Gilpin Commissioners discuss disparity in gaming distributions with State officials

Boulder County resistant to reopening Rollins Pass

By Staci McBrayer

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) occurred on November 5, 2013. Gilpin commissioners Connie McClain, Buddy Schmalz, and Gail Watson were present along with Deputy Clerk Sharon Cates, County Manager Roger Baker, and County Attorney Brad Benning.

Vroman Variance Request Public Hearing

The BOCC convened as the Board of Adjustments to hear a variance request from applicants Dale Vroman concerning property located on a TBA address on Golden Gate Drive. Vroman is seeking a variance that would allow him to build a house 42.5 feet in height. The County’s code limit is 40 feet in height. The height limit is intended to protect mountain views and vistas.

According to County Planner Ray Rears, there is no identifiable significant physical constraint associated with the specific building site that would necessitate the variance, but rather the request was the result of a personal choice on the part of the applicant. Applicant Vroman is proposing a plan that includes six garages. Three garages are attached and three are detached, and the attached garages have a proposed ceiling height of fourteen feet.

Vroman was present to make a passionate plea with commissioners for the variance. No other public comment was made. The Board denied Mr. Vroman’s request based on a lack of substantial physical restraint associated with the specific building site.

Boundary Line Elimination

Reconvening as the BOCC, board members heard from Rears concerning Boundary Line Elimination (BLE) #13-07 for commercial property owned by John Dunham and Janet Peterson. The BLE combines Quien Sabe #2 Lot 3K (1.88 acres) and Lot 3N (1.55 acres) into Quien Sabe #2, Lot 3X (3.43 acres.) The board approved the BLE.

Since its inception in 1987, 477 BLE’s have been approved in the county. A total of 2,043 lots have been reduced to 492 lots. This is the sixth BLE approved by the County this year.

Nevadaville Certified Local Government Grant

Rears spoke to the Board concerning the Certified Local Government Grant Application thru the Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. The intended purpose of the grant is to hire a qualified consultant to conduct an intensive level survey of approximately 20 residential and commercial properties as well as approximately 25 substantial mining resources in Nevadaville.

Rears stated that bid have been received by two qualified applicants. Total cost for the survey project would be $23,000.

The survey results would be used to develop a survey plan for future work that may include may possibly include an amendment to the Central City/Black Hawk National Register District. The BOCC approved Rear’s submitting grant application that is due November 15.

Purchase of Services Agreement with Jefferson County Public Health

  The Board approved a Purchase of Service Agreement with Jefferson County Public Health. The Agreement is for the 2014 calendar year. The agreement has Gilpin County Public Health reimbursing Jefferson County Public Health for Public Health Coordinator salary, fringe benefits and a 15% indirect cost rate to cover administrative costs as well as $73.00 per hour for maternal child health nurse home visits to high risk families and children with special needs. The agreement also involves Gilpin County Public Health paying Jefferson County Public Health $87.00 per hour for any environmental health services regardless of which Jefferson County Public Health employee performs the services.

Public Hearing on Mobile Business Zoning Change

The BOCC held a public hearing on resolution #13-19 regarding revisions to the Gilpin County Zoning Regulations concerning mobile businesses that operate in self-contained trucks, vans or trailers. The issue was continued from the October 22 BOCC meeting. The new resolution included language that limited the changes to a one-year implementation process with BOCC review at the end of the one-year time period.

Commissioner Watson said that while she was supportive of small businesses, this zoning change is too radical. She cited the changes unfair to established restaurants as mobile vendors could put up what Watson called a “basically permanent structure” with almost no investment.

Commissioner McClain was supportive of the changes, but voiced concerned about the Temporary Vendor Stand section of the zoning. The language in this section would allow food and non-alcoholic beverage vendors who are in one space for less than three hours to be exempt from the permit requirements. McClain’s concern was that this would allow for a large amount of vendors.

Commissioner Schmalz stated that he believed the number of vendors would be driven by economics. Schmalz said, “The ultimate success is not going to be on anything the board does, but the market.” He also noted that vendors are very limited as to where they can do business – private property or public property with permission. Schmalz repeatedly stated he was for the proposal because it contained language that limited the “experiment” to one year.

