John Scarffe, Black Hawk. The role of the Black Hawk Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) in Black Hawk’s Historical Review Process was expanded during a regular meeting of the Black Hawk City Council on Wednesday, June 14, at 3 p.m., at 211 Church Street. The Council also conducted a public hearing for the disconnection of a property from the City.
Community Planning and Development Administrator Cynthia Linker introduced an ordinance to repeal and re-enact a section of the Municipal Code expanding the role of the Historic Preservation Commission, amending the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) process and adjusting land use fees for the Historic Residential Zoning District. Black Hawk staff worked with the Historic Preservation Consultant, the Historic Preservation Commission and the City attorney to revise the City Council’s Historic Review Process, according to the request for Council action.
Anyone seeking to renovate the exterior of, add to or construct a new building will be subject to the procedures in the ordinance and the City’s design standards, according to the ordinance. A COA will no longer be necessary for routine maintenance, which includes repair or replacement of an existing approved structure, and where the design, materials or general appearance of the structure or grounds has not been changed.
A COA is required for all other projects that are not routine maintenance. Any repair or replacement for which there is a change in the design, materials or general appearance is defined as an alteration and requires a COA, according to the ordinance.
Minor work on residential and non-residential projects locally designated as historic landmarks are reviewed and may be administratively approved by the Historic Preservation Commission, according to the ordinance. The Historic Preservation Commission may administratively approve the change as minor in nature or may determine the proposed work involves alterations, additions or removals that are substantial, or may not meet the guidelines, in which case they will be processed as a major work project.
Minor work on non-residential projects except those non-residential projects locally designated as historic landmarks are reviewed and may be administratively approved by the City manager or designee. The City manager’s designee may administratively approve the change as minor in nature, or may determine the proposed work involves alterations, additions or removals that are substantial, or may not meet the guidelines, in which case they will be processed as a major work project, subject to approval by the City Council, according to the ordinance.
Major work projects for residential and non-residential projects locally designated as historic landmarks will be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission, which will make a recommendation for City Council consideration following a public hearing, according to the ordinance. The Council approved the ordinance.
The Council then convened a public hearing regarding an ordinance approving a petition for the disconnection of the Arends Property from the City of Black Hawk. The City received a petition from Wesley and Shirley Arends on April 25, 2017, for the disconnection of a 53.7 acre parcel of land in Gilpin County, being the part of their ownership now within the Black Hawk municipal boundary, according to the staff report. After disconnection, this property, as well as the rest of their property, will be entirely under the jurisdiction of Gilpin County.
On May 10, 2017, the City Council accepted the petition for disconnection and set a hearing date of June 14 to review, discuss and make a final decision on the request. At the April 19 meeting, the Council approved an ordinance creating a process for disconnecting territory from the City. The ordinance allows disconnection following a property owner petition and a City initiated application.
The ordinance was passed in anticipation of the Arends requesting disconnecting their property from the City. No one spoke at the June 14 public hearing, so the Council approved disconnecting the property from the City.
The Historic Preservation Commission recommended a COA for site work and landscaping at 130 Chase Street with two conditions. The HPC recommended reducing the ratio of hardscape, gravel parking area and concrete walkways and increasing the ratio of softscape, flowers, plants, shrubs and trees.
The applicants, Derek and Dawn Blake, requested the COA for proposed site work and landscaping on the historic site, according to the staff report. Existing conditions consist of no sodded lawn, a dirt parking area, no concrete walkways and minimal fencing along the east side.
The Blakes requested permission to make upgrades to the property by adding a large gravel parking area, concrete walkways, a sodded lawn, transplanting lilacs along the east fence, removing a section of side porch railing, altering the side porch stair orientation and enclosing any unfenced areas with woven wire fencing that resembles historic fencing historically found in the area, according to staff.
“While the property has previously received City grants for rehabilitation, this project would not be grant funded,” according to the report. “The estimated date of construction for the house at 130 Chase is 1867.”
“In 1991, when Black Hawk was added to an expanded National Historic Landmark district, 130 Chase Street was counted as a ‘contributing’ building to the historic district,” according to the report. “As an additional historical note, Nathaniel P. Hill, a United States Senator from Colorado, was one of the most significant figures in Colorado and American mining history as a pioneer in the smelting industry that settled in Black Hawk and resided at 130 Chase Street.”
At the end of the meeting, the Council went into executive session, after which the Aldermen made a motion to authorize the City manager to enter into an escrow agreement with Jacobs Entertainment, according to Deputy City Clerk Michele Martin.
(Originally published in the June 22, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)