By Cheryl Dowden, January 17, 2020
Before we get into the meat of the meeting, I would like to explain the purpose of committees. I am certain that many of you already understand this, but as there seems to be some confusion I thought it would be good to state this. According to Director Nancy Luehring:
“The only committees that have decision-making authority are the ACC and the Audit committees. The Appeals Committee has limited authority. All other committees are advisory committees. They make recommendations and not always are those recommendations put into practice. The Board of Directors is the final governing process with the total right of approval and denial. Any final decisions on implementation are made by staff and lastly the Board of Directors. The committees are invaluable in their dedication and service to the community.” — HSVPOA Board Director, Nancy Luehring
Thanks, Director Luehring for such a good explanation. In a nutshell, this means that any discussion by the Comprehensive Master Plan Advisory Committee is just that and while some of it turns into formal recommendations, the CMPAC does not set policy.
Recap of 1/10/20 CMPAC meeting
CMPAC Meeting Attendees on 1/10/20
The Comprehensive Master Plan Advisory Committee (CMPAC) held its first meeting of 2020 on January 10, 2020. Committee members in attendance were Chairperson, Nikki Choyce; Vice-chair, Rolland White; Secretary, Tom Heau; Pam Avila, Murray Claasen and Clint Blackman. Also in attendance and welcomed by the committee were two new members, Diane Bielanski and Ray Lehman. Committee Member, Jody Latham was absent.
Additionally present were Buddy Dixon, Board of Director Liaison and Stephanie Heffer, Staff Liaison (HSVPOA Director of Placemaking and Development).
Also present at the meeting was the Village Voice in addition to Hot Springs Village People.
What follows is a short recap of the meeting. Accuracy was attempted and hopefully achieved. The link to the video is located at the end of this article.
Choyce has been asked to present a CMPAC progress report at the next Board meeting on January, 15, 2020. (This has already happened at the time of publishing of this article.)
Board Liaison report
Dixon stated they were late in presenting the CMPAC report to the BOD. Director Dixon asked that all committee members attend the next Board meeting – “Just for moral support”.
Update from Stephanie Heffer
Heffer: Staff continues to work on the CMP Implementation Tables and the timeline for future updates. Staff should have all of the changes back to Director Heffer early in the week of January 13, 2020.
Heffer said they are working on a staff “Evergreen Calendar.” This monthly calendar (not day-to-day) is used to make sure staff stays on task with “what needs to be done each month throughout the year, in order to provide the information to the Board.” This information will include the dates of when staff begins the review process for the Implementation Tables as well as when edits are made and other pertinent timing that includes when information is given to the CMPAC, and much more.
Marketing Subcommittee report
Avila said, “I need to know the status of the Recommendations that we submitted when Keith [Keck] was still chair. I don’t know where those are and the Summary of Findings, I don’t know where that is either.”
Choyce responded, “The Recommendations, we did that under…was that the last meeting that Keith was Chair? Or was that the first one that I did. I don’t remember the timing.”
Avila said, “That was the last one when Keith was Chair, I believe.”
Choyce said, “Let me check with Keith because I don’t remember what happened. But normally that would be forwarding it on to the liaison, who would then give it to whoever it needs to be gotten to. But I don’t know what the status is. Do you know?”
Heffer said, “Yeah, it’s been forwarded to staff and Jamie [Caperton] has all of that.”
Update on Siega development
White said it was his understanding that the land for Siega is cleared.
Heffer said, “We’ve actually had some pretty fantastic news – a further commitment from our builder.” Most of the infrastructure is in place, other than the road paving. “Road paving should happen within the next couple of weeks.”… “Our builder already paid for ALL of the permits.”… “This basically paid for the project.” Staff considers this action to be indicative of a complete commitment to the project. It was also pointed out that the permits were purchased at the lower 2019 rates. There are no refunds on the building permits.
Renee Haugen, Director of Real Estate Acquisitions, (from the audience) stated this also helps the builder with the planning of his subcontractors. If a subcontractor finishes one house, he can move on to the next one.
