Last order of biz: Deciding if DAB/TAB should get a say on development projects?

Staff presentation:…
DAB = Design Advisory Board
TAB = Transportation Advisory Board
Council brought this up at their retreat. DAB sometimes weighs in on projects, if council asks them to. TAB doesn't.

Both are actually excluded from touching on land use in their charters.
The argument for greater involvement is that development impacts transportation, so why shouldn't TAB be involved?

And council famously hates most new development and thinks it's ugly, so maybe DAB could help, the argument goes.
It could not be approval; that lies with Planning Board, and change to that would be much more involved. But DAB and TAB could weigh in during Concept Plan.
It's a feedback process on high-level plans.
"Concept Plan was introduced in the late 1990’s as a way for applicants to quickly and inexpensively solicit non-binding, advisory feedback from the staff, the public and the Planning Board..."
"...(and council if they vote to call up an application) early in the process before committing the time and financial resources involved in a Site Review application”
Head of planning Jacob Lindsey notes that DAB/TAB haven't been looped in on this discussion yet, bc staff wanted council's thoughts first.

Both boards have, in the past, requested earlier/increased involvement.
Concept plan "is somewhat unique among communities," says Lindsey, who came here from... one of the Carolinas...? I think.
What are the options for DAB/TAB involvement in Concept Plan? Let's look...
1. ) Council, staff or Planning Board recommend concept plan goes to TAB/DAB
- Pros: No additional training, staff time or resources necessary; no code revisions
- No Cons
2.) Require all Concept Plans go to DAB/TAB
- No Pros
- Cons: Requires code revisions; significant additional staff; significant time and cost to applicants; additional training required for board members; more input for projects
3.) Require select Concept Plans go to TAB/DAB (geographically or where area plans exist)
- No Pros
- Cons: Requires code revisions; additional staff time; adds time and cost to applicants; additional training required for board members; more input for projects to consider
4.) Require DAB/TAB to informally review some Concept Plans - can review on their own and provide advisory comments to Planning Board, city council
- Pros: No extra cost to applicants
- Cons: Minor additional staff time and resources; extra training for board members; more input
5.) Require joint DAB/TAB/Planning Board hearings for Concept Plan
- Pros: No extra staff time; no extra cost to developers
- Cons: May require code provision; more input for projects; extra training for board members
Staff is not recommending any changes to the current process, other than that council and Planning Board keep referring things to TAB/DAB as needed
“Staff finds that there are currently sufficient tools to solicit feedback from both DAB and TAB in the review of Concept Plan applications”
Staff can also refer projects to DAB.

Correction to previous tweet: Only council can refer things to TAB; Planning Board, staff and council can refer to DAB
Lindsey: As staff goes through proposed projects, "we could flag components of concept plans that would benefit" from TAB/DAB input and notify Planning Board or council.

The system as it exists today "is elegantly designed," he says.
"Elegantly designed"
TAB could be involved in coming updates to design and construction standards, Lindsey suggests. It addresses streets, sidewalks, landscapes, and the design of "every project that goes through every review for the indefinite future."
Rather than looking at individual development projects, Lindsey says, this would give TAB a chance to look at wholesale changes to our built environment.
Friend: Do you know how often TAB has been invited to get involved in projects? I don't think they have, except for CU South.
Charles Ferro: "I can't think of a time other than CU South."
Swetlik: Did TAB/DAB "weigh in on how they'd like to weigh in?"
Lindsey: This request initially came to you from DAB, and then TAB made a request as well (theirs was to be able to comment on land use, specifically)
Yates: How is this going to work, mechanically? We're not tracking development projects; if we're going to ask TAB or DAB about projects, we have to know about them.

"CU South was easy bc we've known that's coming for a while."
Lindsey: "When you see an option for call-up, it is at the very beginning" of a project. Staff can figure out how to "flag" whole or parts of a plan that you can refer to DAB/TAB. Details TBD.
Damn, is Lindsey running for office? He is, like, super upbeat and complimentary tonight. Of staff, of council, of the boards.
Maybe a trickle-down effect. NRV always starts every topic with a positive statement, and usually finishes with one, too.
Brockett: Did we consider the idea of having a TAB member in a non-voting role on Planning Board?
No, Lindsey says, but we can
Weaver: DAB and TAB have really dif functions, but both of them interact with planning quite a bit.

