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Gilpin County Comprehensive Plan finalized and posted online

By Randy Beaudette

Gilpin Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) held a regular meeting December 15, 2020. Highlights included topics such as the 2021 Budget, a public hearing on zoning regulations, and the levying of General Property taxes for 2020.

Board-Chair Gail Watson opened up the meeting promptly at 9:00 am along with Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart. Also joining online were County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Brad Benning, Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate, and members from the Senior Leadership Team.

Moment of Silence

Madam-Chair Gail Watson requested that online participants observe a moment of silence to morn the passing of Central City Firefighters Cody and Shelby Allen. This young and vibrant couple passed all too soon from this earth. They will lovingly be remembered by family, friends, and the community they served as firefighters. Commission Isenhart commented that our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Allen family and to our community. This is a horrible tragedy and we all need to be there for each other in the coming days.

COVID-19 Update

Gilpin County Public Health Coordinator Bonnie Albrecht reported that there have not been any new positive COVID cases in the last couple of days. Gilpin County remains at 105 cases and one death since March 2020. Positivity rate is down to 5.5 % and Gilpin County is still at the State COVID Dial level “Orange” status. General COVID vaccination distribution is scheduled to start in January after the first-responder wave of the vaccinations are completed. If the County maintains this positivity rate for at least two weeks, the state may move Gilpin into COVID Dial level “Yellow” which will relax restrictions County-wide. Ms. Albrecht also assured the Commissioners that Public Health is very much involved in the planning of the Memorial Service for the Cody and Shelby Allen scheduled for this Friday at the Community Center Complex. Gilpin County Sheriff  Kevin Armstrong and Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington are also very much involved to ensure that the Memorial Service is held in a safe manner as to not contribute to an outbreak in the County.

Public Hearing – Zoning Regulations

The Gilpin Commissioners motioned to postpone the adoption of the new Zoning Regulation until January 5, 2021 after the Planning Commission performs a complete review and holds a Public Hearing on the new regulations.

Public Hearing – Adopting the Gilpin County 2021 Budget (Resolution #20-26)

The County Commissioners approved Resolution #20-26 which is the 2021 Gilpin County Budget as presented by Gilpin County Finance Director Clorinda Smith. Expenditures for 2021 is estimated to be $23,357,196 with expected Revenue totaling $23,551,374.

Levying General Property Taxes for the Year 2020 (Resolution #20-27)

To help defray the costs of government for Gilpin County for the 2021 Budget Year, the Commissioners also approved the resolution to levy General Property Taxes for the year 2020. 2020 total revenue from property tax will be slightly more than $6 million dollars. Gilpin County BoCC approved Resolution #20-27 unanimously.    

Take-Home Vehicle List

Gilpin County Finance Director Clorinda Smith presented the Take-Home Vehicle list to the Commissioners and to the folks online. Departments that require vehicles to be taken home are the Sheriff’s Department, Public Works, and the County Coroner. The BoCC approved the Take-Home Vehicle List unanimously.

Public HearingComprehensive Plan

Gilpin County Senior Planner Stephen Strohminger, along with DTJ Design Director of Urban Planning Francois De Kock, provided a presentation of the final version of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. On November 24 2020, the Gilpin Planning Commission held their Public Hearing and voted to continue the Public Hearing on the amendments to the zoning regulations until December 8, 2020. At that meeting, the Planning Commission approved the Comprehensive Plan with some corrections to the definition section and an additional item to review the Plan at the end of 2021. The Plan is necessary to be ready for development, which is one of the main reasons for this Comprehensive Plan. Funded by the County along with a 50% DOLA grant, the focus of Gilpin County’s Comprehensive Plan is to create a land use plan that is informed by economic realities and supported by transportation strategies. A key objective is a revision of the county development regulations. This Comprehensive Plan replaces the 2017 Gilpin County Master Plan.

