Granby neighbors worry about increased truck trips requested by gravel pit
Some Granby residents are not thrilled with the prospect of a gravel pit increasing the number of its truck trips on local roads.
ESCO Construction has asked the county to amend its current special use permit for Granby Sand and Gravel. The amendment would allow additional truck traffic to drive west toward Granby and on some local roads.
The Granby town board took up the topic Tuesday to discuss what comments trustees would like to offer the county.
When traveling west on County Road 60 to get on Agate Avenue, Granby Sand and Gravel trucks turn north onto Sixth Street, west on Jasper Court and then south on Fifth Street between Granby Garage and 7-Eleven. This avoids the challenging turn that would be needed to get on Agate Avenue directly from Sixth Street.
Currently, Granby Sand and Gravel is permitted 110 total truck trips on this route from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturdays from April 1 to Nov. 30.
The proposed variance would expand the timeframe for a higher number of daily truck trips, allowing 132 daily trips 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday from March 15 to Dec. 15.
If approved, there would also be 10 special Sundays when truck trips permitted in the summer months along with five special project variances in the winter if needed.
According to the traffic study provided to Granby’s town board, while the gravel pit is currently permitted 110 total truck trips, it only makes about 70. Despite this underutilization, the gravel pit’s variance is asking for a 19% increase on the cap.
The reason for this increase in requested trips relates to the gravel pit’s other request before the county to add asphalt and concrete operations, which will likely expand the number of truck trips to and from the site.
According to the traffic analysis, the additional trucks will not have a significant impact on traffic operations on Agate Avenue.
A number of neighbors along County Road 60, including some business owners, opposed the increase in traffic. Terry and Ted Pratt, owners of Flintstone Gravel —which also sits along County Road 60 — emphasized that traffic is at a tipping point along that road.
Other neighbors asked why the increase in limits is needed if the owner isn’t operating at max capacity under the current permit. The senior housing that sits along that road was also highlighted as a concern, as was damage to Granby’s medians due to these trucks.
Mayor Josh Hardy also pointed out that a bus stop exists along the alternate route used by the trucks and wondered if operations might start after buses pick up students, considering the additional days of operations requested by the gravel pit dip further into the school year.
Trustees did not outright oppose more trips but wanted to raise these safety concerns. The question as to why the increase was needed also remained.
The town manager plans to bring up the board’s comments during the county commissioners’ hearing on the gravel pit, which has not yet been scheduled. Grand County commissioners will make the final decision on whether to grant the variance.
In other business:
• Trustees discussed the Open for Business Grant program with the executive director of the Destination Granby. The Colorado Main Street program is offering to cover 80% for certain business improvements.
The chamber proposed splitting the remaining 20% match between the town and private businesses. A number of business owners spoke up in support of pursuing this funding, and trustees gave the town manager direction to continue moving forward with the proposal. Similar efforts are underway in Kremmling, Fraser and Grand Lake.
• The board directed staff to begin writing a request for proposals to expand Granby’s downtown design standards. With growth coming to Granby’s downtown corridor, staff thought it would be a good idea to ensure codified standards.
Existing buildings would be grandfathered in to any code changes, and there will be extensive public meetings before the town officially adopts any alterations or additions.
• Trustees and staff have been using a Viewsonic SmartBoard for meetings since the COVID-19 pandemic, but town staff recently found out that the SmartBoard was purchased with a grant that specifically states that it can only be used by the police department for training purposes.
Trustees approved the purchase of a new 85-inch Surface Hub 2S to rectify this. The purchase, which had not been budgeted, will cost $22,000, plus up to $3,000 in accessories.
• The town board OK’d an amendment to the memorandum of understanding that allocates the $19,925 budgeted for a public art project to Destination Granby. Destination Granby is working with the Public Art Committee to put on the first-ever Granby Art in the Park, scheduled for Sept. 4 at Polhamus Park. This allocation will help limit the town’s liability due to alcohol being served at the event.
• Following an executive session, trustees directed town staff to pursue a possible real estate purchase. No further details were discussed.
• Trustees approved a pipeline easement with East Side Laundromat.
• The board renewed a memorandum of understanding with the East Grand School District related to maintenance funding for the soccer dome.
• Trustees held a workshop on the drought preparedness plan, a voluntary program being implemented countywide. The board is expected to join other Grand County towns and approve a memorandum of understanding with the county at Granby’s next meeting.
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Grand County has reported a 15th resident death due to COVID-19 as cases continue to spike in the county.