Black Hawk social clubs remain smokeless

Chaplain Retires
Black Hawk Mayor David Spellman presented Fire Captain Kevin Martchinske with a plague upon his retirement at the April 5 Council meeting.

John Scarffe, Black Hawk.  Social clubs that would allow consumption of alcohol and marijuana came before the Black Hawk City Council during a regular meeting on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 3 p.m., 211 Church Street. The Council also celebrated the retirement of Fire Captain Kevin Martchinske.

City Attorney Corey Hoffmann introduced an ordinance establishing a new article in the Black Hawk Municipal Code creating a permit system for private social clubs. Hoffmann said the purpose of the ordinance is to set up a type of marijuana club that will be consistent with statewide regulations when they are established.

The Black Hawk ordinance will be in effect before the state’s laws are set, Hoffmann said. The ordinance allows for the consumption of alcohol and marijuana together but does not allow for the purchase of either.

The ordinance will not allow open consumption nor smoking of marijuana inside a club because of the City’s clean air regulations, Hoffmann said. The town does not have anyone interested in establishing a social club at this time, Hoffmann said.

According to the ordinance, “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 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 and to further the historic character of the City,” states the ordinance.

Applications for a private social club permit can be made to the City Clerk. Activities on the premises of a private social club may include the consumption of marijuana, marijuana products and alcohol as long as all other laws are met, including the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.
During public comment in support of the ordinance, Black Hawk resident Jeffery Gordon said he wanted to point out that the Clean Air Act can be overridden with an air exchange that would be in compliance and would allow smoking indoors. If they were to smoke marijuana outdoors, they would be in public view. He asked the Council to consider that.

Hoffmann said the Colorado Governor doesn’t want any exceptions to the Clean Air Act, and Black Hawk also has a Clean Air Act. Alderman Linda Armbright said when she has been in casinos that use air exchanges they don’t work very well.

Alderman Paul Bennett made a motion to approve the ordinance as written, and the motion passed unanimously. Hoffmann said after the meeting that smoking will be allowed in the social clubs outside within a screened area.

The Council celebrated the retirement of Fire Captain Kevin Martchinske. Mayor David Spellman said the Council asked Martchinske to stay on in his position as chaplain, but Martchinske said there is a time for everything, and he would like to make time for some younger souls.
Martchinske was the first professional fireman to write standard operating procedures and was the first fire chaplain for the City, Spellman said. He also is a member of the state and national chaplain’s associations. A retirement party on Friday, April 7, also celebrated his service for Black Hawk.

Acting as the Local Liquor Authority, the Council approved a request for a new Tavern Liquor License for JE Tavern, Inc., dba JE Tavern, at the Gilpin Casino at 111 Main Street, #A, and to set the boundaries of the neighborhood. The City Clerk’s office received a new tavern liquor license application from JE Tavern, Inc. on March 16, 2017.

The tavern will be located outside behind the Gilpin Casino in a 10 foot, 3 inch by 12 foot, 3 inch enclosure. The application was deemed complete on March 23, according to the request for Council action.  The Council must set the boundaries of the neighborhood and set a date for a public hearing not less than 30 days from the date of the City Council meeting in which the application was presented.

The next Council meeting to fall within this requirement would be May 10, 2017. “This will provide the applicant enough time to prove the reasonable requirements of the neighborhood needs and desires and cause the public notice to be posted and published,” according to the request.

The Council also approved the Temporary Construction Easement from Leon Pohl to the City for the property at 231 DuBois Street, regarding rehabilitation of the property at 241 Dubois Street. Community Planning and Development Director Cynthia Linker presented the resolution at the March 22 meeting but had made a mistake in the address, so this resolution corrects that error.

The Council met on April 19, 2017.

The next regular meeting of the Black Hawk City Council will take place on May 10, 2017, at 3 p.m. at 211 Church Street, Black Hawk, Colorado.