Black Hawk Council addresses recreational and medical marijuana use

New owners of Fitzgerald’s, City Manager’s contract


By Lynn Volkens

Black Hawk City Council with Mayor David Spellman and Council members Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Diane Cales, Jim Johnson and Greg Moates met for their regularly scheduled business meeting on January 23, 2013. They dealt mainly with regulations needed regarding the recreational use of marijuana and medical marijuana within Black Hawk.

Home Grown Marijuana

  The Council approved Council Bill 4, an ordinance amending the Municipal Code to address marijuana cultivated for personal use in residential structures. The new Article X of Chapter 18 states that any person who is 21 years of age or older that is cultivating marijuana plants for his/her own use, may possess, grow, process or transport no more than six marijuana plants with three or fewer being mature, provided those activities comply fully with the Colorado Constitution. The plants must be possessed, grown, or processed within the primary residence of the person who will be using the marijuana for his/her personal use and must not be perceptible from the exterior of that primary residence. That means no visual observation (including signs); no unusual odors or other olfactory stimulus; no light pollution; and no undue vehicular or foot traffic, including excessive parking within the residential zone. Within a single-family dwelling, the cultivation, production, growing and processing of marijuana plants must be within a secure, defined contiguous 150 square foot area of the primary residence of the person possessing, growing or processing the plants for personal use. Within a multi-family dwelling unit, that secure, defined contiguous area is limited to 100 square feet within the primary residence of the person possessing, growing or processing the plants for personal use. These areas are to be locked or partitioned off and access limited solely to the person who is growing or processing the plants for his/her own personal use. The plants cannot be possessed, grown or processed in any accessory structure. All other City requirements related to building and life/safety, water and sewer regulations must be met and the City, upon reasonable notice, may inspect he premises to assure compliance.

The Aldermen also approved Council Bill 5, an ordinance that amends the Municipal Code regarding medical marijuana grown and processed in residential structures when done by patients for their own use or by primary caregivers. This amendment adds Article IX to Chapter 18. In addition to mainly setting the same stipulations as CB 4, this bill also defines a primary caregiver, consistent with the Colorado Constitution, as “a natural person, other than the patient and the patient’s physician, who is 18 years of age or older and has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition.” The bill goes further to state “In addition to other activities conducted on behalf of the patient, a primary caregiver, a patient or a group of patients cultivating marijuana plants for their own use may cultivate, possess, produce, use or transport marijuana or paraphernalia to administer marijuana for medicinal purposes, conditioned on compliance with the Colorado Constitution and Colorado statutes pertaining to the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code and Medical Marijuana Program.”

Council Bill 6, deals with possession of marijuana. This ordinance, approved by the Council, amends the Municipal Code (Section 10-144) to define “marijuana” and “marijuana accessories.” It states that it is unlawful to possess drug paraphernalia (defined under Colorado Revised Statute 18-18-426) when the person in possession knows that the paraphernalia could be used in violation of this code. CB6 also limits possession and consumption of marijuana to two (2) ounces or less. Conviction of having more than two ounces will be punished by a fine of not more than $100. Allowances are made for persons who are 21 years old or older and for those who possess or use marijuana pursuant to the Dangerous Drugs Therapeutic Research Act.

The Aldermen further amended the Municipal Code (Chapter 10, Article VII) regarding the procuring of marijuana by or for a minor, by approving Council Bill 7. This ordinance states that it is unlawful for any person to provide marijuana to any person under the age of 21 years and that it is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years to possess, attempt to purchase, purchase or obtain marijuana.

For the complete and specific language of these sometimes lengthy ordinances, please contact the City Clerk’s office.

Idling Motor Vehicles

  The City had previously prohibited the idling of motor vehicles (ie. the engine is running while the motor vehicle is parked, stopped or standing) within the City limits for more than five minutes, except in certain stipulated situations. In passing Council Bill 9, The Aldermen repealed Section 8-8 of the Municipal Code, eliminating that prohibition.

2013 On-Call and Service Agreements

    The Aldermen approved a list of 19 contractor or consulting companies whose services can be used as needed via On-Call & Service Agreements in 2013. Services include such needs as water rights/water quality, transit, planning and development, elevator/escalator inspection, trash services, architectural, environmental, appraisals, surveying, video photography for historic preservation, etc. The City has budgeted various amounts for each category of service, ranging from $20.53 per residence per month for trash removal to $400,000 for water rights and water quality issues.

City Manager’s Contract

  The first amendment to City Manager Jack Lewis’s employment agreement was approved by adopting Resolution 4. The Council established his base salary, including market adjustments, to be 10% above the highest paid department head and that their intention for the future is that the City Manager’s salary be established at not less than 5% above the highest paid department head. Lewis was hired in October, 2011. Retroactive to January 1, 2013, his Salary was set at $149,051 annually. Black Hawk is in the process of rehabilitating the residence at 201 Chase Street to use as housing for the City Manager. Until those premises are completed, the City will pay the cost of the City Manager’s rental property within the City. The city Manager’s cell phone/personal digital assistant (PDA) technological allowance is set at 1% of his annual base salary. Black Hawk pays up to an additional 6% of the City Manager’s base salary for his retirement plan.

Liquor License Transfer

  The Aldermen approved the transfer of liquor license ownership from Majestic Colorado Gaming LLC (Fitzgerald’s Black Hawk Casino) to Kings, Queens and Jacks LLC. The latter company has purchased 100% of Fitzgerald’s stock and will continue doing business under the Fitzgerald’s name.

Bus Sold

  The University of Wyoming purchased one of the City’s old shuttle buses for $2,600.

Executive Session

   Following the business meeting, the Council met with City Attorney Corey Hoffmann to receive advice related to legal questions and to discuss matters which may require negotiation. The Council took no further action.

Heads Up

  Black Hawk City Council meets next on February 13, 2013.

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