Nederland BOT Appoints Larry Johns as Interim Police Chief

Pam NorthLarry Johns Interim Police Chief – Nederland

The Nederland Board of Trustees (BOT) met on Tues. evening, Oct.1, 2013. Mayor Joe Gierlach, Mayor pro tem Kevin Mueller and Trustees Peter Fiori, Randy Lee, Ledge Long, and Chris Perret were present; Trustee Annette Croughwell was absent, Also in attendance were Town Administrator Alisha Reis, Town Treasurer Eva Forberger, Town Clerk Michele Martin, and Town Attorney Carmen Berery.

The Board addressed the matter of the resignation of Donna Sue Kirkpatrick from the board of the Nederland Downtown Development Authority (NDDA). Kirkpatrick had tendered her resignation verbally to Town Administrator Alisha Reis on July 17, 2013, but had not done so by letter directly to the NDDA board despite being advised to do so by both Town Administrator Reis and Town Clerk Martin. NDDA bylaws indicate that only after notice and a public opportunity to be heard may a member of the NDDA board be removed for cause by the Nederland Board of Trustees. The bylaws for the Downtown District Authority are specific that members with three unexcused absences may be removed from the board. The NDDA board places importance on retaining its 7-member board to help ensure a quorum for voting on issues. The BOT approved the resignation, allowing the NDDA to advertise for a new member.

A memorandum from Conor Merrigan, of C2 Sustainability on the NedPed project was discussed.

Due to the recent flooding events, a number of aspects of the project have changed, which could adversely affect the bidding for the NedPeds project next spring. The NDDA board has decided to get the NedPed project out to bid sooner than was anticipated as a hedge against the possibility that there might be no acceptable bids. Merrigan stated in his memorandum that “The proposed design still will maintain the essential elements of sustainability, including durability, nature-based stormwater treatment, placemaking, multimodal connectivity, recycled content (low-energy), safety, and ultimately resilience. It will not be as feature-rich to include the bio-features that were envisioned, but this is considered acceptable since those areas, in addition to being relatively small and linear areas, also posed significant opportunity for abuse and neglect. Also, the spurs from the post office to the highway and the small spur from 2nd St. to the highway along Snyder have been included as alternates, depending on where the bids land due to cost constraints. The proposed design does not compromise on the areas that have been identified as most important, and meets not only the intents of the grant but also the desire of managing stormwater, and to do both of these in the most sustainable way practical. This type of design is anticipated to resist the negative impacts of the type of events that have occurred recently, and restore the flow to the river in a more natural way while maximizing infiltration into the ground and the water table. Should no bids come back within the acceptable range, there is the possibility that the project would be tabled for re-bid at a future time. The important part right now is to continue the momentum to get the design complete in a way that the Town can get behind and demonstrate action in getting the project out to bid.” Construction on the NedPed project is scheduled to begin in May, 2014.

After unanimous approval by the Board, Sgt. Larry Johns was sworn in by Town Clerk Michele Martin as interim Town Marshal. Johns has been with the town’s police department since July, 2002, and has been serving in the capacity of Acting Town Marshal since Adler’s departure. Former Town Marshal Jake Adler had resigned effective Sept. 20. Town staff have begun the process to recruit Adler’s replacement, in coordination with the Board of Trustees. Well-respected police recruitment specialist and former Police Chief Fred Rainguet will assist the Town in providing resume and background review services for the candidates, as well as assist in various other recruitment tasks. This assistance will be paid for from the existing law enforcement budget. Typically, for a recruitment process of the Town Police Chief (Marshal), a hiring committee is seated, comprised of two Board members, in addition to Town Administrator Reis and other interested people wishing to serve in this capacity. The hiring committee interviews the candidates before issuing a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, It is anticipated that the time-line, from advertisement to start of work for a new candidate, will span about 3 months.