50th Anniversary Kickoff
Heffer: The kickoff is January 28, 2020 at the Coronado Community Center at 3:00 p.m. ReMax is sponsoring the wine and cheese for this event.
CMP revision process review
Choyce: “Last time we started walking through a draft of, we know we’re going to have to revise the CMP documentation, at some point along the way – that process of how that looks. What’s the next step?”
Heffer: “That would be the motion that the committee accepts it as submitted and that you recommend staff take it under advisement and consideration for inclusion in our process for revisions.” The O & M Tables and the CMP Implementation Tables will update annually. The revision of the actual CMP will most likely only occur every few years – three to five years.
Heau: “It looked like the process is aimed at serious updates…” as opposed to items of a routine nature.
Choyce: The committee will also look for typos.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the CMP revision process and unanimously passed.
CMP Growth Prioritization tool evaluation final discussion
Heau emailed all the committee members the final document and did not receive any comments from the members in the past month.
Heau said it is not clear when we are going to have a growth project and when this tool will actually apply.
Avila asked, “Why are we bothering with it then?”
Heau replied, “That is a fine question.” He said it was being done in the interest of completeness. Also, there are similarities to the Amenity Prioritization Tool, so this is practice.
Choyce said, “If you have good tools to support your decision making, you improve your ability to make the decisions.”
Heau said it was worthwhile talking about it, but this is a timing issue.
Blackman stated, “What we are doing for the benefit of the public – is by having this tool, we have a very clear format that when we need, when this comes about that we need to start evaluating these things for our benefit, the POA administration’s benefit, for the Board’s benefit and for the public’s benefit, we’re able to show that we have a system in place to fairly and completely examine all of the facts, all of the information that we need to make a fair and reasoned opinion – and be consistent, too.”
This motion was unanimously passed.
CMP review (discussion on Introduction)
Choyce: “At the last meeting, we have started doing reviews of small sections on the CMP documentation itself, with the idea of trying to evaluate the following three things:
- Any recommended potential changes, and
- Doing a deep dive and understanding the various parts.”
Choyce: “We did not allow a time to actually finish it. That’s on me, last time, to actually finish it. We did one piece of it but we did not finish it so I was hoping that today we could take a look at the Visioning Statement Piece, which is…I did not make a note of what page.”
Choyce: “The visioning statements as they are written on pages 16 and 17 and then there’s a mapping chart that’s on pages 18 and 19. These are things that we did not [indecipherable] cover.”
Visioning statement from HSVPOA CMP pages 16-19Visioning-statement-pages-16-to-19
Choyce said the points on the Visioning Statement are pretty generic. “I guess my discussion point would be, now that we are two years later on this, does this still, are these 18 the ones that the Board and staff still want to do or any?…Have you taken a look at these from a Board and staff point of view to see whether or not we need to update any of these? Are these still relevant? Add more? Take any away?”
Heffer: “Those are the desired outcomes of the plan. Just the plan. They could potentially change as we do revisions to the plan in the future.”
Avila: “Weren’t they sort of the ‘marching orders’ that were given to the consultant?”
Heffer: “That is correct. The plan was devised to accomplish those outcomes.”
Heffer: “The Visioning Statement may or may not be reflected. So you recommended, I think you said that and that became an old business item about taking a look at and maybe recommending to the Board that they revisit the Visioning Statement.”
Heau agreed with Heffer.
Heau: “The Mission Statement, whether you like it or don’t like it, it’s a mission statement. The Visioning Statement, I may have trouble with the content, which simply does not meet the definition of a vision statement.”
The CMPAC committee is not making a recommendation on what the Visioning Statement should be, but merely advising the Board to take a look at it.
Heau made a motion to recommend to the Board that the Visioning Statement needs to be reexamined. The motion passed unanimously.
Blackman: “In summary what this does is help clarify what the committee is supposed to do. Our targets.”
New Business – Transportation
Murray Claasen summarized four pages (41-44) of the CMP. These pages deal with transportation issues in the Village.
Pages 41-44 HSV CMP – TransportationCMP-Transportation-pgs-41-to-44
Claasen: “In my role on the Public Services Committee, with that hat on, I went through and tried to pick out the things that seemed to be most relevant. And at the same time, being true to the overall theme of what the consultants gave us.”
