Miners Mesa cell “water” tower approved for Black Hawk

Council approves Golden Gilpin Mill expansion of gold ore milling operations

By Randy Beaudette

Black Hawk City Council held their first Regular online meeting of 2021 on January 13, 2021. Highlights of that meeting include a Restated Option and Lease Agreement with Vertical Bridge Development, LLC for the Installation and Maintenance of a Cellular Tower Facility on City Property on Miners Mesa, a Resolution Conditionally Approving the Golden Gilpin Mill Site Minor Subdivision, and boatload of agreements for professional services. 

Mayor Spellman called the Council to order promptly at 3:00 pm followed by Roll Call and an online Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call revealed Council members that were present online included Aldermen Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Jim Johnson, Hal Midcap, Greg Moates, and Benito Torres. Also present online were City Attorney Corey Hoffmann, City Manager Stephen Cole, City Clerk/ Administrative Services Director Melissa Greiner, and Deputy City Clerk Michele Martin.

City Attorney Hoffmann asked Council to declare any Conflicts of Interest on any issue appearing on the agenda other that than those already disclosed and filed with the City Clerk and Secretary of State. There were no objections from the City Council or from anyone online.

Meeting Minutes

Black Hawk City Council approved the meeting minutes from the December 9, 2020 Regular Meeting with no corrections or amendments.


New Retail Marijuana Hospitality and Sale Licensing System (Council Bill (CB) 1/ Ordinance 2021-1)

Council Bill 1 is a Bill for an Ordinance Amending Chapter 6 of the Black Hawk Municipal Code and Adding New Article XXI Creating a Licensing System for Retail Marijuana Hospitality and Sale Establishments. The City Council recognizes that open or public consumption of marijuana is illegal in the state despite legalization of the substance under the Colorado Constitution and state law, and finds there is an unmet need within the City for private, safe and regulated places where adults can legally use and consume marijuana in a social setting. The City Council finds such private social use or consumption of marijuana should be regulated locally, consistent with the state regulatory process set forth in House Bill 19-1230, to minimize the potential adverse impacts on its citizens potentially caused by violations, underage consumption and civil disturbances, as well as to maintain peace and tranquility within the City. There were no comments in support or in opposition of this issue and Black Hawk City Council approved CB-1 unanimously.

Tobacco Age Limits (Council Bill (CB) 2/Ordinance 2021-2)

Black Hawk City Council also approved Council Bill 2 which is an Ordinance Amending Sections 7-154 and 10-203 of the Black Hawk Municipal Code Relating to Tobacco Age Limits The Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 20-1001 (“HB 20-1001”) which requires municipalities to increase the age to purchase, possess, use, or consume tobacco products to twenty-one (21) years of age and requires municipalities to increase the age to enter cigar tobacco bars to twenty-one years of age. There were no comments in support or in opposition of this issue

Miner’s Mesa Cellular Tower Facility (Council Bill (CB) 3/Ordinance 2021-3)

The City of Black Hawk has coordinated with Vertical Bridge LLC to accommodate the original location of the 50 foot by 50 foot lease area for the faux water barrel tower for cell providers and provide a revised access route to the tower lease area to better allow the City more access to its own property. The original Agreement for the cell tower facility was approved by the Black Hawk City Council on January 23, 2019 by Ordinance No. 2019-6. It is requested that Council consider an Ordinance to approve a Lease Agreement Amendment to the original Lease Agreement with Vertical Bridge Development, LLC (Ordinance No. 2019-6, January 23, 2019) to allow a cell tower on City owned property on Miners Mesa. Recently City Council approved the COAC for the 55 foot tall tower which will look similar to an elevated water barrel on a four legged structure/ tower. There were no comments in support or in opposition of this issue and Black Hawk City Council approved CB 3 unanimously.

