JANUARY 22, 2014



January 22, 2014


11:00 a.m.


City Hall – Pikes Peak Room

107 N. Nevada Ave., Second Floor

Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903



Approval of December 18, 2013 CSURA meeting minutes


Approval of Financial Report as of December 31, 2013 – Carrie Bartow


Railway Lofts Urban Renewal Plan & Conditions Study – Anne Ricker


Bijou St/Spruce Street – proposed URA – Mitch Yellen, The Pinery


Other Matters







On the 22nd day of January, 2014, the Commissioners of the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority of the City of Colorado Springs met in Regular Session at 107 N. Nevada Avenue, at City Hall in the Pikes Peak Conference Room, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In attendance were:


Merv Bennet

David Isbelle

David Neville

Wynne Palermo

Jim Raughton

Robert Shonkwiler

Susan Wood-Ellis

Tiffany Colvert

Also in attendance:

Dan Hughes

CSURA Legal Counsel

Jim Rees


Lisa Valverde

Carrie Bartow

CliftonLarsonAllen, CPA

Peter Wysocki

Ryan Tefertiller


Correction to meeting minutes, amend the spelling of Mr. Isbell’s name.


Ms. Bartow reviewed the financial reports as provided in the packet. Mr. Neville inquired if property tax and sales tax base amounts have been met for the fiscal year on Ivy Wild. Ms. Bartow stated that the property tax base has been met but it will take approximately another three months before the base is met for sales tax and tax increments are received. The sales tax base resets in May for 2014.

Draft full financial statements were also submitted by CLA this month, documentation provided in the packet.

Mr. Raughton inquired as to the status of development review for the Winslow dealership to be built on N. Nevada Ave. Mr. Tefertiller didn’t know the status of the project.

Mr. Neville inquired of pg. 19 of the disclosure, and building permits. Ms. Bartow stated there has been one building permit issued at this time, for the University Village project. Mr. Rees stated there should be at least 2 permits issued, Ms. Bartow stated she will go back and revise Section 2.B.I. Ms. Bartow stated there is the ability by RBD to provide better numbers, but there was an $900 dollar fee. Mr. Neville stated he can talk to Mr. Henry Yankowski to see if the service can be provided by RBD with no fee.

Motion by Mr. Raughton, to approve Financial Reports, subject to confirmation of the number of Building Permits for North Nevada, second by Ms. Palermo.

Motion Carried 8-0. Commissioner Venezia excused.



Mr. Mitch Yellen and Mrs. Windsor Yellen, applicant spoke to Item 4. Mr. Rees summarized the services provided by the Pinery, as well as the surrounding properties. Mr. Rees stated that this is a possible Urban Renewal area as the neighborhood needs s streetscape improvements. The project would be similar to Ivy Wild in size and scale. Today the applicant would like permission to begin the blight study. The applicant is willing to pay for the study; however timing is critical and work needs to begin ASAP. Mr. Raughton inquired of the boundary and why it isn’t a larger area. Mr. Rees stated this is reasonable but could be expanded in the future. Mr. Shonkwiler inquired of the projects potential for being a better candidate for a street repair district (special district) as opposed to a URA project, as well as stating he is not comfortable with this being a rush project. Mr. Rees stated that he has totaled some figures and as of now, there is not a lot of sales tax generated, mostly property tax. Mr. Shonkwiler inquired as to why the money for these needed improvements should come from the general fund as opposed to making the private property owners pay for their private property improvements. He also inquired as to how all of the necessary steps can all be taken place by August. Mr. Rees stated that there is the ability to complete all of the necessary steps within the allotted six month time frame.

Mrs. Yellen referred to Mr. Shonkwiler’s question, and stated that people will eventually abandon their homes if the necessary improvements aren’t being made. She referred to Joe’s Fish Market (Formerly located on the Pinery site) and the issues brought forth when that property was vacant. Mrs. Yellen referred to several homes within the neighborhood, that have had the owners improve the property, only to face other hardships to include foundation issues and lack of funds to repair the homes. With an Urban Renewal plan, there can be improvements made to surrounding properties. She briefly spoke to the development issues her property had to deal with, being built on the hill. She spoke to landscaping Bijou St and improving the properties leading to her development. She spoke to the issue of the majority of homes along that same strip being rental units as opposed to being lived in by homeowners. She feels improvements will inspire others to complete revitalization.

