Black Hawk facilitates new hotel and casino complex

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Maryland Mountain properties annexed and rezoned

By Lynn Volkens

Black Hawk City Council met April 10, 2013. Mayor David Spellman and Council members Linda Armbright, Paul Bennett, Diane Cales, Jim Johnson, Greg Moates and Benito Torres had more on their plates than the usual agenda items, including actions taken to move the new Monarch Gaming casino/hotel project forward and annexations of several recently acquired Quartz Valley properties.

Monarch Moves Forward

  The Aldermen approved Council Bill 16 to rezone approximately three acres at Lower Main Street as Planned Unit Development (PUD). The area is located within the Mill Site Gaming District. The revised zoning will allow Monarch Growth, Incorporated to develop the current Riviera Casino property into the Monarch Hotel and Casino. Monarch plans to expand the current casino and add a new hotel and parking garage. The PUD zoning becomes effective conditioned on approval of Monarch’s special use permit by the Colorado Department of Transportation. CDOT owns the land directly north of the new development.

  To facilitate the Monarch development project, the Aldermen approved vacating the City’s interests in two storm sewer easements located at that property that will no longer be needed after new construction. New storm sewer lines will be located to the east. The Council also vacated a 100 square foot area of Main Street adjacent to the site of Monarch’s new hotel. That area will be transferred to Monarch in the final plat filing. 

  The Aldermen conditionally approved the Preliminary and Final Plat for the Monarch Casino property and also approved the demolition of the existing former sanitation facility structures. The structures are the old Black Hawk-Central City Sanitation facilities and are not historical.

Property Acquisition

  Council Bill 18 was approved. This ordinance states the City’s intent to acquire, via eminent domain, a 0.28-acre parcel of land located within the Main Street right-of-way to the south of mill sites 42, 43 and 44. Aldermen Torres stated, for the record, that a letter had been received from Craig Burton, of Smith Hill Ventures, stating objections to the acquisition of the property, however Burton gave no reason for the objections, Torres noted.

Mardi Gras Signs

  The Golden Mardi Gras Casino, 300 Main Street, received approval to amend their Comprehensive Sign Plan and divide it into two separate plans, one for the Mardi Gras and one for Golden Gates/Golden Gulch Casino. Included in the approval was a Certificate of Appropriateness for the Mardi Gras to relocate and add signage along the exterior of their expansion project on the western portion of the casino. The Aldermen also approved a variance so that the Mardi Gras can use seven temporary banners as signage while their project is under construction.

Three-Mile Plan

  The Aldermen adopted Resolution 13-2013, reaffirming the Intergovernmental Agreement between Black Hawk, Central City, Gilpin County and the Black Hawk-Central City Sanitation District as the City’s Three-Mile Plan. City Attorney Corey Hoffmann said the Three Mile Plan needed to be in place in order for the Council to take their next action – annexations of recently acquired properties. He added that since the properties being annexed are within the Black Hawk growth area covered by the IGA, no public hearing was required; nevertheless, the City had sent notice to all of the parties. There had been no return comments. The IGA/Three Mile Plan is a 25-year agreement dating from 1999.

Quartz Valley Annexations and Zoning

  The Council decided to annex five City-owned parcels (435.77 acres) lying in unincorporated Gilpin County, specifically in the Quartz valley area northwest of Black Hawk proper. The Aldermen approved Maryland Mountain Annexation No. 1 (1.48 acres); Maryland Mountain Annexation No. 2 (68.21 acres); Maryland Mountain Annexation No. 3 (203.39 acres); Maryland Mountain Annexation No. 4 (154.65 acres); and Maryland Mountain Annexation No. 5 (8.04 acres) through a serial annexation process that meets the state’s requirements of contiguity to the City’s boundaries. The properties were not annexed for any housing development, Mayor Spellman emphasized, but are to provide amenities for Black Hawk to become a resort destination. The Council added their thanks to the City’s staff for their work on this effort. The City has acquired additional properties and anticipates more annexations in the future.

The Aldermen then approved zoning the Quartz Valley/Maryland Mountain properties as part of the History Appreciation Recreation Destination District.

201 Chase Street

  Black Hawk is in the process of rehabilitating a historic residence at 201 Chase Street to be used as housing for the City Manager. A revision in the design of the second story rear addition of that City-owned home required, and received, the Council’s approval to rearrange the kitchen windows and add a small window to the bathroom.

Water Lease

  The Aldermen approved a water lease agreement in which Black Hawk will lease 112.9 inches of water from their Church Ditch holdings to the City of Broomfield. Broomfield will pay Black Hawk $110 per inch, a total of $12,419 for use of the water through October 2013. The water will be diverted at the Head Gate of Church Ditch on Clear Creek.

Water Bonds

  Resolution 18, adopted by the Council, expresses the City’s intent to issue bonds, or enter into financial obligations, of approximately $5,500,000 (aggregate principal amount) to finance the acquisition of water rights. The resolution does not obligate the City to take any action, Hoffmann pointed out, but makes the allowance should they want to do so.

BID Support

  The Silver Dollar Business Improvement District asked for Black Hawk’s support in seeking funding with the state to reconstruct another mile of Highway 119 in the area just below Gold Dust Village. Black Hawk will provide a letter of support.

Executive Session

  Following the business meeting, the Council met with their attorney to discuss legal issues related to Gregory Street, potential litigation and potential legislation. They took no further action.

Heads Up

  Black Hawk City Council meets next on April 24, 2013.

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