Gilpin Commissioners fire off new firearms regulations

Gilpin Commissioners fire off new firearms regulations

John Scarffe
Gilpin County

The Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution designating specific areas in which it is unlawful to discharge firearms at its regular meeting on Tuesday, December 17, at the Gilpin County Courthouse. The restriction covers most major areas and subdivisions in the County.
Resident Stacy McBrayer opened the public hearing on the resolution asking the definition of a firearm. She asked if it included BB guns, air guns and pellet guns. No one knew the definition of a firearm until County Attorney Jim Petrock found Colorado State Statute 30-15-301, which defines firearms as any pistol, revolver, rifle or other weapon of any description from which any shot, projectile, or bullet may be discharged.
Board Chair Buddy Schmaltz said that one reason for the resolution is noise. “It’s a combination of a lot of things,” he said.
The Board of Commissioners has the power to designate areas in the unincorporated county with a population greater than 100 people per square mile in which the discharge of firearms could be prohibited, according to the resolution.
“Upon adoption of this resolution, the discharge of a firearm in any of these designated areas, other than under circumstances whereby such firearm can be discharged in such a manner as not to endanger persons or property and also in such a manner as to prevent the projectile from any such firearm from traversing any grounds or space outside the limits of a shooting gallery, grounds or residence, shall be a misdemeanor, subject to a fine of not more than $100, except that nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict or otherwise affect any person’s constitutional right to bear arms or his right to the defense of his person, his family and property,” according to the resolution.
The designated areas include 60 major areas or subdivisions in the County, such as Aspen Springs, Colorado Sierra, Dory Lakes, Fiddler’s Green, Golden Gate Canyon, Missouri Lakes and Wondervu Ranch #1. Commissioner Connie McClain said this will refresh citizens’ memory about firearms, and Commissioner Gail Watson said, “I think it’s a good move to let people know this in place.”

Land Donation

The Commissioners accepted a donation of land from a private citizen. Community Development Director Tony Petersen said the owner of Lot 26 in Colorado Sierra received the land as a gift.
The donor lives in Wisconsin and has not been able to sell it. It’s 3/4 of an acre, and he wants to donate it to the County. The County could set it aside and someone could purchase it as a development site.
Petrock said the County would have to put up the donated land at auction or it has to have a public purpose. Petersen said he does have a plan for the property.

Boundary Line Eliminations

County Planner Ray Rears presented proposals for two boundary line eliminations. A line elimination for LJ Specialists LLC would combine a two acre parcel in Block one and a two acre tract in Block two to form a 3-acre Parcel 1.
Boundary line eliminations for Alfred M. Curtis in LaChula Vista Ranch would combine four properties into one. La Chula Vista Ranch, Block 2, Lot 2 with one acre, two parcels of Block 2, Lot 1, for one acre and Block 1, Lot 12, at 4.68 acres would be combined to form a 6.68 acre site called Block 2, Lot 12B.
The Board approved the boundary line eliminations.

Abatement Petitions

The Commissioners denied two requests for the abatement of County taxes. Both petitioners met with the Board on the telephone from remote locations. Nancy E. Bromfield of Draper, Utah, representing the Louise Howell Trust owns Block 031, Lot 013, in Central City and has tried to sell it but Central City staff could not find lot 13, she wrote in a letter to County Assessor Anne Schafer.
“With this being said, I cannot sell the lot, since title insurance cannot be issued on this property, and since Lot 13 does not exist, I hereby respectfully ask to be removed from your tax rolls.”
The Assessor’s Office denied the request and Schafer sent a letter stating it is not within the County’s jurisdiction to add or remove property within a city’s limits, she said. It’s the City’s jurisdiction. After research she could not find where the property had been vacated and she needs to find property lines, so Bromfield needs to hire a surveyor to find the line.
Schmalz suggested she work with Central City’s new city planner and get a survey done.
Elite Property Services also requested a tax abatement for properties near the Big T parking lot consisting of a combination of vacant land and paved parking lots with overhead lights developed to accommodate overflow parking for Central City. The property consists of three mining claims that have been improved.
Rich Jortberg of MIA did a valuation on the land and dropped the value because of three recent comparable sales in the area based on an18-month time period. The total value was assessed at $1,061,180.
A representative from Elite said that from the point of view of the use of the property, they don’t think it justifies that amount. “There’s no value any more. It’s just sitting there,” she said.
Schaefer said when the property is abated, the burden is on the property owner to prove the assessor wrong. The representative did not have any comparable sales to provide proof.
The next regular meeting of the Board will be on Tuesday, January 7, at 9 a.m. at the Gilpin County Courthouse.