HARD District activities prohibited

John Scarffe, Black Hawk. The Black Hawk City Council considered an ordinance that would extend City codes into open space areas during a regular meeting on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 3 p.m., 211 Church Street. The Council also made progress on acquiring properties on Maryland Mountain.

City Attorney Corey Hoffmann introduced an ordinance to amend the Black Hawk code to prohibit activities and create penalties within the History Appreciation Recreation Destination (HARD) District. The ordinance is intended to address City open space.

Not all of the provisions in the ordinance are for open space, Hoffmann said. Fire arms and leash laws are in other portions of the codes. Once the open space area is annexed, these laws will be applicable, and they are contemplating signage in the open space, so if people are violating laws they can be penalized.

The ordinance prohibits open fire and open burning restrictions on any outdoor fire, including but not limited to campfires, warming fires, charcoal grill fires, fires in wood-burning stoves, the use of explosives, outdoor welding or hot work, fireworks of all kinds or brands and the prescribed burning of fence lines or rows, fields, farm lands, rangelands, wildlands, trash and debris.

It is unlawful on any property within the HARD District for any person to discharge or cause to be discharged any firearm or to permit camping or camping-related activities, to operate or cause to be operated a motorized vehicle, according to the ordinance. The ordinance also prohibits any dog to run at large.

“A dog shall be deemed to be running at large when not under the control of the owner, possessor or keeper of such dog either by leash, cord or chain not more than ten (10) feet in length that is being held and controlled by such person.” Any person convicted of violations this Section can be fined not more than $499 for each separate offense.

Alderman Hal Midcap said that basically this is an extension of the law we have in the City. Hoffmann said that it’s purely a policy issue.

Midcap said he’d like to acknowledge a letter the Council received. This is a pristine area and it’s great for Black Hawk, but there is a potential conflict.

“I’d like to throw out that if you’re in control of your pets with vocal commands, they can be off the leash. I’ve never seen more than two or three people up there.”

Alderman Linda Armbright said that your dog is normally okay with verbal commands, but you don’t know how they’re going to be with wildlife.

Mayor David Spellman said that they are under voice command until they’re not. The County struggled with this. The whole idea is it is an excellent habitat for elk and moose.

Hoffmann said this was intended to be stricter because of the topography. Hoffmann then quickly looked up the City codes and said they don’t include voice command.

Alderman Paul Bennett said that the Council is just approving signage, and the Council approved the ordinance.

The Council approved the purchase of a parcel and an easement agreement on its way to completing plans for the Maryland Mountain open space area. A resolution approved the purchase and sale agreements for the Enterprise Lode parcel on Maryland Mountain between the City and John C. Woolum and Dorothy S. Woolum.

Public Works Director Thomas Isbester said these are mining claims on Maryland Mountain along the tramway. They got a good price. The owners are in California and have agreed to sign.

The City is in the process of acquiring 11 separate parcels on Maryland Mountain along or adjacent to the alignment of the Main Tramway line, according to the request for Council action. This main line will be the base trail for the Maryland Mountain open space.

“The City has retained Western State Land Services, Inc. to make contact and provide third party negotiation services for these acquisitions,” according to the request. The City obtained appraisals for these parcels and has reached an agreement with the property owners of the Enterprise Lode for $19,500.

The Council also approved an Easement Agreement on the Smith 502 Lode parcel on Maryland Mountain. Isbester said it’s another parcel up there and an easement for the trail through there. The City has reached an agreement for this permanent easement along the Smith 502 Lode parcel for $1,200.

Hoffmann summarized activities toward acquisition of the Maryland Mountain Properties.
Eleven properties are on the list. Three properties appear to have questions on ownership, and the City may have to acquire them through eminent domain.

Two properties, the Paymaster load and Chase Street, are getting appraisals. Surprise lode is going through eminent domain. “Everything else is done. We have good status on everything. By the end of the year, should have it all done,” Hoffmann said.