Black Hawk establishes new zoning district for recreational purposes

Also Historical and Public Facilities districts, new fueling center

By Lynn Volkens

Black Hawk Mayor David Spellman and City Council members Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Diane Cales, Jim Johnson, Greg Moates and Benito Torres met the afternoon of March 27, 2013. The Aldermen moved closer to obtaining key properties in the Quartz Valley area with the purchase of two more mining claims and established recreational zoning for that area.

New Zoning Districts

  The Aldermen approved the addition of three new zoning districts to the Municipal Code: the History Appreciation Recreation Destination (HARD) district, the Historic Appreciation and Preservation (HAP) district, and the Public Facilities (PF) district. Each district has been established to meet specific purposes all applicable to City-owned properties and for public use.

Uses in the HARD district include passive and active recreational activities in areas intentionally left free of development for wildlife corridors and habitats, scenic views, historical areas, landmarks, forest, range and agricultural lands. Active uses include mountain biking, hiking and water sports associated with lakes, reservoirs and water storage. Hunting and fishing are not in the current plans for this area. Services provided in this district could include public office buildings, public parking lots, trailheads and trails, a nature center, picnic areas, and pedestrian malls with retail businesses so long as they are dedicated to public use. The properties that currently qualify for this district are the Gregory Street commercial buildings owned by Black Hawk and the City’s open space properties in the Quartz Valley, Maryland Mountain areas.

Uses in the HAP district include those that further preservation and restoration of all components of the City. This district could include public buildings, public parking lots and other facilities dedicated to public use. Properties that currently would be found in the HAP district are those such as the historic school building used to house Black Hawk Police Department and the historic church that is being restored for use as City Council chambers and City offices.

The PF district allows for public buildings, public garages, and maintenance and shop facilities dedicated to public use, public schools, public water and sewer facilities, public parking lots, CMRS facilities, fire protection facilities and other facilities so long as they are dedicated to public use by a public or quasi-public entity.

Black Hawk had no zoned districts for public use prior to approval of this ordinance (Council Bill 15), as do most cities, Corey Hoffmann, City Attorney informed the Aldermen. CB15 will establish those districts for future plans.

200 Dubois Street

  Applicant Robert Cameron requested and received approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness to install paired windows on a new shed being built at 200 Dubois Street to replace an older shed that had been demolished. Because these windows are to be located on the west side of the shed and very close to the property line, a waiver of setback requirements was needed and was approved in February. The original shed had a window on the west side. This approval allows the applicant to install windows that match those on the east side of the shed. The Historic Preservation Commission had reviewed the application and recommended approval.

201 Chase Street, Coming Up

  Community Planning Director Cindy Linker advised the Council that they would be asked to review a Certificate of Approval at their next meeting related to 201 Chase Street, aka the Chase Street Mansion. The home was purchased by Black Hawk for use as housing for the City Manager. Linker said the property is on a “critical path” and that contractors are ready to start framing. The Certificate relates to the second floor rear addition for the master bedroom, windows and insulation. Consensus of the Council was to keep moving forward on the project, although formal approval cannot be given until the Certificate is actually before them.

Mardi Gras Entry

  At the request of Affinity Gaming Black Hawk, LLC, the Aldermen amended a development agreement allowing Golden Mardi Gras Casino (300 Main Street) relating to construction of a new entryway. The amendment specifies waiving the taxes and impact fees (police and fire protection services) for Affinity, which the City does to encourage the development of hotels and other amenities. Alderman Torres noted that the idea behind the waivers was to encourage businesses that support Black Hawk’s progress toward becoming a resort destination. Mayor Spellman added that the waivers also help existing properties update their facilities so they don’t become stale. The new Mardi Gras entry is stage one of what will be a large project, City Attorney Corey Hoffmann said.

231 Horn Street, 301 Chase Street and 311 Chase Street

  The Aldermen approved the scopes of work and architectural fees for PEH Architects to do the work for the restoration and preservation of structures at 231 Horn Street (owned by Bill and Dixie Lovingier), 301 Chase Street  and 311 Chase Street (both owned by Cynthia and Larry Linker). The City has used PEH services for past projects and PEH continues to offer their design team services to Black Hawk at 2007 rates, despite increases in hourly rates to other clients. Their fees for the 231 Horn Street project are $90,201; for the 301 Chase Street project, $83,945; and for 311 Chase Street, $93,260. Alderman Torres asked if there would be savings on trip charges and other services, which was the City’s intent when it approved concurrent work on adjacent properties. He was assured that Black Hawk would realize a couple thousand dollars in savings as PEH had agreed to combine trips and other tasks. There should be significantly more savings, Mayor Spellman commented, when the projects get to the construction bid phase.

New Fueling Facility

  At the recommendation of City staff, the Aldermen approved a contract for Eaton Sales and Services, LLC to construct a new gas and diesel fueling center to service City vehicles. Staff had received three bids for the project. Eaton’s bid, at $60,010 was the one selected. The other bidders were Kubat Equipment and Service Company with a bid of $62,097 and E.T. Technologies with a bid of $80,066. The new fueling center will be located next to the new Public Works Facility, now under construction, atop Miners Mesa. The old fueling unit is to be sold, if a market can be found for it.

Robert Ingersol Lode Purchase

  Black Hawk has set a goal to acquire all of the privately owned mining claims in Quartz Valley. The Aldermen moved closer to that goal by approving purchase of the Robert Ingersol Lode, Mining Claim No. 681 from Collins Properties, Limited Partnership of South Carolina. The purchase price for the 2.910 acres is $20,000 and the deal is set to close on April 18, 2013.

Onondaga Chief Lode Purchase

  The Aldermen also approved purchase of the Onondaga Chief Lode Mining Claim No. 15506 from Dan Rockne of Denver. The property is 5.160 acres. Hoffmann said it is situated near the Queen’s Chair (west of Maryland Mountain. Purchase price for the property, also set to close on April 18th, is $40,509. Acquiring the property was lauded by Spellman as a good accomplishment. Hoffmann said there is “maybe one” additional property in the Quartz Valley area for Black Hawk to acquire.

In Support of CPI

  City Manager Jack Lewis informed the Aldermen that Colorado Preservation Incorporated had requested a letter in support of a grant they are seeking to help fund their annual conference. Black Hawk is one of the event’s prime sponsors. The Council directed Lewis to send the letter.

Executive Session

  Following the business meeting, the Aldermen met with their attorney in Executive Session to discuss matters related to construction issues and potential litigation and legislation matters.

Heads Up

  Black Hawk City Council meets next on April 10, 2013.

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