Likes things the way they are. "I don't know that there's much broken or not working right now."
Couple things he would like:
- Updating DAB's guidelines (they used to be for the downtown area only, so those need updated)
- Having TAB weigh in on big projects (Diagonal Plaza, Alpine-Balsam)
"They push us on important land use policies that are linked to transportation," Weaver says. "That's an important, ongoing urban discussion."
Also cool with TAB participating in the update to design and construction standards.

Does not support "at all": "everything going to DAB and TAB all the time" or joint meetings. "Mega meetings don't help."
Friend: I don't think I know enough on DAB to weigh in enough effectively.

TAB was one of my recommendations, bc Community Cycles was emailing us late in the process that we missed transportation elements, Friend says.
"I'm not sure as it is, it's working well to get TAB's input," Friend says. Clearly a discretionary approach isn't working.
Friend: We don't want to miss out on TAB's expertise.
Brockett: "If DAB looks at more projects, we'll be better off." Maybe not everyone, but certainly "substantial" projects" (over a certain size, etc.) We should "strongly encourage" staff or Planning Board to loop DAB in.
Also echoes that TAB should weigh in on major projects.
"Only you have the power to do that," Lindsey says, of TAB, bc its charter literally forbids them from considering development or land use unless council asks them to.
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More from @shayshinecastle

11 Aug
Totally forgot there was another item, bc there was no notes for it and no presentation: A quick discussion on racial equity training for city council.
Brockett: The racial equity guiding coalition has been talking for months about how we hold ourselves accountable for the work we've committed to do, specifically the bias and microaggression training we've been assigned.
The coalition is recommending that council members write a couple sentences about what the training meant to them, Brockett says. Those will be posted online, on the council's page.
Read 28 tweets
11 Aug
Moving into the study session now, which Brockett is leading. Lucky you, facilities master plan is up first!

Yates and Joseph have joined us, and Young is out.
omg NRV is a woman after my own heart. I am "geek-ily excited that we're talking about facilities," she says.
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11 Aug
Young is here. She previously emailed to say she wouldn't be, and even shared her thoughts on tonight's study session (and annexation agreement). Not sure what prompted the change.
Joseph is not here, tho.
And Yates. Bc they're not allowed to be here for this, per charter rules. Since they've recused.
Read 25 tweets
10 Aug
It's Tuesday, Twitter. City council study session, preceded by the first reading vote of the CU South annexation.

The big news, of course, being the recusal of two council members: Yates and Joseph. (Also, Young is absent tonight.)
Study session should be pretty standard. Two topics:
- Facilities master plan (yay!)
- Council will weigh whether DAB/TAB should play a role in development projects?
I have been waiting for this facility master plan (Boulder's first) ever since facilities and fleet was broken into a new department and I got a look at all the data they got.

Reader, this plan did not disappoint.
Read 4 tweets
7 Aug
The mystery of Bob Yates' recusal from CU South Annexation the other night has been solved: Yates just emailed to say the "prior work" he did with the law school warrants a recusal.

"I do this out of an abundance of caution and to avoid any appearance of impropriety."
This holds true for "upcoming council decisions" as well, Yates wrote, meaning (presumably) the annexation vote itself.
2 Planning Board members were switched out for subs (former members) bc of their affiliations with CU.

Lupita Montoya is a researcher and former assistant prof at CU; Lisa Smith also appears to be faculty at CU Denver.
Read 12 tweets
4 Aug
Moving on: When will council ever be back for in-person meetings? It was supposed to be July 13, but there were technical difficulties.

Those are fixed, so here we are.
But, as NRV says, now we've got rising COVID cases and new CDC recommendations.…
"My position on coming back ... has evolved as we've seen some of these changes in the COVID variant rise," NRV says.
Read 25 tweets

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