Superior Trustees will not explore a policy regulating private meetings between board members and developers — an issue that has sparked wrangling among officials in past dealings — but will instead continue "good faith" measures.
That was the prevailing opinion among officials at Superior's board retreat on Monday night, which also included the trustees' visioning for how Original Town could be shaped in the coming years.
An official policy restricting who and when leaders can meet with certain developers has drawn concern from trustees in recent years — many of whom worry such a policy would tie their hands.
Previous iterations of the town board have kept an informal policy to not meet with developers.
"The general idea is that when there is a land-use proposal we cannot, for obvious reasons, have meetings with developers," Mayor Clint Folsom said Monday evening.
"I generally think that individual meetings are probably not a good idea anyway," he added, "because they will only get the impression of one person."
There is currently no legal restriction on board members from meeting with developers as long as the developer in question does not have an active development application.
"A policy in and of itself is fine but we already have (the Colorado Sunshine Law) and common law addressing these situations," Trustee Mark Lacis said. "My concern, with a project like the Town Center, is I just don't see how that project is ever not in process — that there isn't an application pending or on the verge of opening."
To the west in Boulder, policy involving this issue is handled in a similar, informal fashion, Boulder spokesperson Sarah Huntley said last week.
"Boulder addresses the issue of potential conflict of interest related to development by encouraging clear communication between council members and the City Attorney's Office," Huntley said Friday. "Specifically, council members are encouraged to speak with the City Attorney's Office when meeting privately or one-on-one with an outside party."
As Superior's current trustees continue to preside over plans to transform the town and accommodate the influx of new residents, concern regarding transparency and the disclosure of information to the public has risen, including among officials in the past.
Last spring, then-Trustee Chris Hanson took aim at former Mayor Pro-Tem Debra Williams for criticism she had levied against him for meeting privately with developer Bill Jencks, of Ranch Capital.
"I'm worried a policy will unintentionally tie our hands," Trustee Kevin Ryan said Monday night. "I wish the law was clearer (on the issue), but unfortunately it's not. Until I understand the problem that we are trying to solve, I'm not ready to embrace a formal policy. I trust everyone at this table."
Anthony Hahn: 303-473-1422, email@example.com or twitter.com/_anthonyhahn
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