- Over the next 20 years the CMP states growth and change will have a limited impact on existing vehicle patterns.
- With increasing traffic at the west gate, stacking may be an issue.
- Left turns onto DeSoto will be an increasing problem.
- Dendritic Pattern – “means basically a tree and its branches.” There is a main arterial with secondary roads. Those branch out into neighborhood roads. The Village roads have a dendritic pattern.
- The major arterial is DeSoto, which “captures most of the intention of future studies.”
- There are very few options for modification of the roads due to property ownership and topography.
- Public Service staff and the Public Service Committee have been looking at ways to improve the Ponce and DeSoto intersection.
- The committee recommends the use of roundabouts.
- Due to property ownership at the Ponce and DeSoto intersection, there is not enough space for a roundabout.
- The road system is underutilized and will not be overwhelmed in the next 20 years. (Claasen feels we need to keep an eye on DeSoto.)
- The consultants recommended several improvements to DeSoto.
- The consultants recommended 16 intersections that we should take a look at.
- Five four-way stops on DeSoto are recommended. (Claasen said there were no traffic engineers on the consultants’ staff and that traffic studies did not occur.
- Trip capture – the more amenities (shopping, restaurants, etc.) that are located within the gates means fewer trips that the Villagers need to make outside the gates.
- Night driving is more challenging as people age.
- Alternative transportation is recommended. (Uber, Lyft and shuttle buses) (Claasen did not understand how using Lyft or Uber would reduce traffic.) Choyce said she thought these options were for people without transportation.
- Nonvehicular modes of transportation should be considered. This includes walking, bicycling, golf carts, etc.
- The CMP also talks about implementing safety measures such as the double-line striping and reflectors.
- Consider implementing different daytime and nighttime speed limits.
- Prepare to install a new gate at the town center. Along Danville Road is the suggested location of that gate. This would be done to serve the town center.
- Study traffic patterns at the gates and intersections along DeSoto. Identify problematic streets and GIS.
- Fund and correct problematic streets and intersections.
Choyce: “We have been working towards doing the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and it is one of those topics that…The topic was ‘Economic growth, specifically residential growth. Adding 2,500 rooftops.”
Choyce: “I think we are doing a good job on the strengths. That list was pretty long in terms of what we can do. I think that list is fairly complete.”
Choyce: “The weaknesses is not as long as it could be, but I think that we have a good start on that. I would like your feedback on that since we spent the majority of the time working through the strengths and weaknesses. Do we need some more time to work on the Opportunities and Threats before we’re ready to kind of compile that? Or do you feel comfortable with that?”
Choyce: “So I will take it as an action item to draft it up so that we have one paper copy of it and see if there are any other tweaks we want and make sure the wording is correct.”
Avila: “Can we add one thing to it as we are ready to present it? Could we add an introduction on why the focus on the 2,500 rooftops and what that will mean to the Village.”
Choyce asked Avila if she could help draft the intro. Avila agreed to help.
Future SWOT ideas:
- Commercial economic growth
- Revenue opportunities
Amenity Prioritization Tool
Heau: This allows Property Owners to evaluate and compare new amenity types to “turn these projects to the highest benefit and where funds should be spent.”
Heau: The Amenities Prioritization Tool and the Growth Prioritization Tool are pretty much identical. There is a point system that helps to determine which projects have the highest priority.
Heau: It is not known “where the points come from” or why it was decided what number of points determine high, medium or low priority projects.
Recommendations and comments re: Amenities Prioritization Tool
Staff has utilized this tool several times.
Heau: “Representatives of the CMPAC and staff should be appointed to consider and make recommendations to address the following issues.”
- “One of the biggest issues I had and I think anybody should have is that you read these things line-by-line, some of the lines aren’t very clear, either in terms of how you interpret, ‘what’s the definition of purpose’ or ‘what the measure is’? It looks like a lot of the measures are fairly subjective.”
