Clear Creek News Briefs

Posted 10/26/21

Restart on Dumont property dev The county commissioners have decided not to continue the Request for Development Proposals process it started earlier this year. Instead, they will pursue a subarea …

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Clear Creek News Briefs

Posted

Restart on Dumont property dev

The county commissioners have decided not to continue the Request for Development Proposals process it started earlier this year. Instead, they will pursue a subarea plan for the Dumont-Lawson-Downieville area.

As County Attorney Peter Lichtman described during the Oct. 19 commissioners meeting, cities and counties use subarea plans to determine “the full potential of an area, to see what best works and fits for an area.”

Earlier this year, the county requested development proposals for its 4-acre property at 445 Dumont Road — the former Latter Day Saints church site. It received two proposals to build housing on the open land and keep the church building as a community center and/or child care facility.

Neighboring residents provided a wealth of feedback, which Commissioner Sean Wood said led him to believe “that we got ahead of ourselves a little bit.”

“It’s my view that we should take a step back and not approve any of the applications,” he said, “ … (because) we haven’t engaged the will of the community in what they want in this planning process.”

His fellow commissioners agreed, and directed staff to start working on the subarea plan. They expected its completion in 2022.

“We want the community to convene and think about their future,” Commissioner George Marlin said of the subarea plan process. “Not about a single site, but what the whole region can look like.”

Lichtman clarified that, if the county wants more proposals for the site, it will have to start the entire RFDP process over again. The two applicants who submitted this time won’t be grandfathered in, he explained, and would have to resubmit.

County officials said they will have a follow-up discussion with a local group that’s proposed using the former church building as a child care center.

Master plan nearly done
for downtown Idaho Springs

Consultants for Idaho Springs have been accepting feedback on a draft of the downtown master plan.

Cheney Bostic from Studio Seed said her firm is accepting comments on the draft plan until Oct. 31. Afterward, she’s planning to bring a second draft to the Planning Commission in November and deliver a final plan sometime by late November or early December.

This way, she said during the Oct. 18 City Council work session, she will make her final presentation to council in December, and the city can start work in January.

Anything the city does to implement this plan wouldn’t be paid for by any new taxes, she clarified, saying it would come from existing revenue streams. Her firm

Bostic said she’s received a lot of feedback from Planning Commission members, downtown employees, and other community members.

Many of them emphasized the need to preserve the area’s historic character, she described. They also said they want the Miner Street Market to stay long-term but remain flexible.

Bostic said the master plan’s framework has six elements:

• Solve the parking problem;

• Create a welcoming environment and seamlessly direct people to parking and destinations;

• Invest in unique placemaking projects;

• Maintain historic character and increase housing choices downtown;

• Enhance the downtown experience with expanded and improved parks and open space; and

• Work with partners to help implement vision.

Bostic emphasized that, while a parking structure is greatly needed, it won’t solve the problem alone. The city needs to make other improvements to its gateway area, signage and wayfinding, to help people get into and around downtown efficiently.

Bostic told City Council members her firm would determine whether Miner Street should have one-way traffic when the market isn’t open, and whether and where to add drop-off and loading zones, among other items.

- Corinne Westeman

New equipment for schools

The Clear Creek School District is purchasing 200 Chromebooks that elementary-aged students can take home and is spending $75,000 to replace the lighting and sound system in the Clear Creek High School auditorium.

The new Chromebooks can be programmed with most of the needed assignments, so lack of internet access at home won’t be an issue, technology director Galen Thompson said.

Thompson explained the old lighting, projector and mixer being removed from CCHS didn’t have much value, so they couldn’t be resold, but he would create a list of what was available and offer to donate items to groups that could use them.

He said it was taking longer than expected to get the new equipment, but he expects the work to be completed by January.

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