needs approximately 218 new housing units each year through 2040 to adequately accommodate local housing demand. The Montrose community is growing between 400-600 new residents each year, according to the study. The study noted that growth is primarily a result of migration from other areas of the United States..
The study detailed the affordability of housing in Montrose, the availability of new housing in Montrose, and the number of building permits and houses that are in the city planning process.
Housing affordability was listed throughout the study as the highest priority facing the Montrose community. The City Council advised Hochwalt that the study deserved more time for an in-depth discussion between staff and council and requested that more time be allocated to the topic at a future work session.
GENERAL CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION
City Councilors discussed the upcoming council meeting schedule to make sure the city’s 2024 municipal budget is adopted on time and within the city’s code.
A number of councilors said they would be absent for the Thanksgiving holiday and agreed to move the last council meeting of November to the week of November 14.
The council also decided to cancel the December 18 work session and the December 19 regular meeting to accommodate councilors’ travel schedules.
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 and on-demand through the city’s Public Meetings Portal.