Golden Gilpin Mill Site Minor Subdivision (Resolution 70-2020 and 1-2021)

The City of Black Hawk has received an application from Matt Collins representing the property owner, George E. Otten Jr. Trust, requesting a variance to lot size and lot width in the ECP zone district and approval of a minor subdivision that joins Millsite #10 and Millsite #11 into one lot. The request follows previous approval of a Special Review Use permit that allowed milling operations and limited tourism. The minor subdivision is required prior to the proposed improvements to the site that will enable re-operation of the existing mill, once a Site Development Plan (SDP) is reviewed and approved for the property. “The Golden Gilpin Mill Site Minor Subdivision” with the following conditions:

  1. The plat shall not be effective until it is certified by the appropriate parties and recorded at the Office of the Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder.
  2. The applicant is reminded of the following comments from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) that are to be addressed by the applicant with the next phase of development approval required in the Black Hawk Zoning Ordinance including the Site Development Plan (SDP) process prior to the milling use commencing on the subject property: CDOT has no objections to the consolidation of Millsite #10 and Millsite #11 into one lot for the purpose of developing the property.
  3. The following Plat Note shall be added to the plat mylar before signatures and recordation of said plat. Plat Note – 11: Future development of this property, shown as Lot 1, is subject to the requirements of the City of Black Hawk Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 16 of the Municipal Code) requiring a Site Development Plan; as well as the Black Hawk Central City Sanitation District (BHCCSD) rules and regulations and additional requirements regarding timing and construction of a sanitary sewer line extension and connection at the Highway 119 right of way to the east and north of Lot 1. The future needed Site Development Plan (SDP) application to the City shall include a signed AGREEMENT between the Lot 1 property owner and the BHCCSD concerning the Sanitary Sewer line construction and any allowed temporary facilities. Regardless, construction of a sanitary sewer line and connection will be required of the Lot 1 Owner by January 1, 2027 unless otherwise agreed with the BHCCSD. Mr. Collins has been working with Palmer Engineering & Forensics, LLC and Timber Products Inspection, Inc. in order to determine the scope of work necessary to restore the building for re-use. Phase 1 of these efforts includes structural repairs and the replacement of the roof, which have been completed. The scope of Phase 2 will include further improvements to the building, the addition of required utilities, and the construction of additional structures including a thickener (clarifier) and a sand barn. The proposed sand barn is located across the property line between Mill Site #10 and Mill Site #11, which necessitates this minor subdivision to join these two lots. If this Minor Subdivision is approved, Site Development Plan (SDP) approval will then be required prior to construction of the proposed improvements in accordance with Sec. 16-362 of the Black Hawk Municipal Code. Black Hawk City Council unanimously approved Resolution 70-2020 and 1-2021.

Architectural Compatibility for the Grand Staircase (Resolution 2-2021)

The City of Black Hawk has received an application from BSC Signs requesting review and approval of a Certificate of Architectural Compatibility for the construction of the Grand Staircase located 251 Gregory Street. The City, in conjunction with PEH Architects and BSC Signs has developed plans for the Gregory Street HARD District pedestrian plaza. The Grand Staircase will serve as the eastern entryway to the plaza which is currently under construction. The project also includes a sidewalk, lighting and signage. There were no comments in support or in opposition of this issue and Black Hawk City Council approved Resolution 2-2021 unanimously.

Posting of Meeting Notices (Resolution 3-2021)

The City Council of the City of Black Hawk, in compliance with C.R.S. § 24-6-402(2)(c) of the Open Meetings Law, hereby designates the City website at as the official place for posting notices. The City may additionally post notices at City Hall, located at 201 Selak Street, and any City social media accounts. If there is a known power outage or an emergency meeting, the City may post a physical notice at the public entrance of the City Hall of Black Hawk, located at 201 Selak Street. Resolution 3-2021 was unanimously approved by Black Hawk City Council

Service Agreements (Resolutions 4-2021 and 5-2021)

Community Planning and Development use professional services to supplement City staff time, complement City staff expertise, provide an independent perspective, ensure credibility, and serve as a technical advisor to the department. The Professional Services Agreements are a budgeted item and completed according to the Scope of Work and Schedule of Values. Effective dates for these agreements are January 1, 2021, through January 12, 2022. Staff recommends using the following consultants: ATIS Elevator Inspection (Conveyance), Baseline Engineering Corporation ( Land Use), Pinyon Environmental, Inc. (Historic Preservation), Weecycle Environmental Consulting (Environmental), Gonzales Custom Painting, Inc. (Paint),  SAFEbuilt Colorado, LLC Building (Official, Plan Review, Inspection Services).

