Granby considers extension for Reclamation Ridge
Reclamation Ridge is seeking a 10-year extension for its gravel pit’s conditional use permit, but Granby trustees aren’t so sure they want to grant it.
In an area zoned for industrial use, the business needs a conditional use permit to conduct gravel mining operations. Reclamation Ridge last renewed in 2019, but this time the company asked for a longer extension, stating that two years is too restrictive.
During the hearing, owner Ken Evans and his consultant, Steve O’Brian, argued that the mine has been a good neighbor for the duration of its existence, which dates back in some form or another to 1965.
However, many neighbors don’t feel the same way. Paul Wisor, an attorney representing a number of homeowners adjacent to the mine, asked the board to consider denying the conditional use permit.
Wisor argued that Reclamation Ridge never should have been granted the conditional use permit based on town code. Nearby property owners have a rocky history with the mine, often pushing back against its requests for permits and filing a number of complaints.
The Granby Board of Trustees has twice found Reclamation Ridge in violation of its conditional use permit: once in 2016 for violating permitted hours of operation and again in 2018 for allowing stockpiled materials to be visible from neighboring properties. Reclamation Ridge filed a lawsuit against the town for that second finding, but the court ruled in the town’s favor despite a few errors made by the board during the public hearing process.
“While I would agree that it is clear that the applicant is a good neighbor generally, I don’t know if that is necessarily the case with the operation in the near past,” Wisor said.
If the town decided to not entirely deny the permit, Wisor asked that the extension only be for two years with the added condition that the applicant begin the reclamation process and reduce hours of operation by half an hour.
O’Brian pointed out that Reclamation Ridge has never been cited by state entities for dust or water violations, and Evans felt that the CUP violations were arbitrary. Additionally, O’Brian argued that the mine provides important materials for Granby and surrounding communities.
“This is the land and this is the use that owners have chosen for this property,” O’Brian said. “While there is a frustration, it is on both sides.”
Evans went on to say that the mine currently has no intention to expand beyond where it is permitted to operate by the town and denied a rumor that Reclamation Ridge wants to open an asphalt batch plant. A batch plant would require the town to approve a separate conditional use permit.
Granby trustees felt that 10 years would be too long for an extension with most inclined toward a two-year renewal instead. However, a number of board members also felt that the gravel pit no longer matches the character of the area and asked if some sort of exit strategy might be developed for the mine.
After extensive discussions, trustees decided to continue the hearing to the next town board meeting. Staff was directed to revise the conditional use permit with a two year extension, a provision halting mining operations after 5 p.m. and alterations to various language in the permit.
In other business:
• The trustees continued a hearing for the quinquennial review of Granby Ranch Metropolitan Districts 2-8, which hold a total of more than $11 billion in authorized but unissued debt, according to documents provided to the board. With the recent change in ownership at the ski and golf resort, the board agreed to move the hearing to June 22 with Trustee Natascha O’Flaherty dissenting.
• Trustees approved an amendment to the town code regulating off-highway vehicles. The update bans OHVs from operating on First Street, Fourth Street or Agate Avenue, except to cross those streets, and prohibits OHVs from operating on streets near schools on school days during drop off and pick up hours.
Additionally, the change allows OHV operators to be any age — as long as they hold a valid driver’s license — and restricts the maximum number of occupants to the number the OHV was designed to hold. The code also adds a number of provisions to match Colorado law, including registering the OHV with the state.
• The board agreed to donate $5,000 to the Headwaters Trails Alliance’s Outdoor Stewardship Ambassador program.
• Trustees decided go with TM Fencing for galvanized fencing along the railroad area at Kaibab Park. A contract with the railroad stated that fencing needed to be installed there on behalf of the town.
The purchase was budgeted for this year, but the board will need to dip into supplemental funding because the $26,105 cost was above what was expected. The town manager estimated that the fence would go up sometime in the early fall.
• The board approved the budgeted expense of gutter and heat tape repairs at town hall, going with the $14,623 bid from The Roofing Company. There will be up to $1,500 in additional electrical costs.
• Trustees appointed Maxine de la Luna to the Public Arts Committee, based on the recommendation of the committee.
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