Mr. Yellen spoke to his vision for the neighborhood, and turning the west side around and revitalizing the west side near downtown. He spoke to turning Lon Chaney’s home into a museum, hence bringing more revenue to the City. He also stated that he as a property owner would be willing to put in his own money to continue improving the neighborhood with the help of the URA. Mr. Eric Allen stated that the sidewalks are falling apart, the streets are in disarray, and those improvements need to be made. Mr. Shonkwiler stated that he is of the opinion that private property should be maintained by the private property owners. He does not see that public money should be used to improve private properties. Mr. Yellen inquired of the similarities to Ivy Wild, Mr. Shonkwiler argued that the public improvements have not yet been made to Ivy Wild, and is not in agreement with the request set before the board today. Mr. Yellen stated with the URA’s help he knows he can turn the neighborhood around within the next 5 years and without the board’s approval will begin looking to do a project elsewhere outside of Colorado Springs.

Mr. Shonkwiler inquired of the requested funding, and what improvements will be made. Mr. Yellen stated that street improvements need to be made.

Mr. Neville inquired if any of the monies will be used to acquire homes. Mr. Yellen stated no funding will be used for private improvements, but will be used for public improvements.

Mr. Neville stated that the requested project will require copious amounts of work.

Mr. Shonkwiler inquired of the possibility of the Downtown Partnership’s ability to expand their funding to encompass this area. Mr. Rees stated that a new district could be set up, but the process and funding issues would be laborious and involves approval of the majority of the property owners.

Mr. Raughton stated that he agrees that something needs to be done to address the issues within this neighborhood, and inquired if there was precedent to phase the project. Mr. Rees stated yes, there is precedent (downtown BID area), and the project will need to be done in phases as there will not be the cash flow available in the beginning.

Mr. Shonkwiler stated again that he is having issue with the timing of the project. Mr. Yellen stated that he has a vision for the neighborhood, and the proof can be seen in his current business. Mr. Eric Allen stated that if the theme on Bijou Street can be carried forward, to this area the changes can be made for the neighborhood. Mr. Peter Wysocki entered the meeting and stated that the City Administration agrees that the concept merits further review at this point. Mr. Rees stated that, Council has the final approval for urban renewal plan adoption. Mr. Shonkwiler stated that he feels that although the board can opt out at any time, once the momentum starts, it becomes harder to opt out. He feels that there can be an additional district formed for downtown to address these issues. He feels this is a potential horse behind the cart situation. Mr. Rees stated that the cash flow will be known before hand with this project. Mr. Bennett observed that although Council will make the ultimate decision, there are a few questions now that can be answered now and again before Council. How will the separation between this side of Bijou and the other be addressed and what and how will this impact the neighborhood? What exposure will these homeowners have to eminent domain? Mr. Yellen stated that the homes all around his property are rental properties and one of the signs of deterioration are homeowners moving out. Mr. Yellen added an additional two blocks are mainly commercial. As for eminent domain, Mr. Yellen doesn’t believe in it and does not want that issue included in this project. Mr. Shonkwiler inquired of the use of funds to rebuild the wall. Mr. Rees stated the funds can be used for this wall as it is currently encroaching on public right of way and qualifies as a blighted condition. Mrs. Yellen stated that her family has no desire nor the funding available to purchase the homes in the neighborhood. Mr. Shonkwiler stated the properties will find their way back to the market, and although the walls are in need of repair, they are a private property issue. Mr. Yellen stated that the ROW cannot be accessed with the walls. Mr. Raughton stated that we need to find out if the walls are actually on City ROW. Mr. Rees stated Urban Renewal money can be spent on private property. Ms. Wood-Ellis stated that the mission of the board is not to watch the City’s general fund. The URA is charged with looking for tools to eradicate slum and blight. She felt this was an optimal project for this board to take on. She does not want to miss an opportunity to help this area within our city. She referred to the Lowell Neighborhood and stated that this project would be similar.

Ms. Palermo stated that she is not in disagreement with any of the statements made today. She feels that it can stand on its own due to the City for Champions. She further stated that she sees the potential for more commercial within this area and she feels uncomfortable moving forward on something that has already started.

