One Last Night of Lights

February 14, 2019
Holiday Lights in Golden Colorado

Happy Valentine’s Day! What could be more romantic than living in beautiful Golden Colorado? The City will turn off the holiday lights after tonight, so take one last walk or drive around downtown to enjoy them.

Thanks for all the responses on yesterday’s post, “City Plans and Civic Frustration.” If you’re new to “What’s Happening in Golden?” you might enjoy the following related posts from the past:

Today’s Events
10AM – Everything Dinosaur Talk: Thyreophora Part 2 (Ankylosaurs)
4PM – Subaqueous Debris Flow Processes and Deposits
5PM – Family Game Night at On Tap Credit Union
6:15PM – Inspired by Mountains at Bent Gate

City Council
City Council will meet at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They will vote to give the City Manager a $24,500 raise, bringing him to $203,000/year.

The City Manager will provide a public briefing regarding property acquisition currently under consideration by City council. The property is “East of Ford St., near 10th St.

In recognition of the members of the Golden Cultural Alliance, their 700,000 visitors per year, and their $23 million contribution to the local economy, the Mayor will proclaim February to be Heart and Soul of Golden Month.

They will decide whether to approve new Sustainability Goals regarding energy, waste, and water.

They will consider applying to DRCOG (Denver Regional Council of Governments) for Federal funding to improve the interchange at US6 and Heritage Road and to do a “Complete Streets” project on West Colfax.

See the meeting packet for more details on any of these topics.

Live Music in Golden Colorado

Tonight’s Live Music
ACE HI TAVERN – Karaoke, 9PM
THE BUFFALO ROSE – Sammy Mayfield, Deep Pocket Thieves, and Emma Marie, 7PM
GOLDEN MOON SPEAKEASY – Booker and Ben, 7:30PM
NEW TERRAIN BREWING COMPANY – Music by the Mesa – Native Station, 6-9PM

8th Street Project Approved, New Art Program Proposed

February 7, 2019

The new apartments and hotel on 8th Street were approved by the Planning Commission last night. The discussion was heated. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the meeting live, you can always review it by scrolling down to the Planning Commission section on the City’s Agenda page and clicking the link that says “Audio.”

Commissioner Cameron reminded the assembled audience that positions would be opening on several of the City’s boards and commissions (though not Planning Commission), and now is the time to submit an application to serve.

Today’s Events:
9AMPublic Art Commission Meeting – They will consider launching a program of pop-up art exhibits and encouraging people to photograph and share them on Instagram.

10AMEverything Dinosaur Talk at Dinosaur Ridge: Thyreophora Part 1 (Stegosaurs)

11:15AMWee Create Color Mixing at the Library

At 4PM, Oliver Jagoutz, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will discuss Low-latitude Arc-continent Collision as a Driver for Global Cooling. The talk will take place in room 241 of Berthoud Hall (map). Learn more….

From 5:30-7:30, the Library will host Kindness Rocks. The Kindness Rocks Project has one simple goal: promote random acts of kindness to unsuspecting recipients. Paint a rock and leave in a public area to inspire kindness. Rocks and supplies provided. Please be respectful and leave no trace in our open spaces and protected areas.

The Backcountry Film Festival will happen at the Mountaineering Center from 7-9:30 this evening. The Backcountry Film Festival is produced by Winter Wildlands Alliance as a celebration of the human-powered experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community. Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization that partners with groups like Colorado Mountain Club at the local level to inspire and educate the backcountry community to protect and care for their winter landscapes. Funds raised at each screening stay in the local community to support human-powered recreation and conservation efforts, winter education and avalanche/safety programs and to raise awareness of winter management issues.

Adventure, environment and climate, youth outdoors, ski culture- you’ll find it all in this award winning lineup. Filmmaker, Philip Huffeldt from Wool Hat Creative Productions, will give a short presentation and Q&A session about the Backcountry Snowsports Initiative : Human-powered project that is part of this year’s festival. Learn more and buy tickets….

Live Music in Golden Colorado

Tonight’s Live Music:
Ace Hi Tavern – Karaoke, 9PM
Dirty Dogs Roadhouse – Dave Frisk, 6-10PM
Bridgewater Grill in the Golden Hotel – Teresa Carroll, Mr Joe Lopez bass, Ed Stephen guitar and Dave Rolhf drums, 6-9PM
New Terrain – Music by the Mesa – Shawn Nelson Band, 6-9PM

Friday Preview
Canadian Consul & Senior Trade Commissioner: Latest News and Evolution of Our Bilateral Relationship – OLLI Speaker at the Unitarian Church
10AM Free Legal Advice – Elder Law & Probate at the Courthouse
1PM Friday Tour at the RR Museum – Settling Colorado
See the Calendar of Events for the details….

