Granby imposes $1,500 fine on Reclamation Ridge
August 10, 2016
A public hearing on the conditional use permit for the Reclamation Ridge Gravel Pit (RRGP) in Granby came to a conclusion Tuesday night with the Board of Trustees imposing a $1,500 fine on the pit's operators, E.H. International LLC, for violation of the pit's permitted hours of operation.
The Board of Trustees formally found E.H. International LCC and the RRGP in violation of the pit's approved hours of operation during the Tuesday August 9 Board Meeting. The Board also formally determined the violation was the first documented offense by E.H. International, an incident that occurred earlier this summer on June 17. The Board imposed a fine of $1,500 but took no other formal action.
The Board did not cancel, suspend or otherwise alter the conditional use permit for the RRGP. Likewise the Board did not impose additional regulations for the pit's operational hours. The Board had full legal authority to place further restrictions on the pit's hours or days of operation but chose to impose a fine instead. Currently the RRGP is allowed to operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The RRGP is not permitted to operate before 7 a.m., after 7 p.m. or on Sundays at all.
Granby Town Attorney Scotty Krob explained the Board chose not to impose additional regulations on the pit's permitted hours of operation because the Board did not want to adversely impact any employees working at the pit. Krob added subsequent violations of the pit's permitted hours of operation could result in the Board imposing larger fines, limiting hours of operation, limiting days of operation and the possible suspension or revocation of the permit.
The Board began considering the issue two weeks ago during the July 26 Regular Board Meeting when a Public Hearing was held wherein E.H. International was formally informed of the accusations against them. After an initial defense by RRGP owner and operator Ken Evans the Board heard statements and complaints from several citizens who live near the pit as well as a rebuttal to those statements from Evans. During that meeting Granby Chief of Police Bill Housley read Grand County Dispatch notes from the incident.
At the time Granby Trustees asked about a formal police report from the incident. Chief Housley informed the Board the officer who responded to the call had not written a formal report and was on vacation at the time of the July 26 meeting and was unavailable to answer questions from the Board.
Over the intervening two-weeks the Officer who responded to the call for a noise compliant at the RRGP on June 17 completed a police report related to the incident. During the August 9 meeting Chief Housley read the official report.
Upon arrival at the RRGP on June 17 Officer Miller with the Granby PD saw rock crushers, conveyer belts and other gravel pit equipment running, according to the report. The report goes on to state Officer Miller asked Evans what he was doing and Evans responded he had been working late every night that week. Evans later clarified his comments to the Board, explaining he had been working late throughout the week of the June 17 incident, but not at the RRGP or in Grand County.
During the Public Hearing in late July Evans told the Board the noise and activity occurring at the RRGP on June 17 stemmed from maintenance work being conducted on two pieces of equipment at the gravel pit that had recently been struck by lightening. Evans told the Board engineers from Finland were brought in at that time and he believed his conditional use permit allowed for maintenance work outside the permitted hours of operation. At the conclusion of the July 26 Public Hearing the Board requested Evans bring documentation of that work to the next meeting. On August 9 Evans provided the Board with copies of work orders related to the incident.
After hearing from Chief Housley and Evans the Board went into Executive Session to receive legal advisement from Town Attorney Scotty Krob on options available to the Board. After an Executive Session lasting approximately 15-minutes the Board reconvened in open session.
Town Attorney Krob then laid out the Board's decision, explaining the Board formally found E.H. International LLC in violation of the conditional use permit's permitted hours of operation. Krob noted the Board determined the violation was the first documented offense, but felt there were, "undoubtedly" additional undocumented violations. Krob informed Evans the Board was imposing a $1,500 fine, but would not otherwise restrict the pit's conditional use permit, citing a desire not to harm the pit's employees.