Resolution 2013-09 amending the 2013 fee schedule was discussed and approved. In August 2013, the Board of Trustees passed Ordinance 720 providing for regulations regarding recreational marijuana cultivators, retailers, and testers, and providing for operational license fees to be charges to those applying for various licenses outlined in the ordinance. Also approved was Ordinance 721 to amend Nederland Municipal Code Chapter 6 to adopt a new section related to recreational marijuana business licensing to clarify the respective roles of the Town Clerk and Board of Trustees in licensing issues. The amendments were introduced on August 20 as part of the approval of Ordinance 720, which created the regulations for retail marijuana in Nederland. Under this ordinance, the Board of Trustees is the licensing authority for retail marijuana stores. The Town Clerk retains licensing authority for all other marijuana establishments. Issuance and appeal provisions also are clarified. The State will begin processing applications for retail marijuana business locations in January 2014. Initially, only current medical marijuana business license holders will be able to obtain retail marijuana business licenses, until Jan. 1, 2015. Currently, the Town of Nederland has 2 medical marijuana cultivation licenses and 3 medical marijuana center (dispensary) licenses. One license is in process for a medical marijuana infused product (edibles) license.

Under Discussion Items, an ordinance to amend Nederland Municipal Code Sec. 16-32 (c) Use Group Table to include club uses was considered, in response to direction by the Planning Commission at its June 26 meeting and review of an application for zoning designation related to a social club/ cannabis café proposal. The Planning Commission considered several issues related to club uses, such as the intent of the club use definition, type of use anticipated, and if the current definition supports a cannabis club-type use. The Colorado Indoor Air Act also would come into consideration for such a use. After the initial review of the subject, the Colorado Department of Revenue issued rules prohibiting on-site consumption of marijuana or the sale of marijuana in establishments that also sell liquor (bars) and/or food (cafés, restaurants). Club uses initially were included in Nederland’s zoning code in Ordinance 209 (1981). The definition common to many communities around Colorado was adopted at that time: any membership organization, including a lodge catering exclusively to members and their guests, and whose facilities are limited to meeting, eating and recreational uses, and whose activities are not conducted principally for monetary gain. Although defined in that ordinance, the club use was never translated to the Use Chart, which documents which zoning districts uses are permitted to operate within. The Planning Commission voted to support the proposed Use Chart inclusion of club uses in the draft ordinance, and in that ordinance, Town staff offered a preliminary assignment of zoning allowances for consideration, based upon existing allowances for similar business types, including use by right in the Central Business District and General Commercial zones, use by Special Review in the Neighborhood Commercial zone, and prohibited in Residential, Forestry and Public zones.

A proposed resolution regarding a Board of Trustees policy on taking positions on statewide ballot issues was discussed. The Board has in past years adopted resolutions of opinion related to ballot issues, such as: Resolution 2012-10 Support for the DDA in the April 2012 municipal election; Resolution 2010-19 Opposition to State Proposition 101, Amendments 60, 61 (reduction of various taxes); and Resolution 1992-37 Opposition to Amendment 1 (TABOR). The BOT may pass a resolution for or against, or take a position of advocacy related to, certain ballot measures, and occasionally express their collective opinion to take a position of advocacy. The Board agreed that such a resolution was favorable, with Trustee Lee recommending that such advocacy should be limited. A resolution to support Amendment 66 on the November ballot followed a the next topic. An initiative on the November 2013 ballot, Amendment 66 is intended to reduce class sizes, provide more one-on-one attention for all students, and ensure that new money is used only for education reforms or enhancements to existing programs. Voters will be asked to approve an income tax increase to raise money for P-12 education, while keeping Colorado’s tax burden among the lowest in the country. Amendment 66 is expected to raise $950 million for schools, and cost the average Colorado approximately $133 per year. The revenue would hire thousands of new teachers to reduce class size, and districts would have more flexibility to restore funding for art and music classes, sports programs, and transportation. The Board was in agreement to pursue this topic as a resolution.

The meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the Nederland Board of Trustees will be on Tues. Oct. 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.