Apartments and a Hotel on 8th Street

February 6, 2019

The Planning Commission meets at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They will vote on the site plan and banking plan for the former Briarwood Inn site, where a developer plans to build 72 apartments and a 48 room hotel. The Commission held a public hearing for this project on December 5th and they do not intend to re-open it tonight.

At the December meeting, fourteen neighbors expressed concern about the increasing population, traffic, and parking along 8th Street, as well as pedestrian safety and compatibility with the neighborhood. In light of the neighbors’ traffic concerns, the Planning Commission referred the case to the Mobility and Transportation Advisory Board. MTAB reviewed the traffic engineering study on December 19th and determined that the new development would not significantly affect traffic levels. With that new information, the Planning Commission will vote on the project. For more details, see the meeting packet….

Old Barrel Tea Company will hold their first “Bend at the Barrel” Yoga and Tea Pairing tonight at 6PM. Join us for a relaxing evening of yoga and tea! We will start with a 45 minute restorative yoga class with Kristen followed by tea tasting with Heather and cup of tea of your choice. Bring your mat and get read to bend at the barrel! Suggested cash donation $10/$15. Space is limited. Book your spot today:

Moms Demand Action will meet from 6:30-8PM at the Golden Library.

Miners Alley Playhouse is hosting SCRIPTprov (improvisational comedy) at 7:30 this evening.

Tonight’s Live Music:
Dirty Dogs Roadhouse – Peter Fletcher, 6-9PM
Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse, Wintery Wednesdays, 6-9PM
Rock Rest Lodge – Dave Frisk, 5-8:30PM

Thursday Morning Preview:
9AM – Public Art Commission Meeting
10AM – Everything Dinosaur Talk at Dinosaur Ridge: Thyreophora Part 1 (Stegosaurs)
11:15AM – Wee Create Color Mixing at the Library

Things to Do on a Tuesday

February 5, 2019

If you’re looking for something to do today, visit Foothills Art Center to see their 2019 Members’ Show and the Jeffco Students’ Exhibition. They are open from 10AM-5PM.

2PM – South Golden Merchants will meet at Pizza Hut

5-6PM – PTA Meeting at Bell Middle School

6PM – Sustainability Board Meeting: The board will review metrics, data, and a new citizen task force for the proposed new Sustainability Goals. (City Council will vote on the new goals at their Feb. 14th meeting.) They will also discuss the Sustainability Plan work plan for 2019. They will discuss the February 27th meeting, at which they will hear a feasibility study for a possible hydroelectric project. They will also review some potential amendments to the Pay As You Throw ordinance and a letter to RTD regarding service level changes. Review the meeting packet to learn more….

6PM – Raising Confident, Caring Young People
(Held at Miners Alley Playhouse)
As parents and adults working with children and youth, we spend a lot of time thinking about what we don’t want our children to do or become. It’s even more important, though, to have a clear idea of what we do want. Using a strengths-based framework, we an work together to help raise healthy kids. Speaker: Lori Hoffner is a nationally recognized speaker and has been offering training for positive youth development since 1997. Raising Confident, Caring Young People is part of a new series of free classes offered for Golden area residents by the Rotary Club of Golden. Our Mental Wellness Initiative focuses on promoting mental well-being in teens and kids. For more information, please call 303-278-2823.

6PM – Tonight’s REEL ROCK 13 showing is sold out.

6:30PMCMS Avalanche Awareness Clinic at Bent Gate is sold out.

Wednesday Preview:
10-11AM TriceraTOTs at Dinosaur Ridge
5PM Teen After Hours: Video Game Nightwaitlisted
6:30PM The Planning Commission will hold the public hearing regarding the proposed 72-unit apartment complex and 48-room hotel at the west end of 8th St.

Murder, Music, Raptors, and Plans for “West Downtown”

January 16, 2019

10-11AM Tour Shelton Elementary
Shelton Elementary invites the community to visit the school on four dates in January to tour the school and observe classrooms at work. Check out the newly-redesigned library space, Markerspace area, STEAM/STEM carts, community garden, and outdoor learning area. Tours are from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on January 16, 17, 22, and 24.

