Xeriscaping, Housing, Music, and CSM Research

April 17, 2019

Tonight, from 6-8PM, the City is offering a class on Plant Selection for a Water-Wise Landscape. What does “xeric” mean and how much water do these plants really need? Kenton Seth of Paintbrush Gardens will show you how to distinguish between the barely rugged dryer-growing plants at the garden center and those that thrive with literally no irrigation, and how to use both in your Golden yard to best effect. Find out which ones are ugly ducklings at the nursery, but become stunning swans that will impress your most dubious neighbors. We will learn how to choose what parts of your yard get less or no water, and how to select and establish plants for those spots so you can enjoy the long-term actual payoffs proclaimed by Xeriscape and dry garden advocates. The session will be held at the Community Center, 1470 10th Street (map). Please register ahead.

Speaking of xeriscaping, have you ordered your Garden-in-a-Box yet? A limited number of $25 discounts are available for Golden residents, so order soon.

The Planning Commission will meet tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. This is a study session, so there will be no public comment. The Chair of the Historic Preservation Board will address Commission on the topic, and Commission will discuss potential zoning tools and/or barriers related to historic preservation and neighborhood and community character. They will also discuss options and strategies for creating and retaining housing for moderate and middle income Golden residents. See the meeting packet for more information….

Tonight’s Live Music:
Dirty Dogs Roadhouse – Peter Fletcher, 6-9PM
Miners Saloon – Jenny Shawhan
Rock Rest Lodge – Dave Frisk, 6-8:30PM

Thursday Preview

CSM GRADS – 8:30AM-5:30PM

Curious about what research goes on in your backyard? The Graduate Student Government at Mines invites the Golden Community to join them for Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium at Mines, or GRADS.

Learn about research being conducted at Mines by more than 170 undergraduate and graduate students. Attend oral presentations and poster sessions. Refreshments will be served and attendance is free. Ben H. Parker Student Center, 1310 Maple Street (map)

TriceraTOTs, Tea & Yoga, Defining a “Small Town,” Colorado Ore, and Standup Improv

April 3, 2019

TriceraTOTs meets at 10AM this morning at the Dinosaur Ridge Discovery Center (map). This is a story-time and craft program geared toward 2-5 year old kids. Siblings welcome! $5 per child non-member, $3/child member, adults free.

The Chamber’s Community Development Council meets from 11:30-1 at the Golden Visitors Center. This group is designed to encourage the economic vitality, prosperity and educational opportunities of the Greater Golden area and to monitor and inform members on public issues while serving as the voice of the Greater Golden business community. If you plan to attend, please call the Chamber in case of cancellation or location change at 303-279-3113.

Old Barrel Tea Company at 1224 Washington Avenue hosts Bend at the Barrel – Yoga and Tea Pairing from 6-7PM.

The Planning Commission meets tonight at 6:30PM in City Council Chambers. They are plunging into the challenging task of bringing our municipal code in line with the Comprehensive Plan and Neighborhood Plans. A lot of this work involves turning qualitative terms such as “small,” “compatible,” and “friendly” into quantitative terms such as “50% maximum lot coverage,” and “maximum height 25′.” Council approved a 120 day building moratorium in order to get these issues addressed, so the next four months will be interesting in Golden. See the meeting packet….

The Friends of the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum will host a lecture tonight at 7PM: Outstanding Minerals of Colorado’s Metallic Ore Deposits: A Brief Review by Phil Persson. The talk will be on the Mines campus in GRL 201, the large conference room directly across the hall from the CSM Geology Museum. The Mines Geology Museum is one block north of Mines’ Maple Street pedestrian mall. The closest parking is in the lots immediately north and south of the Geology Museum and is FREE in the evening. The Geology Museum is #27 on the campus map. Admission is free and all are welcome.

SCRIPTprov takes place at 7:30PM at Miners Alley Playhouse. We put improv in their scripts, they put scripts in our improv. What could possibly go wrong? SCRIPTprov is an award winning show that has been described as a “wonderful surprise” and “redefining the rules.” Performed in Denver since 2009, SCRIPTprov features the talents of traditional actors and the Dishwater Blondes improv troupe. Watch scenes get their scripts flipped. $17 For more information please visit www.minersalley.com.

Preview of April Events in Golden

April 1, 2019

Here’s a preview of some of the events in Golden this month. For the details, check the Calendar of Events.