For Public works The City Council hereby approves the Services Agreements for the Public Works Department with the entities and for the services set forth below and authorizes the Mayor to sign the Agreements on behalf of the City. One-Way Residential (Trash Service), Sun Valley Electric (Electrical), Baseline Engineering Corp. (Surveying), Logical Systems, Inc. (Controls-water system), Leonard Rice Engineers, Inc. (Water Rights Accounting/Engineering), Baseline Engineering Corp (Surveying/ General Civil),  Grapes and Sons Excavating LLC (Waterline repair and general excavation),  Ostrander Consulting (Transit Assistance),  Illumin8/WL (Traffic Signal Maintenance), Terracon (Geotechnical Services), Stolfus & Associates (Traffic/ Roadway services), and PEH (Architectural). Black Hawk City Council approved Resolution 4-2021 and 5-2021 unanimously.

Police Department Records Reorganization (Resolution 6-2021)

The City Manager has worked with Management Team over the past two years to review each department’s structure and organization to establish the most effective and efficient use of staff. All departments have been reviewed and/or reorganized except for the Police Department Records Division. While a new Police Recruit position was approved in 2020, it was decided to wait for a new Police Chief and let the Chief determine if the department’s operations needed further adjustments. Chief Michelle Moriarty was hired on October 5, 2020, and after a time of observation, is recommending the reorganization of the Police Records Division, moving the Property Evidence Technician position from reporting directly to the Administrative Commander to reporting to the Police Records Supervisor. The reorganization will free the Commander’s time and provide for more efficient operations. The Police Records Supervisor will have two direct reports with the reorganization. As with the prior department reviews, the job description reviews for the Records Division were conducted to ensure the job duties and responsibilities and starting salaries are what the City needs for each position and are in line with the current market. Revisions were made to the Police Records Supervisor and Police Records Specialist/ Municipal Court Clerk’s position to reflect the reorganization’s needs. The starting salary has been adjusted for the Police Records Specialist/ Municipal Court Clerk’s position to align with market comparable with similar job duties and responsibilities. Red-lined versions of the proposed changes to the job descriptions were attached for Council’s review. No substantive changes were required for the Property Evidence Technician job description, or the starting salaries for the Records Supervisor or the Property Evidence Technician. Black Hawk City Council approved Resolution 6-2021 unanimously.

Subdivision Agreement (Resolution 7-2021)

On April 10, 2013, the City Council approved the Subdivision Agreement between the City and the Developer, Monarch Growth, Inc., as amended by the First Amendment to Subdivision Agreement, dated February 12, 2014 (collectively, the “Original Subdivision Agreement”), which contains certain conditions and legal obligations to be performed by the Developer as a condition of the City’s approval of the final plat. The City and Developer now desire to amend the Original Subdivision Agreement to effectuate both memorializing the process for completing the public improvement obligations and ensuring that the Developer obtains a final Certificate of Occupancy for the private improvements that are subject to various building permits previously issued by the City. Resolution 6-2021 was unanimously approved by Black Hawk Council

Chicago Dogs Eatery Relocation

On August 2, 2019, Chicago Dogs Eatery received a Modification of Premise approval from the State. It has been determined that their modification was not contiguous within their current location, thus a Change in Location is required. The Tipton Law Firm submitted a Change of Location application on December 18, 2020. Under the Colorado Liquor Rules, Regulation 47- 312(B) states that the local or state licensing authority may, at its discretion, waive the neighborhood needs and desires assessment requirements should it determine that the new location remains within the same neighborhood as the old location. Chicago Dogs Eatery is moving from its current location (inside near the old valet parking area) to a portion of the new Monarch Hotel lobby in the podium. There were no comments in support or in opposition of this issue and Black Hawk City Council unanimously approved to waive the petitioning requirements for the relocation.

5 Star Program Participation

City Manager Stephen Cole informed City Council the City has decided to participate in the 5 Star program which according to website, the CDPHE 5 Star program requires businesses certified through the program to implement safety measures beyond what is already required by public health orders and guidelines that will help slow the spread of COVID-19, and in doing so, they will be able to expand operations. This program is for responsible businesses that are following public health guidance, and going above and beyond to prioritize the health and safety of their staff and customers. Unfortunately, the 5 Star Program will not include table games for casinos at this time.

City Attorney Report

Black Hawk City Attorney Corey Hoffmann suggested that Council recess for a brief Executive Session per  CRS 24-6-402(4)(e) to determine positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations; developing strategy for negotiations; and instructing negotiators. Motion passed unanimously.

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