Silver Plume Mountain project and short-term rental permits
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Silver Plume Mountain Project
The Clear Creek Board of County Commissioners approved a request from the town of Silver Plume May 17 for $100,000 in funding to help purchase a 200 acre plot of land. The plot encompasses almost the entire mountainside north of the town and is filled with historic mining areas.
Called the “Silver Plume Mountain Project,” the land would become public and preserved for public use moving forward. The Silver Plume Town Council says it would be a good addition to the town’s parks and public space, but would also allow the city to keep the old mining shafts undisturbed to protect the watershed.
It is currently owned by the Jack Pine Mining Company, which offered to sell the land to the town for $500,000, under the condition it is conserved as public land in perpetuity. According to town appraisals, for land so close to I-70, the price is toward the lower end of its worth.
It would cost a total of about $600,000 to purchase with additional environmental studies, appraisals, titles and insurance. Silver Plume has already raised $101,000 as of May 5, and if able to raise 30% of cost, with Clear Creek County’s $100,000 in additional funding pushing them over that, Silver Plume will move on to a purchase agreement. With so much support from the town and county, Silver Plume could apply for grants from the Open Space Commission among other potential funders like the State Historical Fund and private partners.
After debate by the Board of County Commissioners on whether any of the land could be developed rather than permanently preserved, finding that not much would be suitable, the Board approved the request.
Short-Term Rental Permits
May 17 saw the Clear Creek County Board of County Commissioners discuss increasing the cost for short-term rental permits.
Currently the price is $250 per calendar year, but the board may increase the rate to $400. This would allow the county to have a full-time employee for permit enforcement rather than the current part-time position, according to the Planning Department’s Fred Rollenhagen. Besides enforcement aspects, the fee would just cover the cost of the short-term permit program itself.
The current cap on permits sits at 4.5% of the total unincorporated residences in Clear Creek County, or about 160. As of the May 17 meeting, this was at 141. The Planning Department previously believed they had met the 160 cap, which is what triggered the board to meet, but this was due to a few doubly counted permits. The error has since been fixed.
The session was a work session, so no actions were taken yet, but the increase is expected to happen this year.
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