Gravel pit proposed for 15 acres near Granby Airport | SkyHiNews.com

Gravel pit proposed for 15 acres near Granby Airport

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Neighbors of a proposed gravel pit operation near the Granby Airport came out against the proposal at an Oct. 14 Grand County Planning Commission meeting.

After hearing testimony on both sides of the special-use permit issue, planning commission members unanimously approved the pit operation – with 25 conditions. It next will be reviewed by county commissioners, but a date for that public hearing has not yet been set.

Dust, effects on property values, water quality, visual impacts and hours of operation were all topics neighbors addressed during the public discussion about Ted and Terry Pratt’s and Fred Pickering’s proposed 15-acre gravel extraction operation.

The “Pickering Family Pit” is located within a greater 100-acre parcel that is adjacent to the Great Divide Head Lettuce Colony subdivision outside of Granby.

Adjacent property owner Cindy Boyes, for one, said she was worried about the “eyesore” a gravel pit would create for people arriving to the Granby Airport, according to draft minutes from the meeting. “This pit will scar the land,” she said.

The Pickering Family Trust LLC owns the 100-acre parcel and is in the process of purchasing 42 acres of adjacent land owned by John D. Nelson.

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According to county planning notes, the 42-acre parcel under contract provide for a future gravel pit access.

A private road, built 20 feet wide to county standards, would serve to access CR 61, whereby trucks would enter and exit onto Highway 34 as the preferred route for the operation, according to potential pit proprietor Ted Pratt, per draft meeting minutes.

Under the special use permit, the operator would be required to manage “erosion and sediment, drainage, water quality, air quality and visual quality,” states the county certificate of recommendation.

Pratt stated he is not planning to drill a well in addition to the existing commercial well, and he does not believe the operation would pose a hazard to ground water. The end goal, he stated, is to turn the site back into rangeland when extraction is completed after a period of at least seven years.

Pratt added that he plans to construct a sediment control pond at the bottom of the water draw on the pit property, and “anticipates that everything within the mine site will drain to that pond,” according to draft minutes. A large berm is also in the plans to address the pit’s potential visual impact.

A Colorado Division of Wildlife officer voiced concern about possible wildlife impacts, saying the area is a critical range for deer, elk and antelope. A herd of 200 or more animals stays there during winter months, and the site is deemed a unique site for pronghorn. In response, Pratt said winter operations for gravel pits are nearly non-existent due to diminished need, meeting minutes say.

Proposed operation of the pit would be Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Among special use conditions, planning commissioners outlined that comments made by the Division of Wildlife be “adequately addressed.” They also put forth the need for written confirmation from the Army Corps of Engineers that no wetlands will be impacted, the need for proof of mineral ownership, and needed conformance with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment Air Quality Control Division.

The special use permit now depends on approval by the State of Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology and from Grand County Commissioners.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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