Museum Exhibits:
American Mountaineering Museum – Gregory William Frux:  Mount Washington Observatory
Buffalo Bill Museum – The Buffalo Bill Story, From Adversary to Advocate, A Visit to the Wild West, Firearms, Kid’s Cowboy Corral
Colorado Railroad Museum – Got Style? Railroads & Interior Design, Ski Train: A Colorado Tradition, Images from the Tracks: Photographs of William Henry Jackson
Foothills Art Center – Members Show through April 21st | Otto Kuhler: Designing the Future opens April 19th
Geology Museum – Mineral from Colorado and Around the World, Radioactive Minerals, Meteorites, Fossil
Golden History Museum – 1968 Time Capsule, Epic Events, Legendary People, History Lab, The Salon, Touch Gallery
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum – It Takes To to Tango: Collaborations Quilts through April 20th | Hawaiian Quilts opens April 22nd

Theater
Miners Alley Playhouse
Our Town
Miners Alley Children’s TheaterThree Billy Goats Gruff

2
Train Talks – “So You Want to Write a Railroad Book” at the RR Museum
Hexie Ladies at the Quilt Museum
Trailblazer’s Free Open Climbing at the Mountaineering Center
3
TriceraTOTs
Trout Unlimited Meeting
Planning Commission Study Session
Friends of the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum Lecture
SCRIPTprov at Miners Alley
4
Public Art Commission
Everything Dinosaur Talk: Archosaurs
What’s Cooking in the Archives? A Food Historian’s View of Colorado Culinary Literature at the History Museum
MGD/PHO Multimedia Exhibition
City Council Study Session
5
Low-Key Applewood Moms
Friday Tour at the Railroad Museum
Colorado Rails and Cocktails: Streetcar Suburbs at the Railroad Museum
6
Golden Kids Clothes Swap at Hillside Church
Fuzzy Friends Sleepover at the Library
10th Annual Pi Mile Fun Run/Walk (3.14 miles) at the School of Mines
Train Rides at the Railroad museum
Coffee with Two Councilors
Jeffco Volunteer Fair at Foothills Animal Shelter
Opening Day – Three Billy Goats Gruff at Miners Alley Children’s Theater
7
Coffee with a Ranger at the Lookout Mountain Nature Center
Coyote Classic 5K and 1 Mile Family Fun Run for Shelton Elementary
8
MOMS Club of Golden, CO Meeting
Golden Safety Academy – Fire Safety & Prevention
GURA Board Meeting
9
Leonardo Da Vinci Lecture at Mines
Bell Middle School PTA
Golden High School PTA
Free Class – Taming Your Child’s Anxious Mind
Golden Beer Talks – Healthy Forests, Healthy Watersheds
Economic Development Commission Meeting
10
Colorado School of Mines – Adventure in the SerengetE-Days 2019
Auto-friendly Bicyclist Course at the Community Center
Game of Thrones Craft Night at the Library
Educational Event on Planning and Zoning in Golden
11
Everything Dinosaur Talk: Mammals
Golden Lunch Bunch – CSM Alumni
Marv Kay Day Celebration and Dedication
Teen DIY: Bubble Tea
Last Look With Hassan Najjar – Member’s Show at Foothills Art Center
E-Days at Mines
CMC Film Series: JEAN + The Crash Reel – Supporting LoveYourBrain
City Council Regular Meeting
12
E-Days at Mines
Rocky Mountain Storytelling – Story Seeds Conference and Concert
Art Book Club (ABC) at Foothills Art Center – The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt
Friday Tour – Railroad Post Office Cars
Western on Washington: A Saloon Stroll
13
E-Days at Mines
Courage Walk – National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Drawing: Stickman to Illustration!
14
Pancake Breakfast at the Golden Gate Grange
Gathering of the Guilds at the Mountaineering Center
15
PEEPle’s Choice Awards
Artistry Through Applique Lecture at Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
NREL Walking Campus Tour
Downtown Development Authority
16
Director’s Storytime and Craft
Local Licensing Authority Meeting
Tuesday Night Book Group at the Library – The Newcomers by Helen Thorpe
Utility Rate Citizen’s Committee
Parks, Recreation, and Museums Advisory Board
17
Town and Gown Book Club – The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman
Water-Wise Gardening Seminar: Plant Selection for a Water-Wise Landscape
Planning Commission Study Session
18
Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium at Mines, or GRADS
Cardboard Creations at the Library
Art on Tap – Bingo at Foothills Art Center
Lecture at the History Museum – Moving West: Who Moved to California in the 1930s and Why
City Council Study Session
19
First Day of Passover (begins in the evening)
Rocky Mountain Quilt Study Group at the Quilt Museum
Friday Tour at the Railroad Museum
20
Mines’ Helluva Service Event
Golden Family Easter Egg Hunt in Parfet Park
Bunny Express Train at the Railroad Museum
Eggmania/Easter Egg Hunt at the Golden Gate Grange
Gravity Blast Workshop at the Community Center
21
Easter
22
STEM Girls at the Library
Lecture at the History Museum: How the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Changed Baseball and America
23
Bicycle-friendly Driver Course at the Community Center
Mobility & Transportation Advisory Board Meeting
Intro to Hiking Safety – Colorado Mountain Club
24
Sustainability Board
Land Stewardship Series – Intro to Wildlife Refuges
Everything Dinosaur Talk: Theropods
Ukulele Wednesday at the Library
25
Dinosaur Ridge 30th Anniversary Celebration
Library for All – Interactive Program for Adults with Disabilities
City Council Business Meeting
26
Dinosaur Ridge 30th Anniversary Celebration
Day Without Hate
Freaky Friday at the Library
27
Dinosaur Ridge 30th Anniversary Celebration
Babysitting Course at the Community Center
Golden Goes Green at the Library
West Side Live! Presents Acoustic Eidolon
28
Dinosaur Ridge 30th Anniversary Celebration
The Big Read Station Eleven Book Discussion: Recycled Painting Workshop at the Library
30
Snakes Alive! Jefferson County’s Snakes at the Golden Library
Good News Breakfast

