Big plans for the Golden Gilpin Mill

Black Hawk homeowners participate in city house painting program

By Randy Beaudette

Black Hawk Police Chief Michelle Moriarty rang the bell to kick off the Black Hawk City Council regular meeting on May 12, 2021 to discuss a site development plan for the Golden Gilpin Mill, several construction easements to allow continuance of the summer painting program, and new a resolution approving properties for the painting program.

Mayor Spellman called the Council to order at 3:00 pm followed by Roll Call and the Pledge of Allegiance. Rollcall revealed Council members that were present online included Council Members Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Jim Johnson, Greg Moates, Hal Midcap, and Benito Torres. Other folks in the chambers included City Manager Stephen Cole, Police Chief Michelle Moriarty, Fire Chief Christopher Woolley, City Clerk/Admin Services Director Melissa Greiner, Public Works Director Tom Isbester, Finance Director Lance Hillis, Planning and Development Administrator Cindy Linker, and Deputy City Clerk Michele Martin. Acting City Attorney Hilary Graham joined the meeting online.

City Attorney Hoffmann asked Council to declare any Conflicts of Interest on any issue appearing on the agenda other than those already disclosed and filed with the City Clerk and Secretary of State. There were no objections from the City Council or from anyone in the Council Chambers.

Meeting Minutes

Black Hawk City Council approved the meeting minutes from the May 12, 2021 Regular Meeting with no corrections or amendments.

Golden Mill Site Development Plan

Black Hawk City Council approved a Site Development Plan & Certificate of Architectural Compatibility for the Golden Gilpin Mill located at 7593 Highway 119 (Black Hawk Boulevard).

On January 29, 2021, the City of Black Hawk received an application request for a Site Development Plan (SDP) and Certificate of Architectural Compatibility (COAC) from Matt Collins, Black Fox Mining. The request involves the re-establishment of the Golden Gilpin Mill located at 7593 Highway 119 (Black Hawk Boulevard) in Black Hawk. The property is owned by the George E. Otten Jr. Trust, and Mr. Collins, is authorized to represent the property owner in obtaining these approvals. Mr. Collins has been working with the owner since 2017 to re-open the mill for processing ore from the nearby Bates-Hunter Mine in Central City. On June 10, 2020, by Resolution No. 45-2020, the property was issued a Special Review Use (SRU) permit that allows milling operation and limited tourism. In addition, on January 13, 2021, by Resolution 70-2021, the Golden Gilpin Mill Site Minor Subdivision was approved, resulting in the creation of Lot 1 (formerly Millsite #10 and Millsite #11). The approval of the SDP/COAC is the last land development review process that is required before the property owner can apply for building permits to develop the property for the future use as a mining operation with limited tourism. The SDP/COAC application has been sent out on two referrals – February 3, 2021 and April 14, 2021. The second referral resulted in some lingering or outstanding comments that the applicant has addressed, with the third submittal which was received on May 12, 2021. The third submittal was sent out for referral on May 17, 2021, and comments are due on June 1, 2021. The applicant will have the opportunity to make any necessary revisions as requested by staff and referral agencies prior to final approval of the SDP/COAC expected on June 9, 2021. Final revisions to the SDP/COAC as determined by the City Public Works Director and the City Planning Director should be a condition of approval.

ZONING: The Golden Gilpin Mill property is located in the Environmental Character Preservation (ECP) zone district and such ECP zoning was established by the City in the mid-1990’s and attributed to this property at that time. As mentioned above, the property was granted a SRU for milling and limited tourism uses. A portion of the property is also located within the mapped FEMA 100 Year Flood Boundary which has been shown on the Site Development Plan. The SDP request includes improvements to the existing mill building, replacement of the existing bridge over North Clear Creek connecting to Black Hawk Boulevard, the addition of required utilities, and the construction of additional structures including a thickening tank and a sand barn. Site Development Plan (SDP) approval is required prior to issuance of building permits for the construction of the proposed improvements in accordance with Sec. 16-362 of the Black Hawk Municipal Code – Site development standards. The request also includes proposed drive aisle and parking area improvements; grading, drainage and retaining walls, and revegetation of all disturbed areas. The historic tailings on the site will be graded to a final usable surface that will be stabilized with buildings, roadways, retaining walls, rock areas and revegetated areas. This will complete the reclamation of the tailings on this portion of the property which have long been a focus of the Environmental Protection Agency’s work under the Superfund Remedial Program.

Lot 1 Golden Gilpin Mill Minor Subdivision 53 of 551 P-20-16 Golden Gilpin Mill SDP/COAC Water will be extended from the City’s mainline that exists in Black Hawk Boulevard, and a temporary Individual Wastewater Disposal System (IWDS) will be constructed. The temporary IDWS will be planned, approved and constructed in accordance with the Sewer Service Agreement entered into by the property owner and the Black Hawk/ Central City Sanitation District on April 26, 2021. Use of the IWDS will not be allowed to extend past the date of January 1, 2027 at which time the property must be connected to the District’s Sanitary Sewer System.