Mr. Neville stated if it were just a condition study it would be easier to approve and does not feel comfortable approving a plan as well as the condition study. Mr. Raughton stated if the Yellen’s are comfortable taking the risk of spending that $43k (the cost of the Conditions Survey and the Urban Renewal Plan); he would be willing to allow them to conduct the study and provide a plan. Mr. Rees stated that the blight study will be a foregone conclusion because the area will qualify as blighted under the conditions set forth in the statute. Mr. Neville stated the public process will give the impression that the URA has already issued its stamp of approval. Mr. Rees stated the process would coordinate with the applicant and will involve public hearings. Mr. Yellen stated that he needs to think about it as he does not want to spend the money for a denial and really wanted to see the west side turned around. Mr. Neville stated he would like to see a blight study and have a more concrete plan to go forward to Council. Mr. Yellen stated he is more than willing to spend the money, but he wants to make sure there is a Board majority support in order for a positive outcome to be achieved. Mr. Rees stated that the vision is there, and there is time to address the board’s issues. Mr. Isbell inquired of how the issue of how fixing the curb, gutters, sidewalks etc., will benefit the homes falling off of the foundations, and how will the synergy get going. Mr. Yellen stated that the wall is collapsing onto the street. Mr. Yellen stated providing a facelift to the neighborhood, will get that synergy started. Mr. Isbell inquired of how the changes will be made with URA funding. Mr. Allen stated that the homes will be improved. Mr. Bennett stated to the applicant that a plan needs to be made to articulate their vision. Mr. Raughton reiterated that he would like to see the steps taken to make the vision more concrete.

Mr. Shonkwiler suggested that a plan be presented with actual figures and suggested forming a Special Improvement District as opposed to solely using URA funding.

Mr. Neville stated if the wall is crumbling into City Right of Way this should be a City issue. Mr. Raughton stated that as an option they can approve the study, and move forward in phases.

Mr. Yellen stated that since it did not appear that the majority of the URA Board would endorse the project he prefers to just walk away from the project at this time. He withdrew the application.


Ms. Anne Ricker presented the item via PowerPoint presentation, included within the packets.

Mr. Shonkwiler inquired if the posting for this study was sent to all property owners including the one out of state. Mr. Rees will follow up to ensure that the letter was sent to the property owner in question.

Mr. Shonkwiler inquired of this item and if the TIF for this project will be going in to the City for Champions and inquired as to why the money wouldn’t for this project be going to the City for Champions. Mr. Rees stated the TIF clock will be starting all over again for both Urban Renewal Authority’s and that the museum will likely move ahead before the event center. The Railway Lofts project was being considered prior to City for Champions and the TIF revenues were not included in City for Champions calculations. Mr. Neville stated that the monies received will be separate. Ms. Ricker stated that this project will not affect the funding for the City for Champions. Mr. Peter Wysocki, Planning and Community Development Director, stated that the parties involved in preparing the applications to the state have considered this project as a separate URA area from the City of Champions. Mr. Shonkwiler inquired of the effect of having another URA project downtown. Mr. Wysocki stated the costs are staggered and the projects are separate for that reason. Mr. Shonkwiler inquired at what point in time the figures will be brought before the board. Mr. Rees stated that the funding figures will come at a later date. Mr. Shonkwiler stated that he was frustrated with not having figures ahead of time, and seeing several URA areas just sitting. He wants to see where is the package of how this is going to be funded and where the funds are going. Mr. Neville stated that at this point in time, the question cannot be answered until the project is approved and funded and moving forward. Mr. Rees stated there have been problems in the past due to unforeseen issues outside of the board; however the resolution to this question is the TIF. Mr. Shonkwiler also addressed the issue that he has paying for private improvements with public money. Mr. Neville stated yes he agrees there is a catch twenty two; however the current plan needs to be amended in order for the project move forward. Ms. Ricker stated this is a linear process and we need the plan to be approved prior to questioning funding amounts and inquiring of funding needs. Mr. Rees stated he will estimate what the public and private improvement costs will be, but that the item needs to be approved before that can happen. Ms. Ricker stated that it is wrong to connect the dots between adopting the plan and inquiring where all of the dollars are going. Completing the plan in this way is necessary in order restart the clock. Mr. Chuck Murphy, property owner, stated that he would like to see the project proceed. Mr. Raughton inquired if Mr. Murphy was seeing positive results in his negotiations with the other property owners, Mr. Murphy stated he was not, because it is a difficult situation and it has now become a question of dollars. Mr. Shonkwiler inquired of how the project can proceed if the adjoining property cannot be acquired. Mr. Murphy stated he is hopeful that the URA will negotiate with the other property owner. Ms. Wood-Ellis stated that there is currently a state statute covering condemnation. Mr. Neville stated that it is not his belief that eminent domain will be used. Mr. Shonkwiler inquired if condemnation isn’t possible, how will his project move forward. Mr. Murphy stated that the URA can offer the owner more money. Mr. Shonkwiler stated that he does not agree with public money to purchase private property, a brief debate ensued, and the resolution is that it is legal to use public money as long as it cures blight.

