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Black Hawk sets sights on BLM-owned mining claims in Quartz Valley

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Historic preservation projects, Bobtail liquor license

by Lynn Volkens

Mayor David Spellman and Black Hawk City Council members Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Diane Cales, Jim Johnson and Greg Moates met May 8, 2013. Alderman Benito Torres was absent. The Aldermen considered residential rehabilitation projects with amended plans. The Mayor and Aldermen allowed some options that do not strictly follow the historic grant program’s guidelines. “This Council is more about making a house livable than keeping a 2’8” door,” the Mayor commented, citing one example in which the Aldermen allowed a variation. City Manager Jack Lewis cautioned, “At some point we’ll have to change the program so we do not have this conflict.”

231 Horn Street

  The Aldermen approved a Certificate of Appropriateness for exterior improvements to the property at 231 Horn Street owned by Bill and Dixie Lovingier. The home dates from 1889 and is considered “borderline contributing” to the National Historic Landmark District. Most of the work will be funded through the City’s grant program. The exterior structural work to be done includes replacing the foundation, siding, windows and doors, construction of a new porch and new paint in a color scheme of tan, barn red and brown. Site work includes concrete sidewalks, patio and curb, a new rock retaining wall with rehabilitation work to others, new ornamental metal fencing, grading and tree removal. The Aldermen approved a few revisions to the original plan: a 2’8” door has been modified to 3’ and the board reveal of the lap siding has been increased from four to five inches. Six-over-six pane windows will replace the four-over-four pane windows originally proposed. Stone foundation, originally proposed, was determined to not look historic and has been replaced with concrete, although the Mayor and Alderman Armbright recalled that there was stone foundation before. The southern door of the non-historic attached garage will be filled in and covered with siding at the applicant’s expense.

301 Chase Street

  Revisions were made to the original grant-funded improvements proposed for the home at 301 Chase Street prior to the Council’s approval of a Certificate of Approval. The home, owned by Larry and Cynthia Linker, dates back to 1890 and is considered contributing to the National Historic Landmark District. Exterior work on the structure includes replacement of the foundation, siding, windows, doors and roof; reconstruction of a porch and new paint in a tan, muted red and dark green color scheme. Site work includes replacing sidewalks, patios and steps, ornamental metal fencing, re-terracing and rehabilitation and construction of rock retaining walls. Revisions included changing the foundation to one of concrete and stone with accommodation in height made for each side of the house due to varying elevations, a door design of the owner’s choice, 4 ½” horizontal lap siding and, if the owner so chooses, ornamental metal fencing for the new porch vs. the dark wood railing recommended by the City’s historical consultant. All of the Aldermen objected to the use of wood. The Aldermen also commented on the new heating system proposed. Original plans called for a floor system of radiant heat. However there would be so great a loss of heat, because of the small home’s limited square footage, that to keep up with it the floors would have to be heated to a point where they’d be too hot to walk on. Instead, the heating system will be put overhead. The Aldermen commented that it was the first time they had seen this situation.

311 Chase Street

  The Linkers also own the home at 311 Chase, adjacent to the above property. The two homes are being rehabilitated through the grant program at the same time. This home is considered “contributing” and dates from 1890. Work on the exterior includes replacing foundation, porch, siding, windows, doors, and roof. The home will be painted in a color scheme of moss green, gray and muted red. A small non-contributing shed will be demolished. A new two-story rear addition will be constructed. Site-work includes tree removal, repair, replacement and construction of rock retaining walls, construction of a new wood shed, a new patio and new steps and sidewalk and ornamental fencing. Before approving the Certificate of Appropriateness for the work at 311 Chase, the Aldermen allowed a revision of the horizontal lap siding to a 5” reveal, one-over-one or two-over-two pane windows, relocating the stoop, stone veneer on the elevation visible from the street, owner’s choice of 2’8” or 3’ front door and raising the height of a rock retaining wall so that it remains level across the property.

Intent to Purchase BLM Lands

  The Aldermen adopted Resolution 24-2013, authorizing the City to submit a proposal to purchase 69.06 acres, composed of 59 individual lots currently owned by the U.S. Department of Interior/ Bureau of Land Management. The largest lot is 5.35 acres; several are as small as .01-acre. The properties are located in the Quartz Valley/Maryland Mountain area where Black Hawk has been acquiring other, privately owned, mining claims to create open space. Mayor Spellman advised the Council that the process of acquiring these properties would be a lengthy one.

Historic Preservation Commission

  Black Hawk resident, Terry Peterson, was appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission. Peterson’s background is in project management, construction management, and restorative design.

New Liquor Store

  Mike and Dave Patterson, owners of the Bobtail Corner Store, submitted an application for a retail liquor store license under the name of Bobtail Cocktail, Incorporated, to be located at 380 Gregory Street. Following the same procedure as they have done with past liquor licensing applications, the Council designated the entire City of Black Hawk as the neighborhood to be canvassed prior to holding a public hearing on the matter. That hearing has been set for June 12, 2013.

Budget Amendment

  City Manager Lewis advised the Aldermen that all of the City’s big projects that are started in one year must be brought into the next year as part of the budget process. For this year, that means the purchase of the brush truck for the fire department, which cost $10,000 more than originally budgeted; $8,000 for Public Works vehicles; and an expenditure of $6,500 related to updating the sign code. The Council’s consensus was to proceed with the budget amendment.

Attorney’s Update

“The case is finally over,” City Attorney Corey Hoffmann announced.  He informed the Council that Brannan Sand & Gravel had been found by the Colorado Court of Appeals to have no standing in litigation filed back in 2008, when Gilpin County refused them a special use permit to quarry gravel south of Black Hawk. The City was named as one of the defendants in the case. Hoffmann noted that it had been a long running situation. The matter came to a head in 2008 with the denial of the permit and the beginning of the lawsuit. However, the initial permitting application process for the quarry dated back to 2002, he said.

Hoffmann advised the Aldermen that issues for their next meeting agenda will likely include the acquisition of another Quartz Valley property, the Sarah E mining claim, “a $55,000 purchase,” he said; and a right-of-way issue involving south Black Hawk property-owner, Craig Burton.

Executive Session

  Following the business meeting, the Council met with their attorney in Executive Session to discuss potential legislation and matters related to the purchase, acquisition, lease, transfer or sale of real, personal or other property. They took no further action.

Heads Up

  Black Hawk City Council meets next on May 22, 2013.

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