6-7:30 Lecture at the Golden History Museum
The Story of Reuben Benton Hayward’s Murder—Part 1. The Golden History Museum is a member of the Golden Cultural Alliance.

6-9PM Fly-Tying
Join the crew from Golden River Sports to learn fly-tying or to perfect your skills. Tonight, they’ll be meeting at Mountain Toad Brewing. No experience necessary. If you have supplies, bring them.

6-7:30 Land Stewardship Series – Raptor ID and Protection
The Front Range is home to a number of hawks, eagles and owls that can be hard to identify. Mary Ann Bonnell, Manager, JCOS Visitor Services, will teach us how to recognize raptors and will provide insights on how Jeffco Open Space implements efforts to protect raptors in the parks. Ages 16 and over. Free. Learn more… Jefferson County Open Space is a member of the Golden Cultural Alliance.

12th Street Historic District

Planning Commission
The Planning Commission has a study session at 6:30 this evening in City Council Chambers. They will discuss creating a new neighborhood plan, covering the West Downtown area (approximately Miners Alley to Maple, 14th to 11th). You should read the meeting memo–it’s very interesting. The Planning Staff polled about 150 people. About 1/3 of them lived or owned a business in the West Downtown area. The opinions gathered are wildly divergent. Many people think we need more parking in that area. Many others think we should eliminate parking and make the area more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. Some think we should close off the streets and make the area a pedestrian mall. Some think the parking lots should be eliminated and redeveloped into more businesses and/or affordable housing. Most feel that any new buildings should be low scale–preferably one story tall. Some people feel that we should provide more tourist-oriented activities, and some feel that Golden is overrun with tourists and we should stop trying to attract them. The memo makes for interesting reading! Go to this page and click the word “Agenda” on the “PC Study Session” line

Live Music
DIRTY DOGS ROADHOUSE – Peter Fletcher, 6-9PM
OLD CAPITOL GRILL & SMOKEHOUSE – UllrGrass Troubador Contest, 6-9PM
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
ROCK REST LODGE – Dave Frisk, 5-8:30
5:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Growth in Golden: the 1% Growth Limit

January 6, 2019

With all of the holiday celebrations, shopping, and parties over the past month, I wound up talking to a lot of Golden-dwellers. The recurring theme in most of the conversations was growth. There is a lot of frustration, confusion, and anger amongst the residents. The questions everyone is asking include

Isn’t there a 1% growth limit?

How could they have been allowed to build (insert any given development)–it’s so BIG!

Traffic is getting so bad–why don’t we stop building? And with traffic getting heavier, why do they keep taking away lanes?

What happened to the Golden Vision, where we said we wanted to be a small town?

I have some ideas about most of these questions, but for today I’ll focus on the first: is there still a 1% per year growth limit? The answer is yes, well, sort of. There have been, and continue to be, a number of ways around it.

Senior Housing on Golden Gate Canyon Road

Senior Housing
The growth limit went into effect in 1996, but there was an exemption for senior housing. Before that exemption expired, several senior housing projects were built. After they were completed, some of the developments exchanged their senior exemptions for regular building allocations, so they would not be subject to Golden’s “senior housing” requirements. The last 33 senior housing exemptions went to the 120 unit development currently under construction on Golden Gate Canyon Road, and they are exchanging their senior allocations for regular ones as they become available.

172 Transit Oriented Apartments

Early Starts
Theoretically, there are a fixed number of housing allocations granted every year. The number is 77 for 2019. However, certain types of projects have been allowed to “borrow” allocations from future years. In 2013, the Outlook Golden Ridge project was allowed to build 172 apartments near the light rail station. Because that type of housing was considered desirable, they were not required to wait until they had accumulated the necessary allocations–though they did have to keep requesting them every year until they had acquired all 172.

Proposed 51-unit Affordable Housing Project at 24th and Jackson

In 2018, Council voted to allow Affordable Housing projects to borrow allocations from the future. So the city may allow more than 77 housing starts this year, because qualified Affordable Housing projects can borrow from future years.

48-unit hotel proposed for 8th St.

Commercial Developments
Hotels are exempt from the growth limit, so while the 72 apartments proposed for 8th Street will require housing allocations, the 48-unit hotel will not.

416-room residence hall on 18th St.

