June 24, 2017

Radio Golden #7: Councilor Bill Fisher, Keller property development, East Downtown plan, and more

Listen to (or download) Radio Golden Episode #7.
Curious about how City Council is doing so far this year? Want to know how City Council and staff are getting along? Been wondering about renewable energy, creating jobs in Golden, GURA, or downtown development? Council Fisher covered all of this ground and more today on Radio Golden. We also spent some time exploring the implications of the proposed Keller property development and the status of the East Downtown plan.

City Council Adopts 2011 Priorities

On Thursday night City Council formally adopted priorities for 2011.  This is generally a continuation of the priorities we established last year, but it’s worth formally identifying them to help us stay focused and help keep the community informed about what we are focused on.

We adopted five major priorities:

1) Protecting the city’s financial health and sustaining the community’s economic vitality.

2) Supporting and strengthening our neighborhoods (“The Year of the Neighborhood”), including implementing our new neighborhood grant program, completing pending neighborhood plans, and considering all of the policy recommendations in the adopted ones.

3) Maintaining our aggressive efforts to keep the beltway out of Golden and working to protect Golden from the impacts of growing regional through the Golden Plan or similar improvements.

4) Updating the Comprehensive Plan and revamping/updating the land use process to give neighborhoods a stronger voice in shaping their own future and to make the process less adversarial and combative.

5) Revisiting and updating the city’s long-term streets plan.

Other 2011 priorities include:

1) Making sure Golden is ready for light rail in 2013, including our own community bus.

2) Adopting a preliminary strategic transportation plan (in advance of preparing a thorough one in 2012).

3) Finalize our new performance evaluation system for the city and city manager, including performance metrics

4) Review and update the long-term plans for the city’s major recreational facilities.

5) Update the city’s economic development tools, structures, and strategies. This may extend into 2012.

6) Support the Quiznos Pro Challenge Professional Bicycle Race.

And some additional 2011 projects:

1) CSM Master Plan (although the timing is up to Colorado School of Mines).

2) Clear Creek Master Plan.

3) Evaluate and consider sewer/waterline insurance. DONE – Council decided to educate community members about the value of having this insurance but not to enter into a special agreement with any specific insurance providers.

4) Consider adjusting the cost of special use permits for chickens. DONE – Council reduced the special use permit fee for keeping up to six hens.

5) Evaluate and potentially update the strategy for managing amplified outdoor music.

6) Evaluate and consider updating traffic fine schedule.

7) Evaluate and consider updating leash laws.

8) Initiate long-term city financial health evaluation.

9) Evaluate and update medical marijuana regulations.

10) Update noise mitigation priorities.

11) Complete the City of Golden web site revamp.

12) Further development, testing, and training on the new Emergency Operations Plan (primarily staff).

13) Plan for major software updates (finance, planning, police, fire, courts) (primarily

14) Major public works projects: South Reservoir and office building reconstruction (primarily staff).

15) East Downtown Vision and Plan (potentially).

The History of Golden's "East Downtown"

Rick Gardner did a great job laying out the history of the eastern part of Golden’s downtown. With his permission, I am posting it here:

To get down a few quick thoughts on the area you’re talking about, the area of downtown between what would be Prospectors Alley, Clear Creek, East Street and 14th Street was what by modern terms might be called a decidedly “mixed use” area, with a number of single family homes, storefront rows not unlike Washington Avenue in the 1100 block of Ford Street, large corral and stable operations at the southeast corner of 12th and Ford and northeast corner of 13th and Jackson, churches at the southwest corner of 12th and Jackson and in the 500 block of 14th Street, the large hotel at the northwest corner of 12th and Jackson and another caddy corner from it with another a block east, power plant in the western 1200 block of Jackson, lumberyard at the southeast corner of 13th and Ford, and small businesses scattered throughout including a prior home of today’s Meyer Hardware where the Post Office stands now.

