Proximo Spirits and Rick Thomas Distillery development

Black Hawk working to bring more business, visitors, and jobs to community

By Randy Beaudette

Black Hawk City Council held an online Regular Meeting on March 24, 2021. Highlights of that meeting included an ordinance to require all city water residences to have sewer service from the Black Hawk-Central City sanitation district, a resolution approving the purchase of the northern portion of the Dale #13338 Mining Claim, and a resolution approving the Site Development Plan and Certificate of Architectural Compatibility for the Rick Thomas Distillery.

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/ Admin 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. Alderman Midcap declared a conflict on Item 9-B which is a member appointment to the Historical Preservation Commission.

Meeting Minutes

Black Hawk City Council approved the meeting minutes from the March 24, 2021 Regular Meeting with no corrections or amendments.

Command Vehicle Maintenance (Ordinance 2021-9)

Black Hawk City Council approved an Inter-Governmental Agreement between the City of Black Hawk, the City of Central, and Gilpin County regarding a Maintenance Agreement for a Command Vehicle. The IGA for the Command Van needs to be updated. Two past members withdrew from the IGA and new Department Heads now hold the positions in the remaining department. Cost for agencies was also changed to $350 starting in 2022.

Sewer Service Required (Council Bill 10/ Ordinance 2021-10)

  City Council also approved an ordinance Amending Section 13-3 of the Black Hawk Municipal Code to require all City Water Customers to have sewer service from the Black Hawk/ Central City Sanitation District.

Site Development Plan (Resolution 18-2021)

A resolution was brought before Council to approve a Site Development Plan and Certificate of Architectural Compatibility for the Rick Thomas Distillery. Scott Moore of Dalkita, Inc., and Brian Watts, developer, have applied for the review and approval of a Site Development Plan and Certificate of Architectural Compatibility for the Rick Thomas Distillery proposed at 830 Miners Mesa Road. The proposed development includes a distillery, tasting room, and barrel storage warehouse.

Parking Space Reduction and Building Height Variance (Resolution 19-2021)

  Parking Space Reduction: An application has been made by Scott Moore of Dalkita, Inc. and developer, Brian Watts for a variance to allow 33 parking spaces instead of 50 parking spaces. The proposed development provides 24 paved parking spaces and 9 unpaved (overflow) parking spaces. Based on the research regarding parking requirements for other distilleries with tasting rooms and the narrative included in the parking variance application, staff believes that consideration of parking reduction is reasonable. Detailed comments regarding this analysis are provided in the Parking Variance code section of this staff report. Approval of the SDP/COAC will require either an approved parking variance or the addition of the parking spaces required to meet the existing zoning regulations. Black Hawk City Council approved Resolution 18-2021 unanimously.

  Building Height Variance: The proposed development includes three silos with a height of thirty-three (33) feet. The maximum allowed building height in the Commercial/ Business Services zone district is twenty-seven (27) feet. The narrative included in the variance application indicates that the nature of the distilling process and the industry standard for silo manufacturing and availability create a hardship to the applicant to meet the 27’ height regulation. In addition, reducing the height of the silos would result in more frequent grain deliveries. Staff believes that the unique nature of the proposed distillery operation allows for the consideration of an increase in the allowed height of the three silos. Detailed comments regarding this analysis are provided in the Building Height Variance code section of this staff report. Approval of the SDP/COAC will require either an approved building height variance or the revision of the SDP/COAC with silos that meet the height regulation.

Black Hawk City Council approved Resolution 19-2021 unanimously.

Matching State Traffic Codes  

Black Hawk City Council unanimously approved the adoption of the 2020 Model Traffic Code. Currently the City of Black Hawk utilizes the 2018 Model Traffic Code. The adoption of the 2020 Model Traffic Code will bring the City of Black Hawk’s traffic code in line with the current State traffic laws.

Historic Preservation Commission Appointment (Resolution 20-2021)

Members of the Historic Preservation Commission shall be residents of the City of Black Hawk, and they shall have such qualifications as the City Council deems necessary and desirable in the best interest of the City. To the extent possible, the Commission shall be composed of both professional and lay members, and they shall be selected from fields of history, architecture, landscape architecture, architectural history, prehistoric or historic archaeology, planning or related disciplines such as the building trades, culture geography, cultural anthropology, real estate or law. Recognizing that professionals may not be available in some communities, this requirement can be waived if the local government makes a good faith effort to recruit professionals and demonstrates that it is capable of carrying out Commission responsibilities. The Commission shall consist of five (5) members appointed by the City Council. All members shall serve a four (4) year term unless a Commission member is filling an unexpired term, in which case the Commission member shall serve the remaining portion of the unexpired term. The City Council shall appoint a member to fill the unexpired term of the member whose place has become vacant. The City of Black Hawk placed an advertisement in the Weekly Register-Call from January 21, 2021, through January 27, 2021, seeking a resident of Black Hawk to fulfill the vacancy with a four (4) year term expiring August 1, 2021. All interested candidates were instructed to submit a Letter of Interest, including qualifications, to the City of Black Hawk, Community Planning and Development Department by January 27, 2021. The Black Hawk Community Planning and Development Office received one (1) Letter of Interest from Karen Midcap dated March 19, 2021. Karen Midcap does not have professional experience in a preservation related discipline, but the City contracts with a Historic Preservation Consultant to provide expertise as needed and meets Federal Standards 36-CFR-61. The City went under contract with Pinyon Environmental, Inc. in June 2018. This firm has multiple Secretary of the Interior-Qualified professionals with varied backgrounds in the field who can help support the City’s Historic Preservation Commission and programs. The Historic Preservation Commission reviewed the Letter of Interest at their April 6, 2021 meeting and recommends City Council approve Karen Midcap’s appointment to serve the remaining portion of the Historic Preservation Commission unexpired four (4) term expiring August 1, 2021. Black Hawk City Council approved Resolution 20-2021 unanimously.

Dale 13338 Mining Claim Purchase (Resolution 21-2021)

The City entered into an agreement with Proximo Spirits LLC., requiring Proximo to improve Lake Gulch Road, add a roundabout, and construct a road from the Lake Gulch Road roundabout to the Miners Mesa Road extension. The City agreed to acquire the property needed for the construction of the road. As a result, the City contacted the Dale 13338 Mining Claim owners, who agreed to sell approximately 2.1 acres for $48,175. The City Manager requests the City Council approve an expenditure not to exceed $55,000 to ensure sufficient funding pending final verification of the acreage. The current owners will retain the mineral rights for the property conveyed to the City. Black Hawk City Council approved Resolution 21-2021 unanimously.

Executive Session

The City Council  approved a motion to recess into Executive Session to determine positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations, develop a strategy for negotiations, and/or instruct negotiators, pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-6- 402(4)(e).

Next Meeting

The next Black Hawk City Council regular meeting is scheduled to be held on April 28, 2021 at 3:00 pm online. For more information visit

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