The School of Mines
As a state institution, the School of Mines considers itself to be exempt from local zoning, so they can build as much housing as they like without regard to Golden’s 1% growth limit. In March of 2018, the city rezoned 1101 18th Street to allow the School to build a 416 room residence hall. The rezoning was required because the previous (R3) zone only allowed a building 50 feet in height. The new residence hall will be 64 feet tall.

107-unit sophomore apartments on Jackson St.

In April, the City approved a 107-unit apartment building (1750 Jackson St.) for use by the School of Mines. Thus, in a single year, 523 new beds/living units were approved without regard to the 1% growth limit.

51 New Apartments at 24th and Jackson

January 2, 2019

Tonight at 6:30 at City Hall, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed 51 unit apartment complex at 612 24th St. The developers have already obtained a Special Use Permit, allowing them to build a 100% residential project in a mixed use zone. Tonight they will request a Tier 2 Bonus, which will allow them to build a third floor. They also request that the alley be vacated so they can build on it. They also request an “early start” on their building allocations, so they can begin construction before receiving 51 allocations under our 1% growth limit. Review the meeting packet to learn the details….

The developer will demolish several one-story buildings and four mature trees. They are requesting a waiver on the number of replacement trees that they are required to plant.

The Tier 2 bonus requires that the 3rd floor be stepped back from the street, so the appearance isn’t as massive from street level. They plan to do this on the Ford and 24th Street sides, but are requesting a waiver on the setback requirement on Jackson Street.

The municipal code requires that a project with this number and configuration of apartments provide 69 parking spaces. This project will provide on 56. The developer proposes to use 13 spaces in the Golden High School parking lot, across Jackson Street.

Neighborhood Feedback
GuidingGolden was not accepting comments on this project, but in previous hearings, neighbors expressed concern about added traffic in a busy corridor, inadequate parking provided for the number of residents, loss of privacy when building a three-story structure next to a single story home, and compatibility with the neighborhood when building a multi-family apartment building in a single family home neighborhood.

If you have an opinion about this project, you can express it at tonight’s Planning Commission meeting. If you can’t make the meeting, you can send your thoughts to the Planning Commission care of Rick Muriby with the City of Golden.

Related Articles:
The Slippery Slope
Topics of Debate in Golden: Growth, Affordable Housing, Short Term Rentals, Spending, and the “Small Town Look”
More Apartments

More Apartments

December 5, 2018

Head to the library from 4-5PM to make Light-Up Holiday Cards. Drop in and create a light-up LED holiday card and dazzle your friends and family with a fun, festive gift! All supplies provided. All ages welcome.

Tonight’s Live Music:
OLD CAPITOL GRILL & SMOKEHOUSE – Wintery Wednesdays Concert Series, 6-9PM

The Planning Commission meets at 6:30 this evening in City Council Chambers. They will hold a public hearing on a proposed redevelopment of the Briarwood Inn property at the west end of 8th Street. This project will be developed by the same company that built the 8th Street Apartments and is building the 5 story sophomore apartment building across from Safeway. They plan to demolish the one-story restaurant and replace it with two four-story buildings and one three-story building. They will contain 72 apartments and a 48-unit hotel.

New development on 8th Street in Golden Colorado

Parking: they plan to provide one parking space for each one-bedroom apartment and each hotel room, 1.5 spaces for two-bedroom apartments, and 2 spaces for 3 and 4 bedroom apartments. They hotel will have up to two employees on site at a time, and one parking space will be provided for the two of them.

Trees: If I’m reading the landscaping plans correctly, they will remove about 75 trees and will plant 83 young trees (2.5″ diameter trunk).

Affordable Housing: GURA has been negotiating with the developer, hoping to persuade them to make 10 of the apartments “affordable” in exchange for a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) deal. This agreement would last until the GURA district sunsets in twenty years, after which the apartments would revert to market rate pricing.

As an alternative, GURA may use that funding to create permanent affordable housing in another GURA district. Since the Central District (near the high school) already has one housing project with another one planned, they are looking at the West Colfax Urban Development district.

Either the central district or the West Colfax district would add more low-income housing to the Shelton Elementary articulation area. Thusfar, none has been built in the Mitchell area.

The project is shown on Only one citizen comment has been added to date:

This would make 171 apartments plus a 48 unit hotel within a span of about 500 meters along 8th street that have been added in the past eight years. In 2010 there were approximtely 110 housing units along 8th Street between Washington and the Briarwood Inn. This addition, plus the 8th Street Apartments and new condos near Washington, would create almost triple that number. The bike path has also been eliminated and no bike lanes exist — which makes riding dangerous. While this added congestion may benefit developers, it is an affront to those of us living in the area. My question for the Planning Commission is: would you want this to happen in your neighborhood?