After the Silver Crash of 1893 the northeast part of this area degraded significantly, which was targeted for urban renewal with the aid of the new federal works agencies.  In the mid-1930s the decaying Belle Vista Hotel, remaining Ford Street row and residential area of lower 11th Street were wiped out for the new Central School, while across the street the Hotel La Veta was destroyed to make way for the Post Office, which combined with the existing church at 12th and Jackson ushered in a new era of public institutional use signifying this part of Downtown.  Private redevelopment in the 1930s-40s also transformed the Post Office’s block with the new Ashton and Sparks car dealerships of the southern half of the block, while 1950s-60s redevelopment transformed the block south into today’s Wells Fargo and Golden Liquors facilities, today’s Bank of the West and Golden State Bank west of there, Millers Market in the half block south of the Post Office, public parking where the First Baptist Church and power plant had stood, two incarnations of Safeway in the eastern 1100 block of Ford, service stations on the southern corners of 12th and Ford, and the new Steve Frederick Chevrolet dealership in the eastern 1200 block of Ford.  During the 1970s-90s Coors gradually encroached through the easternmost block, taking out the Catholic church, lumberyard, chevrolet dealership building, Phillips 66 station and converting Safeway to the Wellness Center.  In the late 1990s-2000s the now Mitchell Elementary School was destroyed and area transformed to the Clear Creek Square/Millstone developments, while a parking garage was built at the onetime power plant location.

Design-wise this area of Downtown, while oriented and laid out in lots like the rest of Downtown, has taken on a more flexible form.  It had building complexes, L-shaped layouts, creative building sitings and use of space, even some higher profile use of different materials like glass and stone or larger buildings, though it is important to note that Belle Vista-scale buildings like those of Clear Creek Square/Millstone were a sheer minority and we’ve exceeded that character portion now.  This part of Downtown could use eye-catching forms of design such as the Gothic spired churches and Art Deco school and auto dealership.  It could have creative and beautiful design there.

The area now encompassed by Prospectors Alley, Clear Creek, Ford Street and 14th Street has 6 remaining historic institutions:  Banks Insurance (traced to 1893, current location since 1950), Post Office (1860, current location since 1940), Sinclair (originally 1938, continuously and at current location since 1956), Golden Liquors (1934, current location since 1957), Wells Fargo (originally 1866, resumed 2000, bank purchased traced to 1873, current location since 1957), and Bank of the West (1910, current location since 1957).

It’s interesting the idea should come up of public uses, in various ways, for this part of Downtown.  Downtown overall has a long history of them; indeed City Hall spent more time between the old capitol and Astor House than it has at its current home.  12th and Jackson was once a civic center of public use.  Golden once had two tramway depots at 13th and Washington, where the northwest corner I theorize is where our bandstand first stood.  I believe this area of Downtown has had a service station of some kind since 1935, and it had the corrals before that.  The Post Office has been here (in two locations) for 88 of its 150 years, or nearly 60% of its history.  Should GURA wish to acquire its building I’d say they’d need to grant a preservation easement on it to the City or other preservation responsible entity; one would hope the Post Office can stay inside no matter what.  If City Hall were to return to southern Downtown converting the Post Office into part of a new Golden History Center complex would be an interesting idea, given the building’s historic, the museum and building were created by Depression works agencies, and the expansion room and below grade storage possibilities of the location.  A park’s another interesting idea; I’ve long advocated for something eye-catching at the northwest corner of 12th and Jackson because it is visually a hilltop prominence when viewed from the Coors visitors area.  Banks Insurance is a designated landmark and should be preserved, and any development next to it should take care not to dominate it and the even older Loveland Cottage next door, which is Golden’s oldest building.  There may be other structures of preservation merit in eastern Downtown too.

The History of Golden’s “East Downtown”

Rick Gardner did a great job laying out the history of the eastern part of Golden’s downtown. With his permission, I am posting it here:

To get down a few quick thoughts on the area you’re talking about, the area of downtown between what would be Prospectors Alley, Clear Creek, East Street and 14th Street was what by modern terms might be called a decidedly “mixed use” area, with a number of single family homes, storefront rows not unlike Washington Avenue in the 1100 block of Ford Street, large corral and stable operations at the southeast corner of 12th and Ford and northeast corner of 13th and Jackson, churches at the southwest corner of 12th and Jackson and in the 500 block of 14th Street, the large hotel at the northwest corner of 12th and Jackson and another caddy corner from it with another a block east, power plant in the western 1200 block of Jackson, lumberyard at the southeast corner of 13th and Ford, and small businesses scattered throughout including a prior home of today’s Meyer Hardware where the Post Office stands now.