Motion by Mrs. Palermo to approve the finding of the blight study, second by Ms. Wood Ellis

Motion Carried 8-0. Commissioner Venezia excused.


Mr. Neville discussed Mr. Shonkwiler’s suggestion of holding elections after new members are seated. Mr. Neville researched the Denver URA and found that the system was the same. He stated that if we can stagger the terms, it would alleviate the situation. Mr. Neville spoke with Wynetta Massey, and she stated she can trace this back and find out which positions were filled when. Mr. Neville was in agreement with Ms. Massey and the finding is that it is going to take a few years to rectify the situation. Mr. Shonkwiler, just wanted to bring up a better business/board practice, and didn’t agree with members voting for officers they will not be serving with. Mr. Neville respectfully disagreed with Mr. Shonkwiler. Mr. Neville offered the item up for a vote; Mr. Shonkwiler stated that he would like a full board, prior to voting. No motion was made. Mr. Shonkwiler inquired if the board item could be brought as a formal item next meeting.

City for Champions, Mr. Neville requested that all media inquiries be made through the Chair or Vice Chair. Mr. Hughes stated that directing media to the Chair and Vice Chair has always been policy. The board also requested that Mr. Rees only respond to media inquiries regarding procedural issues or historical facts but not regarding the Board’s position on an issue. Mr. Rees stated that this has been the direction he has taken with the media in the past. He does not offer opinions as to what stance the Board will take on any issue that may be coming to the Board for consideration.

Meeting adjourned at 1:30.


 2017 Meetings

July 26, 2017
Joint Meeting July 17, 2017

June 28, 2017

Special Meeting June 15, 2017

May 24, 2017
April 26, 2017

Special Meeting April 7, 2017
March 22, 2017

February 22, 2017

January 25, 2017


December 21, 2016
November 16, 2016

November 10, 2016

October 26, 2016

City Council, October 5, 2016

September 28, 2016
August 24, 2016
August 3, 2016

July 20, 2016

June 22, 2016

May 25, 2016
April 27, 2016

City Council, April 6, 2016
Special Meeting, April 6, 2016
March 23, 2016

February 24, 2016

January 27, 2016

 2015 Meetings

December 16, 2015
November 18, 2015

November 10, 2015 CSURA/DDA

October 28, 2015 Special
October 14, 2015 Special
September 23, 2015

September 14, 2015
August 26, 2015

July 22, 2015

June 24, 2015

May 27, 2015

May 7, 2015 Work Session

April 22, 2015

March 25, 2015

February 25, 2015

January 27, 2015

 2014 Meetings

December 17, 2014
December 4, 2014

November 19, 2014

October 22, 2014

October 7, 2014, Special
September 24, 2014

September 10, 2014 Special

July 23, 2014
June 25, 2014
May 28, 2014

April 23, 2014

March 26, 2014

February 26, 2014

January 22, 2014


December 18, 2013
November 19, 2013
October 18, 2013
September 25, 2013
August 28, 2013

June 26, 2013
May 22, 2013
April 24, 2013
March 27, 2013

February 27, 2013

January 23, 2013


November 28, 2012
October 24, 2012

September 26, 2012

August 8, 2012

July 25, 2012

June 21, 2012

May 17, 2012

April 19, 2012

March 15, 2012
March 5, 2012
February 23, 2012
January 31, 2012 Special Meeting
January 19, 2012
January 13, 2012 Special Meeting


December 15, 2011
November 10, 2011
September 15, 2011
August 18, 2011
June 9, 2011
May 19, 2011
April 19, 2011
March 17, 2011
February 24, 2011
January 20, 2011

 2010 Meetings

December 15, 2010
October 28, 2010
September 16, 2010
July 15, 2010
May 20, 2010
April 6, 2010
February 4, 2010
January 21, 2010