Maps, North Neighborhoods, Buying Goosetown, and Backyard Livestock

March 6, 2019

5-6PM Lecture at the School of Mines: How Maps Reveal (and Conceal!) History. Hill Hall 204, 910 15th Street (map). Whether as handmaidens of diplomacy, instruments of social reform, or even advertisements, maps have been central to American history. Across five centuries, maps have captured what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. As such, they have the power to both illuminate and complicate our understanding of the past. Join us as Susan Schulten explores the myriad ways that maps have both reflected and shaped American history, from the voyages of discovery to the digital age. The talk is free and all are welcome.

CoorsTek Building on Ford St.

6:30PM The Planning Commission has a Study Session tonight, to discuss possible changes to the North Clear Creek Neighborhood Plan. In addition to the residential neighborhoods between the Creek and Highway 58, this plan includes two areas where City Planners anticipate significant change. The first is the the CoorsTek area. At some point in the next few years, CoorsTek is expected to move out of their historic downtown building in favor of newer offices in the Coors Tech Center. The City hopes to fill that area with Community Mixed Use buildings (commercial on the bottom, offices and apartments above). The second area of significant change is the Goosetown neighborhood, along 10th street, east of Ford. This area has jumped to sudden significance because Coors intends to sell their office building and the City would like to buy it for use as a Municipal Center.

Correction: a previous version of this post referred to the “North Neighborhoods Plan,” rather than the “North Clear Creek Neighborhood Plan.”

Other Wednesday Events:
10-11AM TriceraTOTs at Dinosaur Ridge Discovery Center, 17681 W. Alameda Pkwy (map)
6-7:30PM Lecture at the Golden History Museum: The Failed 1976 Denver Winter Olympics
6-7PM Bend at the Barrel – Yoga and Tea at Old Barrel Tea Company. Suggested donation is $10-15.
6:15-7:15 Backcountry 101 Session with Icelantic
6:30-8:45PM Trout Unlimited Meeting at the Mountaineering Center

Live Music Tonight:
Dirty Dogs Roadhouse – Peter Fletcher, 6-9P
Miners Saloon – Austin & Friends, 6-9PM
Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse – Wintery Wednesdays Concert Series, 6-9PM
Rock Rest Lodge – Dave Frisk, 5-8:30PM


Thursday Preview:
9AM – Public Arts Commission
10AM – Everything Dinosaur Talk: Ceratopsian
6:30PM – City Council

Coors Office Building in Goosetown

Tomorrow night’s City Council meeting will cover some hot topics. They will have an executive session to talk about buying the Coors Office Building and several parcels of property in Goosetown. They will vote to introduce the possibility of a building moratorium. They will vote on whether to allow the Jefferson County Housing Authority to build over an alley and whether to allow them to begin building early–before accumulating the required 51 housing allocations.

With such an agenda, it might be easy to overlook some proposed changes to our rules for keeping backyard livestock, such as chickens, miniature goats, rabbits, chinchillas, pot-bellied pigs, and bees. Several people from the Beverly Heights neighborhood are concerned about the new rules. They want animal pens to be at least 15 feet away from neighbors’ yards; want to know the city’s policy for dealing with poor maintenance of animal pens; want to include a requirement that coops and pens be removed once the animals are gone, and want to prohibit slaughtering animals onsite. They are also concerned about an implied requirement that certain animals be kept outdoors. They point out that such animals will die in “outdoor” temperatures. So there may be some unintended consequences that Council will want to fix before approving the new rules.

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
9:30AM
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: heather@oldbarreltea.com.

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.



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