After the Silver Crash of 1893 the northeast part of this area degraded significantly, which was targeted for urban renewal with the aid of the new federal works agencies.  In the mid-1930s the decaying Belle Vista Hotel, remaining Ford Street row and residential area of lower 11th Street were wiped out for the new Central School, while across the street the Hotel La Veta was destroyed to make way for the Post Office, which combined with the existing church at 12th and Jackson ushered in a new era of public institutional use signifying this part of Downtown.  Private redevelopment in the 1930s-40s also transformed the Post Office’s block with the new Ashton and Sparks car dealerships of the southern half of the block, while 1950s-60s redevelopment transformed the block south into today’s Wells Fargo and Golden Liquors facilities, today’s Bank of the West and Golden State Bank west of there, Millers Market in the half block south of the Post Office, public parking where the First Baptist Church and power plant had stood, two incarnations of Safeway in the eastern 1100 block of Ford, service stations on the southern corners of 12th and Ford, and the new Steve Frederick Chevrolet dealership in the eastern 1200 block of Ford.  During the 1970s-90s Coors gradually encroached through the easternmost block, taking out the Catholic church, lumberyard, chevrolet dealership building, Phillips 66 station and converting Safeway to the Wellness Center.  In the late 1990s-2000s the now Mitchell Elementary School was destroyed and area transformed to the Clear Creek Square/Millstone developments, while a parking garage was built at the onetime power plant location.

Design-wise this area of Downtown, while oriented and laid out in lots like the rest of Downtown, has taken on a more flexible form.  It had building complexes, L-shaped layouts, creative building sitings and use of space, even some higher profile use of different materials like glass and stone or larger buildings, though it is important to note that Belle Vista-scale buildings like those of Clear Creek Square/Millstone were a sheer minority and we’ve exceeded that character portion now.  This part of Downtown could use eye-catching forms of design such as the Gothic spired churches and Art Deco school and auto dealership.  It could have creative and beautiful design there.

The area now encompassed by Prospectors Alley, Clear Creek, Ford Street and 14th Street has 6 remaining historic institutions:  Banks Insurance (traced to 1893, current location since 1950), Post Office (1860, current location since 1940), Sinclair (originally 1938, continuously and at current location since 1956), Golden Liquors (1934, current location since 1957), Wells Fargo (originally 1866, resumed 2000, bank purchased traced to 1873, current location since 1957), and Bank of the West (1910, current location since 1957).

It’s interesting the idea should come up of public uses, in various ways, for this part of Downtown.  Downtown overall has a long history of them; indeed City Hall spent more time between the old capitol and Astor House than it has at its current home.  12th and Jackson was once a civic center of public use.  Golden once had two tramway depots at 13th and Washington, where the northwest corner I theorize is where our bandstand first stood.  I believe this area of Downtown has had a service station of some kind since 1935, and it had the corrals before that.  The Post Office has been here (in two locations) for 88 of its 150 years, or nearly 60% of its history.  Should GURA wish to acquire its building I’d say they’d need to grant a preservation easement on it to the City or other preservation responsible entity; one would hope the Post Office can stay inside no matter what.  If City Hall were to return to southern Downtown converting the Post Office into part of a new Golden History Center complex would be an interesting idea, given the building’s historic, the museum and building were created by Depression works agencies, and the expansion room and below grade storage possibilities of the location.  A park’s another interesting idea; I’ve long advocated for something eye-catching at the northwest corner of 12th and Jackson because it is visually a hilltop prominence when viewed from the Coors visitors area.  Banks Insurance is a designated landmark and should be preserved, and any development next to it should take care not to dominate it and the even older Loveland Cottage next door, which is Golden’s oldest building.  There may be other structures of preservation merit in eastern Downtown too.