Vision Statement for the Comprehensive Plan contains six goals:

  1. Protect and Sustain Gilpin County’s rural mountain community and natural environment by focusing resources and density in less-intrusive development nodes.
  2. Prevent Overuse by managing recreational tourism with focused infrastructure improvements.
  3. Economic Diversification calls for development to be concentrated in nodes, while promoting a diversity of commercial and retail ventures.
  4. Interagency Coordination to focus resources and efforts.
  5. Maintain Gilpin County’s Unique Character with County control over development.
  6. Manage Growth to Protect Community Values responsibly and with care.

This item is considered an informational presentation and there is no requirement that the Commissioners need a vote to implement the Plan.

For a complete review of the finalized Comprehensive Plan, go to www.co.gilpin.co.us and select “Community Development” and then “Gilpin County Comprehensive Plan.”

Community Development Land Use Items

Gilpin County Planner Tami Archer presented a Boundary Line Elimination (BLE) and a Boundary Line Adjustment (BLA) to the online audience.

  BLE-20-1 was submitted on behalf of Robert Young of Young Ranch North, LLC. This BLE will consolidate 50 parcels consisting of mostly mining claims into six parcels of vacant land which will eliminate approximately 37 development rights in the county. The location of the land involved is along the Central City Parkway

  BLA-20-2 was submitted on behalf of Carl Schembri Venture Mill LLC, Patrick Maher, Steve Grapes, and Jeff Perryman to realign three property boundaries that will provide access for the properties to Virginia Canyon Road.

Gilpin County Commissioners approved BLE-20-1 and BLA-20-2 unanimously.

Clerk and Recorder’s Business Up From 2019

Gilpin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office Chief Deputy Ashley Martin presented two reports for the months of October and November 2020. Ms. Martin reported that the Clerk’s Office November Total to Date recordings have increased from last year’s totals by about $23,000. Department of Motor Vehicles recordings have also increased by slightly over $40,000 over November 2019.

Treasurer’s Coffers Down From 2019

Gilpin County Treasurer Mary Lorenz presented the Treasurers Report for the month of November 2020. In that report, Cash Balance totals around $16.1 million dollars which sounds pretty impressive, but then looking at the November 2019 report, revenues are down $4.4 million dollars due to the loss in gaming revenue.

Renewal of County Lease Contracts

Gilpin County Business Analyst Gabrielle Chisholm presented five contracts with various agencies. 4-H closet lease at the event barn, High Country Auxiliary lease of the POD on the south side of the event barn, Surveyor Services with Flat Irons, IT Support Services with Teryx Inc., and the lease of the Rollinsville County Shop to Timberline Fire Protection District. All the leases were approved unanimously.

Continuation of Disaster Declaration

The Commissioners approved the fifth amendment to the Continuation of Disaster Declaration set to expire June 30, 2021 as presented by County Attorney Bradford Benning.

Zoning Violations – Or Vehicle Yard Art?

County Attorney Benning also provided an update on the ongoing violations that are occurring at 26 Hornblend Road. The County has obtained a judgement for fourteen unscreened/ inoperable vehicles on the property. The judgement includes a $1,000 fine and a $100 per day until the violation is corrected. To date the property owner has accumulated $13,000 in fines. A motion to the County Court has been drafted to place a lien on the property and to impose a seizure warrant to clean the property up. The property owner explains that the tenant is responsible for the violations and the County should direct any inquiries to them.

Cigna Health Insurance

Gilpin County Commissioners approved the implementation of Cigna Insurance for County employee health insurance as presented by Gilpin County People, Culture and Finance Director Lori Schrayer.

Shout-Out Award to Outstanding Employee Josselyn

Gilpin County Human Services Director Laura Solomon presented Human Services employee Jennifer Josselyn a Shout-Out Award for outstanding service.

Meeting Minutes

The Board of County Commissioners approved the Meeting Minutes for November 20, 2020.

For More Information

To stay informed in this very dynamic environment go to www.co.gilpin.co.us.

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