City Staff responded that the bike path will remain.

Learn more about this project by reviewing the meeting packet….

Meetings at the City, the Library, and the Breweries

November 14, 2018

The Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC) will meet at 7:30 this morning in City Council Chambers. They will do their final review of the proposed 2019 budget.

The Planning Commission will have a study session (no public comment) tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They will discuss their accomplishments for 2018 and their plans for 2019.

4-5PM Extreme Science: Buzzing with Energy at the Library
Warning! Extreme science ahead! Spark your curiosity and discover the wonders of science! Experts from Science Matters lead this series of interactive and entertaining experiments for kids. Register here…3 seats remaining as of last night.

  4-9PM Ski & Snowboard Tune Night at New Terrain Brewing Company. It’s time to get your gear tuned up for the slopes this season, so get out those skis & snowboards! Bring ’em in from 4:0 to 9:00 p.m., and for $20 get a tune and wax from Rocky Mountain Tunes and a brew to sip on in the taproom while you wait. Ski ya’ then!

5-9PM DIY Holiday Trivets at Mountain Toad Brewing.  Create your own holiday trivet out of wine corks! We will also have fun placemats or centerpieces for kids to decorate.

6-9PM Open Mic Night at Cannonball Creek
Sign up from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Hosted by Niki Purcell. Call the brewery with questions. 303-278-0111.

6:30-7:30PM Library XYZ: Subversive Cross-Stitch at the Library.  Generations X, Y and Z gather monthly to explore the quirkier side of pop culture, music, crafts, art, nostalgia, movies, gaming, zines, and more. Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, have fun exploring the funkier side of life.

7:30 Golden High School’s Stage Right Productions will present Student Directed One-Acts tonight. Buy Tickets here….

Planning Commission Considers a Small Land Swap, New Sustainability Standards, and Ways to Preserve Neighborhood Character

November 7, 2018

election results - golden coloradoElection Results
However you feel about the election results, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the phone calls, mailings, and political ads are over for a while.  The only strictly-Golden ballot issue concerned allowing 16 and 17-year olds to vote in municipal elections.  It did not pass. To see the other results, check the Jefferson County Election results page.

Today’s Events
10AM – Dinosaur Ridge – TriceraTOTs
1PM – Tour the City’s Recycling Facility.
5PM – Woman’s Wilderness for Teens
5:30PM – Untamed – Medicine in Wilderness
6:30PM – Pulk (Winter Sled) Building Clinic

Peerless Tyre Right of Way - Golden CO

The Planning Commission meets tonight at 6:30PM.  As a result of clerical error nearly 20 years ago, a small part of the roundabout at Ulysses and South Golden Road was built on a sliver of land that belonged to the owner of Peerless Tyre & gas station.  The City became aware of the problem when they began design work on a new sidewalk in that area.  To solve the problem, they are swapping some right-of way that the City will not need for the right-of-way belonging to Peerless Tyre and paying some cash for the land.  The Commission will study the proposed deal and decide whether to approve it tonight.

The Commission will then consider a significant change to the Sustainability requirements for commercial and multifamily structures (3 units or more). The new standards include adding photovoltaic cells or paying cash-in-lieu when solar is not an option; installing programmable thermostats; installing separate electric meters for each unit; demonstrating energy efficiency using modeling software; including space for recycling bins; and including one car charging station for every 15 parking spaces. Developers can get extra sustainability points for water conservation, stormwater runoff reduction, green roofs, water conserving plumbing fixtures, bicycle parking, proximity to bus stops, planting extra trees, using energy efficient windows, and more. If you’re interested in the details (or are likely to be developing a commercial or multifamily building in Golden), review the meeting packet.

Finally, they will adjourn to a study session in which they will discuss some options to preserve neighborhood character as redevelopment comes to an R-2-zoned area in the North Neighborhoods.

Live Music Tonight
Old Capitol Grill – Wintery Wednesdays Concert Series, 6-9PM
Rock Rest Lodge – Dave Frisk, 6PM

Thursday Preview
10:15AM – Let’s Dance for toddlers at the Library
6PM – World War I lecture at the History Museum
6:30PM – Guys Night at Big Ring Cycles

Many thanks to the people and organizations who support "What's Happening in Golden."