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Mobile businesses to be permitted by Gilpin CountyFree Access

Gilpin County mobile businesses will get a process and permit structure after approval by the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners during a regular, virtual meeting on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 9 a.m. The Board also approved a letter of support for Clear Creek Watershed, appointed an interim road supervisor as well as an alternate member of the Planning Commission.

Staff Planner Tami Archer introduced proposed revisions to Gilpin County Zoning Regulations Section 4.5 – Commercial Business Sites. At the January 11, 2022 Planning Commission meeting, changes to Section 4.5 were discussed. At the February 8 meeting, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing for the public to weigh in on those proposed changes.

The comments from the public supported the changes, Archer wrote in a memorandum to the Commissioners on March 8. During the two meetings, the Planning Commission determined that a major hindrance to the operation of food trucks within unincorporated Gilpin County was the lack of a permitting process.

A permit for operation of a food truck could be considered a conditional use, and a process for permitting this use will allow the County to monitor this service. “Staff believes this should be a two-part process, with two types of permits required,” Archer wrote.

The first permit would require an application by the property owner. A small fee could be assessed to cover staff processing time. Staff suggests this be an annual permit.

The second permit would require an application by the mobile business operator. The requirements for that permit would vary depending on the type of mobile business.

Staff recommended that tiered levels be available, and suggested 30, 120, and 365 day permits with corresponding fees. Staff also suggested that a mobile business operating permit be good for any location in the county.

At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend forwarding the proposed changes to the Board of County Commissioners for their approval, to make it easier for mobile businesses, such as food trucks, to operate in the county.

Archer told the Commissioners that this is a process for the operator of a mobile business and the property owner. It will allow a mobile vendor to obtain a permit for a period up to an entire year on a tiered fee for what will best fit their needs.

A mobile business permit for 30 days would cost $50, a 120-day permit for $250 and an annual permit for $1,000 A property owner will need a permit for an annual fee of $25. Staff requested approval of the proposed revisions to Section 4.5.

During Public Comment, Gilpin County resident Joe Marr pointed out that according to the fee schedule, it costs more for the annual permit than monthly, so an operator would have no incentive to buy the annual plan. Commissioner Web Sill agreed and said he needed to understand more about the permit process.

After much discussion and several ideas, Archer proposed a flat fee of $100 per month, keeping the annual fee option of $1,000, so the vendor can purchase as many months as needed. The Board agreed and passed a motion to approve the proposed revisions to Section 4.5 effective as of March 21, 2022, with Archer cleaning up the fee structure and strongly encouraging recycling.

Kerry Major, Golden Water Quality Lab manager, requested a Letter of Support for the Clear Creek Watershed and Forest Health Partnership’s Healthy Rivers Fund. She said this includes a Grant Application.

The Clear Creek Watershed & Forest Health Partnership (CCWFHP) is a stakeholder-driven natural resource management coalition with the mission of engaging in collaborative, cross-jurisdictional planning and implementing wildfire risk mitigation and forest health projects within the Clear Creek watershed. CCWFHP began with a wildfire and watershed hazard study for Clear Creek that prioritized risk areas within the Clear Creek drainage and wildfire risk mitigation projects.

The Watershed encompasses parts of Jefferson, Clear Creek, and Gilpin Counties, covering 400 square miles, so they have to work collaboratively with the Forest Service and many landowners. “Wildfires don’t pay attention to property boundaries,” she said.

The Upper Clear Creek study was completed in 2021. It was then divided into smaller drainages. A risk score was made for each, including critical water supplies, runoff potential, and critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and power plants. CCWFHP has two projects in Clear Creek County, and they would like one in Gilpin County.

The Missouri Creek subbasin in Gilpin County was identified in the study as one of the subbasins most at risk for severe wildfire impacts. Several projects have been identified within the subbasin including forest management, stream channel preservation, stream channel restoration, and flood risk reduction.

Two member organizations, the City of Golden and Trout Unlimited, enlisted the help of the Colorado School of Mines Senior Design students to conduct field investigations and data collection in the Missouri Creek drainage to come up with designs for a stream channel restoration project.

CCWFHP is applying for a Healthy Rivers Fund grant for $20,000 to coincide with the completion of the Mines students’ project, so that the data collection and design work from their design package and final report could be translated into on-the-ground action and implementation through securing required permits, agreements, contracts, and funding. They don’t need a cash match and don’t anticipate any cost to the counties.

The students will develop concepts for stream restoration and should be ready to present their designs in November or December next year. They will have to get final plans approved and finish the design.

“We would like the Gilpin BoCC to provide a letter of support for our Healthy Rivers Fund application,” Major said. The grant application is due March 30.

The Commissioners agreed that it was a good project and approved the letter of support as long as CCWFHP keeps them informed.

Public Works Director John Combs recommended the appointment of Craig Connell as interim road supervisor for Public Works. He said it was with great pleasure and full support that he recommended Connell. He has been in the department for more than 15 years. The Board approved the appointment.

Planning Commission Chair Laura Jeney requested an appointment to the Commission.

The Planning Commission interviewed two candidates and agreed to appoint Bill Thibedeau to the second alternate position, with a term expiring on December 31, 2024.

Thibedeau has been a long-time resident of Gilpin County and owns 44 acres in mid-county that he has managed under a CSFS Forest Agriculture program for more than 25 years. He taught school in the Boulder Valley School District.

The Board approved the appointment. Jeney said she is looking forward to a full board.

County Manager Ray Rears reported that staff is looking at upgrading the website. Right now, they have changed the home page so it has a link to meetings. The County is eligible to use a program to host the website and can have a new updated website in 60 days.

Rears said this is the last Zoom meeting. They will be moving to Microsoft Teams. There will be a link on the website showing how it works.

Commissioners discussed moving back to in-person meetings and whether they could have hybrid meetings.

The Board agreed that the next meeting on April 5 will be a hybrid meeting: online and in person at the Gilpin County Courthouse at 9 a.m.