- “You are giving an aura of precision to something that looks to be fairly subjective and I guess maybe that bothers me.”…
- “It is not clear when during the project process you would actually do this and one of the things that was pointed out was that if you look at one of the items, it says, ‘Does the Board support the project?’ So, the question arose, how would the Board essentially approve or not approve the project when the project is early in the idea phase? Is there a little bit of a circular logic there or not? So the suggestion was, ‘should this tool be actually a multi-stage tool that should be applied at different points during the project?'”
- “The other thought was, when we, ultimately, staff is going to the Board and saying, ‘We want a pile of money for a project,’ and it is part of a process that I call a request for funding process and when I think of a request for funding, it tends to include more topics than just the six topics that were listed in this tool. So how do the six topics in the tool relate to an overall request for X dollars?”
- “Should this tool actually have more provisions, more topics included in it? Or how does this tool interplay with those other projects, other things?”
- Heau feels a third-party review is important.
- Heau feels one of the tool’s value is consistency between projects. If you are looking at five projects at once, you can use this tool and compare scores to make conclusions.
Lehman said he was also asked to look at this tool and it seems there were a lot of sign-offs, for example, Board, department heads, and staff. Lehman said, “How can they possibly do that if they don’t know if it meets the requirements of a viable project?”
Lehman also said that the answers could be tweaked in a way where a project might make sense, when it really doesn’t. An unbiased intermediator should look at this. As Heau said, he feels like the CMPAC would be a good intermediator and if it gets past the CMPAC, then it would go on to the Board. Lehman said, “It seems like it is one step when it really should be three.”
Avila suggested it would be helpful it there was a simplified version of this form that people making suggestions could fill out and this may help them evaluate their ideas.
Choyce: “This is a tool within a process. Do we have the process?”
White: “This is a very useful tool within, say, project management process.”
Heffer said this tool does not take the place of good communication and outreach to our public.
Blackman said what he likes about the tool is that it answers one of the biggest problems. “There have been folks that have said, ‘Well, we really don’t need this. We don’t want this. This doesn’t make sense for us. It’s one group’s idea.’ NO! If it passes the tool, the same tool that is used for all amenity evaluation, then it is a whole lot better representation of what the group, as a whole, our community as a whole, has decided that we need. That’s a step in the right direction, which is what this committee is all about.”
Heau said the current, “really huge issue” is Balboa, both golf course and clubhouse. The clubhouse options are tear down and replace versus renovate. Heau did not know the tool’s role in this instance.
CMP Amenities Prioritization ToolAmenities-Prioritization-Tool
Chuck Alvord: “I don’t think we heard an answer to the question Pam asked on the stutus of the Marketing Committee’s Summary and Finding Report.
Choyce: “We discussed that at the last meeting. Where we left it at that point, there was some resistance and I said resubmit it to me. I have not seen the resubmission. So who’s ball court? Is that in my court or is that in your court?”
Avila: “I didn’t get that, so it was my error. It is in my court. I will get it to you.”
Melinda Alvord: “On the Siega Project and the 20 permits that were pulled, which I have to assume was done just before the deadline when the new permit fees went into effect. So that probably motivated Brandon a lot. But does that actually mean he is going to start building out all 20 homes?
Heffer said he would not start 20 new homes at once.
Melinda Alvord: “Aren’t there time triggers in the permits?”
Heffer: There are no time limits in the permits until they hit the ACC agenda.
Melinda Alvord: “So there is a little technical, buying some time. I would assume he doesn’t have plans to submit.”
Heffer: He does have some plans. The permits could sit out there for a bit, 18 to 24 months.
Melinda Alvord: “You were talking early on in the meeting about updating things in the CMP. Those of us who have our own copies, will we be provided with those updates?”
Heffer: “It will all be digital at some point.” We will communicate to the public when there is a new version.
Melinda Alvord: “You were talking about the criteria for when a four-way stop is warranted at an intersection. Did Balboa and Baleric actually meet that criteria?”
Claasen did not know the answer to this question as this was before his time on the committee.
* We are not certain when they conducted the SWOT analysis. They did not do this in a public meeting that we are aware of.
By Cheryl Dowden, January 17, 2020
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