The Board reopened the session to public comment. Barb Gerhardus, a county resident and owner of “Angelina’s Burritos,” addressed the board. She restated what she had said in the October 22 session in that the proposed changes that had evolved from her original request is not what she was asking for. She stated she wanted to be able to park her trailer in a spot where she could have it open for a few hours in the morning, at lunch, and then again in the evening. She stated it was not a viable option for her business to be open from 6:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. and was never what she intended. Gerhardus also commented that she intended to be able to take the trailer home on a weekly basis for deep cleaning purposes.

Watson questioned why the permit-exempt temporary vendor section was even in the revision and asked Peterson if there been requests for such classification from someone in the public. According to Peterson, there have not been any such requests. Watson commented that she didn’t feel the board should make zoning changes based on one resident’s request, referring to Gerhardus.

McClain motioned to amend the proposal to strike the availability of deck space from permitted vendors, only offer five permits, and reduce the hours to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Her motioned was carried and unanimously approved. McClain then motioned to approve the changes as amended in resolution 13-19. The motion passed with Watson voting against it.

Jefferson County Mental Health Joint Clear Creek/Gilpin Representative

George Clark, Jefferson County Mental Health representative for both Clear Creek and Gilpin counties, reached out to the BOCC requesting formal recognition from the board as the Gilpin’s representative on the JCMH board. Clark explained that the JCMH board has five board seats for Jefferson County Representation and one joint seat for Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties. Clark identified himself as strong mental health advocate, and wanted to have a stronger grip on Gilpin’s mental health needs. Baker stated that a letter was sent to Clear Creek County when Clark was appointed, but that Gilpin would be more than happy to provide him with a copy.

Department Reports

Public Works Department

Public Works report for August showed that another candidate was interviewed for the Fleet Supervisor position, but the potential candidate turned down the offer due to the low salary offered. Along with dealing with erosion issues due to the massive amounts of rain the county received, Public Works was able to apply 4,400 gallons of dust suppressant to Karlann Drive, Beethoven Drive, Athena Road, and Claudius Road on one of the drier days.

A total of 95 punch cards were sold in August for the Solid Waste Transfer Station and 210 tons of trash was deposited at the Transfer Station. The Slash Site took in 648 loads with 36 of those being from outside the county

Community Development

The Community Development report for September showed 273 cases handled including five new single-family dwellings, 105 ISDS (septic) cases, 48 planning and zoning cases, 25 enforcement cases, and 90 “other” building cases. Total expenses for the department for the month were $19,658 and revenues were $15,423.

Notice of Public Meetings

The BOCC will continue budget hearings November 7th at 12:30 p.m. at the Apex Facility and will meet with the United States Forest Service meeting at the Public Works Facility on November 19th. On Nov 20th at 8:00 a.m., the BOCC will attend the Five County Breakfast in Idaho Springs. On Nov 21st at 6:30 p.m., Coffee with Commissioners will be held at the Community Center.

Work Session

  Doug Young of the Governor’s Office, and State Representative KC Becker, House District 13, met with the BOCC concerning several issues. Becker was appointed to the House District 13 seat just one day before meeting the BOCC and is replacing Claire Levy. She most recently has served on the Boulder City Council.

The first discussion pertained to the potential of re-opening Rollins Pass. Young was instrumental helping to create the James Peak Wilderness in 2002 and seeks to assist the county in re-opening the pass.

Gilpin must get Boulder County, Grand County, and Clear Creek County onboard before the Forest Service will move forward with opening the road. Boulder County is resistant to the idea due the possibility of increased traffic and liability. All counties are to meet on December 12th to discuss issues concerning the re-opening.

Young and Becker also discussed gaming issues brought up by the BOCC including the manner in which gaming tax funds are distributed by the state. Baker explained the current method the State is using to distribute the money has shorted the county approximately 15 million dollars since gaming has been legal.

Other gaming issues brought up by the board were the lack of transparency in the DOLA grant process. Baker stated that though Gilpin County’s casinos produce a majority of the gaming revenue, Gilpin receives a very non-proportional amount of the $5 million dollar DOLA grants that would help the county deal with gaming impacts. To compound the problem, the county has been unable to obtain feedback on the grant decision process when requested. The discussion led to a discussion of possibly ameliorating both situations with a potential state audit.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the BOCC will be November 26, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse, 203 Eureka Street, Central City.

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