County approves additional asphalt, concrete operations at gravel pit
A gravel pit has received preliminary approval from Grand County commissioners on Tuesday to add asphalt and concrete operations.
ESCO Construction, which operates the Granby Sand and Gravel Pit, asked the county for an amendment to its special use permit during a hearing.
The asphalt materials facility and concrete bath plant that ESCO requested to put on site would be portable and not be on the site year round, according to the community development department’s certificate of recommendation.
A number of neighbors spoke up in opposition to the expanded operations during the hearing, citing concerns with traffic and pollution.
The gravel pit is on County Road 60, a route that many neighbors said already sees too much truck traffic.
Granby Sand and Gravel’s trucks leave the gravel pit through Granby and utilize the intersection at CR 60, Sixth Street and Agate Avenue. To avoid the hairpin turn getting on and off the highway, ESCO’s trucks go around the back of the 7-Eleven.
While ESCO had initially requested a higher limit on traffic counts, the company said it adjusted its ask after hearing from county and Granby officials. The amendment considered Tuesday would keep the same number of permitted truck trips at 110 per day in summer months.
Other concerns were raised about the environmental impacts. ESCO officials said that by adding asphalt and concrete operations locally, they would actually be reducing the overall environmental impacts by hauling the materials over shorter distances.
County officials emphasized that the existing special use permit already addresses a number of concerns from residents related to water use, stormwater management and air pollution, which are controlled by the state. That includes an air pollution emissions notice and any required air quality permits, stormwater management plan, and proof of water rights for the concrete and asphalt operations.
A condition added to the county’s permit would require ESCO to take appropriate actions to avoid air quality issues in Granby. If a state air quality violation notice is issued, ESCO would be required to appear before county commissioners.
Commissioners added a few conditions to the special use permit. Specifically, they wanted a fixed formula to address cost sharing on road maintenance along County Road 60, which ESCO representatives said they would be agreeable to.
The amendment to the special use permit would also be reviewed by the end of March 2023 to see how the added gravel and concrete operations are impacting neighbors. With the adjustments, commissioners felt like they had acknowledged residents’ worries while allowing the company to proceed.
“There’s a ton of community concern,” Commissioner Kris Manguso said. “I think this gives you enough time to get your plant operational, to be working and alleviate the community concerns.”
With those additions and a few elements to be verified before issuance, the commissioners unanimously approved the amendment to the permit.
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On Thursday, a Grand County District Court judge sentenced a man with a history of burning slash piles on his property to 10 days in jail.