ISPD recommends four-way stop at Colorado and 16th

The city plans to study whether a four-way stop is needed along Colorado Boulevard at 16th Avenue after a resident complained about visibility and safety issues.

During an Oct. 26 City Council work session, Police Chief Chris Malanka described how vehicles northbound on 16th Avenue can’t see eastbound traffic as they turn onto or cross Colorado Boulevard.

He believes placing east-west stop signs there to create a four-way stop would make the intersection safer, particularly if Miner Street is closed to vehicle traffic again. Malanka said during the summer, officers did extensive traffic control at the intersection because vehicles were backing up along 16th Avenue.

Council member Chuck Harmon said he had a close call at the intersection when a vehicle quickly pulled out in front of him because the driver couldn’t see. He wondered whether dropping the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph would be an alternative to creating a four-way stop.

Malanka explained that drivers don’t always obey speed limits, and even at 15-20 mph, a large car hitting a smaller car would be dangerous.

Council member Bob Bowland agreed the intersection’s line-of-sight wasn’t good but said the fact that the city hasn’t had an accident there is an indication it’s fine as is.

Both Mayor Mike Hillman and council member Jim Clark said they were worried that adding a stop sign at 16th Avenue would set a bad precedent but agreed the city should investigate the intersection’s safety.

Christmas lights will start shining Nov. 13

The city’s Christmas lights will begin the holiday season on Friday, Nov. 13.

Assistant City Administrator Jonathan Cain confirmed that Colorado Christmas Lights has installed the lights throughout the city, so they can be turned on anytime. While the city usually turns them on the Saturday after Thanksgiving as part of a formal event, Cain said the city likely won’t be able to host the event this year and recommended another time.

Mayor Mike Hillman suggested the second week of November, saying, “Let’s get the best use out of them. Once they’re turned on, our town looks even more amazing.”

Skate park equipment to be sold

The City Council told staff to sell its skate park equipment, except the half-pipe, which is at the end of its lifespan and will be demolished.

Assistant City Administrator Jonathan Cain said during an Oct. 26 work session that he might have a buyer, and he expects to sell the equipment for $500 to $1,500.

The city is still identifying a site for a new skate park.

Cain said selling the equipment will save Idaho Springs from having to store it and will allow the city to start fresh whenever it builds a new skate park.

Council members Scott Pennell and Bob Bowland agreed, with Bowland saying, “It seems like we should sell it and then start fresh with the gold standard.”

Liquor license distance requirement, Argo plan modified

The City Council approved eliminating liquor license distance requirements and made changes to the Argo Gold Mill’s final development plan for the gondola project at its Oct. 26 meeting.

The liquor license ordinance, which will be effective around Thanksgiving, will allow businesses that sell alcohol on the premises to be within 500 feet of a school.

Retail and other establishments that sell alcohol for off-premises consumption are still subject to the 500-foot requirement to help prevent minors from attempting to have someone purchase alcohol for them.

The topic came up after The Bee’s Knees, an antique shop at 1430 Miner St., requested the City Council change the municipal code to allow it to have a beer-and-wine license. The Bee’s Knees is 192 feet away from Carlson Elementary, and beer-and-wine licensees were subject to the 500-foot rule.

Mayor Mike Hillman and other council members stated previously that they didn’t want to change the code to make one exception but were comfortable with removing the distance requirement for all businesses selling for on-premise consumption.

Additionally, the council approved modifying three conditions in the Argo Gold Mill’s final development plan for its gondola project, with council member Bob Bowland, an Argo co-owner, recusing himself.

Barb Cole, interim city planner, has explained that the changes were necessary to avoid delays because they centered on what triggers certain conditions. For instance, one condition originally stated that the water system design would be reviewed and approved by the city before a building permit was issued. It was changed so it would be reviewed before issuing a certificate of occupancy.

The other two conditions were similar: changes to reviewing and approving the wastewater system design and changing when building the upper landing site is permitted.