The proposed new construction, as well as the renovations to the exterior of the existing mill, require approval of a Certificate of Architectural Compatibility (COAC). The design of the buildings is intended to incorporate visual aspects of materials and shapes which are reflective of the industrial buildings in use in the late 19th and early 20th century in the area. Information has been provided in the SDP/COAC plan set that highlights the exterior appearance and materials used for the new thickening tank, the new sand barn, and the existing mill building. The thickening tank is proposed to be 26 feet in diameter, approximately 20 feet in height, and located to the south of the existing mill building. The above ground tank will be a pre-engineered steel structure set on a concrete slab. The exterior of the tank will be surrounded with vertical Douglas Fir rough sawn wood siding, and the roof will be corrugated Corten steel that will match the existing mill roof. The thickener will appear similar to wooden tanks utilized at other historic mills in Colorado. The Tailings Dewatering Building or “Sand Barn” is a metal framed, engineered structure built by Sunward Metal buildings that is rectangular in layout. The entire building will be clad in Corten steel. The building will have two bay doors for equipment to handle the sand that results after the thickened tailings have been dewatered. The sand will be stored briefly in the building prior to transport to the Bates-Hunter Mine via a large truck. Retaining walls are proposed as part of the grading, drainage and storm water construction plans. All lighting is proposed to be downcast and all fixtures will be congruent with the historic mining and milling era character.

Construction Easements

The City seeks a temporary construction easement from Thomas David Greiner Co-Tr of the Property Owner of 185 Clear Creek Street (Resolution 33-2021), John Edward Blake, the Property Owner of 193 Clear Creek Street (Resolution 34-2021), Robert Cameron, the Property Owner of 200 Dubois Street (Resolution 36-2021), and Nancy Alice Works, Power of Attorney representing the Property Owner of 171 Marchant Street (Resolution 35-2021) to the City of Black Hawk granting temporary construction access for the exterior painting of houses near the above properties. Black Hawk City Council unanimously approved the resolutions.

Exterior Paint Approvals (Resolution 37-2021)

Resolution 37-2021 concern the Residential Exterior Paint Proposals and corresponding Grant Program Agreements for 201 Chase Street, 311 Chase Street, 301 Chase Street, 195 Clear Creek Street, 191 Clear Creek Street, 161 Marchant Street, 101 Hillside Street, 171 Marchant Street, 151 Marchant Street, 271 Church Street, and 281 High Street.

Painting a home’s exterior can be an overwhelming task and sizeable financial commitment for a property owner. Therefore, the City of Black Hawk provides financial assistance to its residents through the Residential Exterior Paint Program. On March 5, 2021, CP&D Staff sent USPS and Email individual eligibility letters, along with a Program Application and Project Timeline, to twenty-nine (29) eligible property owners to participate in the City of Black Hawk Residential Paint Program. All applications were due March 31, 2021. Of the twenty-nine (29) eligible property owners, thirteen (13) responded, with two (2) withdrawing their applications. Staff scheduled a virtual meeting via Zoom with each applicant to introduce the program and legal documents. Applicants wishing to participate in the program were required to read and sign the Guide to Programs, thereby committing to and following the guidelines. An initial site visit was scheduled and conducted with the property owner and Gonzales Custom Painting to create the Project Scope. A second visit was scheduled to confirm and finalize findings so Gonzales Custom Painting could prepare and submit individual proposals. Applicants will sign the Grant Program Agreement, if their project is approved by the City Council. Staff will include individual packets for each property for City Council review. City Council approved a Residential Exterior Paint Program budget line item in the 2021 budget for $100,000. However, the proposals received exceed that amount by $2,650. Because the Residential Exterior Paint Program was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the staff recommends that City Council consider approving all of the applications in the order received for the total amount of $102,650. Black Hawk City Council approved Resolution 37-2021 unanimously.

Professional Services Agreement (Resolution 38-2021)

On January 13, 2021, the City and SAFEbuilt, LLC entered into a Professional Services Agreement under Resolution 4-2021 to provide building official, plan review, and inspection services. On March 17, 2021, the City and SAFEbuilt, LLC entered into a First Addendum to the Professional Services Agreement amending the Schedule of Charges, Exhibit A-1, to include a City Rate and Land Use Review Rate, effective January 1, 2021, through and including January 12, 2022, under Resolution 10-2021. The Development Services Coordinator position in Community Planning and Development is currently vacant. Staff is proposing SAFEbuilt, LLC provide temporary staff to fulfill administrative support duties until a new City employee is hired. Presented is a Second Addendum to the Professional Services Agreement amending the Scope of Work, Exhibit A, to include Administrative Services job duties and Schedule of Charges, Exhibit A-1, an hourly rate, retroactive to May 1, 2021, through and including January 12, 2022. SAFEbuilt, LLC shall perform all work outlined in the Second Addendum, the amended Exhibit A, Scope of Services, and the amended Exhibit A-1, Schedule of Charges. The original Agreement and First Addendum remain in full force and effect. The original Agreement and the First Addendum constitute all agreements between the City and SAFEbuilt, LLC. Black Hawk City Council unanimously approved the personal services agreement.

Access to City Property Adjacent to the Historic Gilpin Tramway

Finally, Black Hawk City Council approved an agreement with Bonanza LLC allowing the City to install a gate on the Bueno Mining Claim owned by Bonanza Land LLC to prevent vehicle access on the historic Tramway. The City of Black Hawk’s growth area extends along the historic Tramway to the southern portion of Government Lot 45 owned by the BLM. The City and Bonanza Land LLC own property along the Tramway within the City’s growth area. Both parties enter into this agreement to prevent vehicle traffic from using the Tramway on their respective property. The two parties have determined that installing a single gate at the most southern portion of the Tramway was an appropriate solution to restrict vehicle access. Each party agrees to allow the other party access through the gate. The gate will be appropriately posted.

Next Meeting

The next Black Hawk City Council meeting will be June 9, at 3:00 pm located at 211 Church Street, Black Hawk, Colorado. For more information visit

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