--Public meetings scheduled for city manager finalists;
--City considering lowering residential street speed limits to 20 mph;
--Council against 20-year vesting for CoorsTek development; and
--Golden Terrace residents feel overlooked in city’s residential zoning code updates
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Public meetings scheduled for city manager finalists
Golden community members wanting to meet their future city manager should mark their calendars for June 27 and/or June 28.
On June 27, the city will host a finalist meet-and-greet from 6:30-8 p.m. at the community center. The event will include statements and questions for each of the city manager finalists.
Then, on June 28, the Golden Chamber of Commerce will host a separate business-focused event with the finalists at 7:30 a.m. at City Hall. The details are still being worked out for the latter, but the public is invited to attend either or both events.
As of the May 24 City Council meeting, Mayor Laura Weinberg said the executive recruiter has narrowed the initial 85 applicants down to about 20 semifinalists. Councilors are supposed to provide input on the semifinalists before the firm identifies four finalists with a fifth alternate, Weinberg stated.
While the list of semifinalists is confidential, the finalists’ names will be public, officials confirmed.
City considering lowering residential street speed limits to 20 mph
City Council has asked the city’s Mobility and Transportation Advisory Board to examine the costs and benefits of lowering residential street speed limits to 20 mph.
The idea, called 20 is Plenty, is being implemented by Denver and other cities.
During the May 24 council meeting, Councilor Don Cameron said staff was on board with the proposal, saying Golden could implement it by late 2022. In fact, he said, it aligns with other traffic-calming efforts MTAB was already planning to work on.
Based on other communities’ data, Cameron said 70% of residents favored lowering the speed limit, 10% were opposed, and 20% were undecided. He believes Golden would track similarly.
He described how bodily damage sustained from a 30-mph collision is similar to falling from a three-story building; for a 20-mph collision, it’s closer to a 12-foot fall. Thus, Cameron and his colleagues felt lowering speed limits would make Golden neighborhoods safer.
One cost city staff noted would be a traffic study indicating why speed limits should be lowered.
Mayor Laura Weinberg felt this effort could move forward as officials’ time and energy allows, saying a late 2022 rollout might work but not at the cost of other items.
Council against 20-year vesting for CoorsTek development
City Council has scheduled a June 7 public hearing for the CoorsTek rezoning application.
The Golden Planning Commission voted 6-1 on April 28 to recommend approval for the 12-acre CoorsTek superblock near 10th Street and Ford Avenue. The area is currently zoned for commercial use and manufacturing, and the applicants are asking to rezone it for commercial and residential mixed use.
CoorsTek has also applied to vacate the alley between Ford and Jackson streets.
Depending on if and when City Council approves the rezoning, CoorsTek could demolish portions of the site this year and start construction in early 2023.
The project will be built over several phases in a 15- to 20-year timeframe.
CoorsTek has asked for a 20-year vesting on the property, which means the city couldn’t change its zoning in that time. The default vesting timeframe for any application is three years, city staff clarified. Also, when a vesting period ends, nothing happens to the property unless the city wants to rezone it.
At the April 28 meeting, the Planning Commission suggested a compromise that would increase the vesting to the requested 20 years if CoorsTek builds and/or pays for affordable housing units earlier in the building process.
However, most council members opposed that suggestion at a May 24 meeting, believing 20 years was too long for a vesting period.
Councilor Bill Fisher commented: “A 20-year construction project in the heart of downtown doesn’t sound fun for anybody.”
Golden Terrace residents feel overlooked in city’s residential zoning code updates
During its May 24 meeting, City Council approved an ordinance updating the city’s residential zoning code. This impacts single household, duplex and multifamily structures in the R1, R1A, R2 and R3 zone districts.
Officials have said the code updates will help new construction feel consistent with the city’s existing neighborhoods and honor Golden’s history. The new zoning codes address incompatible setbacks, new buildings’ size and scale, and lot sizes.
However, residents in the Golden Terrace mobile home neighborhood said the rewrite overlooks their unique situation, and they hope the city addresses it soon.
The neighborhood is in three parcels — once separately owned — and is home to about 1,600 people total. Residents said at least one parcel is zoned commercial, and they fear a lack of residential zoning could allow someone to buy the property and force the residents off their lots.
Both councilors and staff assured the residents it wasn’t an oversight and the city is working on rezoning the parcels to residential-mobile home zoning or RM.
Rick Muriby, the city’s director of community and economic development, said RM zoning exists on paper, but Golden doesn’t have anything zoned RM yet. As such, the city and property owner need to work out some legal questions and “make it a workable zone district” before it can go forward, he said.
Councilor Paul Haseman added: “Rezoning is a difficult issue, but it’s on the way. I think you’ll be hearing about it before the end of the year.”
For a history of Golden’s zoning code rewrite and accompanying maps and videos, visit https://www.guidinggolden.com/zoning-code-update.
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