Grand County Planning Commission OKs permit for Kremmling transfer station
April 9, 2009
Grand County Planning Commission members voted 7-2 in favor of a special use permit for a transfer station at the existing Kremmling Landfill.
Grand County itself was the applicant, represented by County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran and Road and Bridge Superintendent Ken Haynes.
The vote followed a lengthy hearing that entailed questions aiming to understand the county’s direction as it collects information about a total of four to five potential transfer station sites, two of which the county owns: The Kremmling Landfill and a six-acre site near Hot Sulphur Springs.
All options, according to Underbrink Curran, will be presented at a May 5 county commissioner hearing, during which the Kremmling Landfill site with its recent planning commission recommendation will be one of the candidates.
County planning staff recommended 22 conditions for the Kremmling transfer station special use permit. Planning commissioners added four more, requesting that future buildings be of “earthen tone,” that light pollution be minimized, that a trip-generation study be performed on CR 22, and that the county consult with the town of Kremmling and the County Sheriff’s Office about traffic enforcement on that stretch of road.
Among citizens who voiced concerns about increased traffic on that road, Sara Miller, owner of the Red Mountain RV Park on CR 22 off of Highway 40, said the amount of increased traffic the county proposes could adversely affect her and her husband’s business because of added noise, as well as create greater safety hazards.
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According to the county, about 80 to 90 vehicles would enter and leave the transfer-station site daily. Added to that, about 5 to 7 semi-trailer loads will travel the road hauling waste to the Front Range at unscheduled times of the day.
Already CR 22 is heavily used, Miller said, with residential, ranching, landfill and recreational traffic. The Big Horn Park housing development is accessed by that road, as well as ATV, dirt bike, snowmobile and motorcycle terrain off CR 224.
Nearer to the road’s entrance, children often walk across CR 22 from a trailer home community and the Kremmling Country housing neighborhood, Miller said, to access the ball fields and ice rink past her business on Central Avenue.
With speeding traffic already a problem on the 25 mph road, she said, more traffic will only compound an existing safety problem.
“Now that it’s a viable option, it makes me worried that it’s going to be considered,” Miller commented after the planning commission vote.
“Hopefully the (commissioners) will see another, better option, because we don’t want it there.”
As far as other options available to the county, during Wednesday’s hearing county staff members said the county experienced sticker shock during negotiations with Waste Management, the company the county chose to operate the transfer station, due to the downturn in construction and development waste throughout the county.
“Grand County has raised concerns on the feasibility of Waste Management operating the site,” states a memo to planning commissioners. “The county may choose to operate the site itself.”
Asked about that and other options, including a possible county decision to abandon its involvement with trash altogether, County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran said she fears what it would be like if the county did not continue overseeing waste-disposal operations.
“I believe that people have depended on the county for solid waste disposal for so long that I think people would be very disconcerted by that happening. That worries me, for the fact that we don’t really know what it would really be like if the county wasn’t in the solid waste-disposal business.”
Later, Grand County Planning Commission Chairman Gary Salberg reminded all in the room: “The county is by no means legislated to provide trash pick-up.”
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