Gilpin Stage One Fire Restrictions in place temporarily

Gilpin Commissioners review, deny/grant property division requests

By Randy Beaudette

Two hotly contested Variance requests and the Stage One Fire Restrictions dominated the conversation at the Gilpin County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting held on Tuesday September 3, 2019 at the Gilpin County Courthouse. Madam Chair Linda Isenhart opened up the meeting promptly at 9:06 a.m. with Commissioners Ron Engels and Gail Watson. Also present County Attorney Brad Benning, and Deputy Clerk to the Board Sharon Cate. County Manager Abel Montoya was absent.

Board of Adjustments

Gilpin County Community Development Director Stephen Strohminger presented two variance applications to the Board of Adjustments (BOA).

North County Road

BOA 19-02 is request for a variance that would permit a subdivision exemption that would divide property located at 432 North County Road into two lots. Applicant Florian Freymuth requests that his property be divided citing undue hardships that stems from the fact that North County Road bisects the property. Parcel B is divided into north and south unofficial sub properties with the north sub property being developed and the south side being vacant. The division would produce Parcel B1 on the north side and B2 on the south side of North County Road. Neighbors Rick and Mary Waddell, Tom Lambrecht and Irene Sholnle, and Sandy Hollingsworth all opposed the request. With the unsubstantiated hardship and the amount of opposition to this request, the Gilpin County Board of Adjustments denied the request.

Colorado State Highway 119  

BOA 19-03 is request for a variance that would permit a subdivision exemption with a vacant lot smaller than 5 acres for property located at 19411 Hwy 19. Applicant Gail Watson excused herself from ruling on this decision because she is the applicant. From the other side of the table Ms. Watson explained that in a decision in 2017 under SBE 17-02 Lot 22B was subdivided into Parcel 1 and Parcel 2. Upon further review it was revealed that the septic system for the residence on Parcel 1 is located on Parcel 2. The request is to adjust the property line to include the septic system on the Parcel 1 Plat. Opponents to the application included neighbors Jim Bynum and Jason Williams. Gilpin County BOA approved the application on the basis that septic systems should be included within the property’s building envelope.

Core Services Program

Human Services Director Sherrin Ashcroft and Gilpin County Caseworker Supervisor Taletha Pettis presented first of a three year plan for child welfare Core Services in Gilpin County. The CORE Services Program was established within the Colorado State Department of Human Services (CDHS) in 1984 and is statutorily required to provide strength-based resources and support to families when children/ youth are in imminent risk of out-of-home placement, in need of services to return home, or to maintain placement in the least restrictive setting possible. Responding to the complexity and variability in the needs of children, youth and families across the diverse regions of Colorado, the Core Services Program combines the consistency of a centralized state administrative oversight with the flexibility and accountability of a county run system per Gilpin County will receive an allocation from the State and Federal Government and when services are provided and paid for by the county, Gilpin County will be reimbursed either 80% or 100% of the total spent based on the type of services provided. Gilpin County Commissioners approved the Core Services plan unanimously.

Human Services Grievance Policy

Gilpin County Commissioners also approved the Human Services Grievance policy concerning employee conduct and appointees to the Citizen’s Review Panel. The Child Welfare Grievance Process is intended to provide a forum to the parties involved with a child welfare system for the filling of grievances concerning the conduct of an employee of the county while performing their Human Services duties. Named to the Citizen’s Review Board are: Kayla Lowe, Director of Early Learning Center, Laurel Reckert, Principal Nederland Elementary, Sharon Perea, Former President of Sr. Housing and Community Activist, and Richell Rodriguez, Housing-Apartment Manager.

Stage One Fire Restrictions

Gilpin County Sheriff Kevin Armstrong presented Resolution 19-08 which will implement Temporary Stage One Fire Restrictions.

Prohibited Activities include:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire or recreational campfire except a recreational fire within a permanently constructed fire grate in a developed campground or picnic area.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreational site, or while stopped in an area of at least six feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material.
  • Open burning including “Bonfires” that require a permit from the local fire authority having jurisdiction will not be allowed during these restrictions.
  • No fireworks of any kind.
  • Shooting or discharging firearms for recreational purposes on Public Lands including the use of explosive targets. No shooting or discharging firearms except for hunting purposes with a valid and current hunting license.
  • Recreational fires.
  • Operating a chainsaw or off-road vehicle without a spark arresting device properly installed maintained and in an effective working order.

Exempt Activities:

  • Use of liquid or gas fueled appliances.
  • Wood pellet stoves.
  • Charcoal Barbeques not closer than 30 feet from an undeveloped area.
  • Portable outdoor fireplaces not closer than 30 feet from an undeveloped area.
  • Welding and cutting torches not closer than 30 feet from an undeveloped area.
  • Professional fireworks displays.
  • Federal, State, or local officer or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  • Individuals operating under the “Exempt” conditions shall have shovels, fire extinguishers, or other fire extinguishing agent.

Gilpin County Commissioners approved the Stage One Temporary restrictions unanimously.

Election Funding

Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder Sahari McCormick submitted a supplemental request for funding Dominion voting systems to be on-site for some election processes. Budget planning for 2019 had $48,000 submitted for elections and training. This was reduced to $10,000 as a placeholder. Dominion training has shown to have many detailed steps as well as some contradictions. For this reason, the County Clerk’s office felt that it is imperative to have a Dominion representative on hand to mitigate those issues so that the election is performed accurately. The request is for $13,000 to which the Commissioners approved unanimously.

Fee Reduction Request

Monarch Casino Representative Craig Pleva presented a fee reduction request for the use of the Community Center. Monarch plans to use the Community Rooms at the Rec Center to train 60-75 employees at a time for nine dates during the months of September and October. In exchange a Value in Kind donation of chairs could offset the reduction of revenue. Gilpin County Commissioners agreed to table their decision until an assessment/ evaluation of the donated chairs could be made.

Timekeeping System

Gilpin County Commissioners approved a contract with Novatime to simplify timecard management for County departments. Cost of the new system will be $15,495 which includes implementation of the system and hardware, annual costs for 2019, and the annual cost for 2020. The new system is part of the County’s cost saving measures to achieve fiscal responsibility.

Legal Updates

County Attorney Brad Benning submitted an update on the code violations on the Donald Dillon and Maridee Bell properties in the Chalet Park subdivision. The respondents have been served and a reply is expected before the September 11th deadline.

Public Meetings

–September 17 at 6:30 p.m. Coffee with the Commissioners, Gilpin County Courthouse, 2093 Eureka Street, Central City, Colorado.

–September 24, 2019 TBD (afternoon), Budget Discussion, Apex Station, 495 Apex Valley Road

–September 25, 2019 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Budget Discussion, Apex Station, 495 Apex Valley Road

Approval of Minutes

Gilpin County Commissioners approved the Meeting Minutes from August 20, 2019 regular meeting.

Next Meeting

The next Gilpin County Commissioners regular meeting will be September 3, 2019 at 9 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse at 203 Eureka St. in Central City, Colorado. For more information visit the Gilpin County website at

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