Granby terminates Reclamation Ridge’s gravel pit permit
Granby has canceled Reclamation Ridge’s conditional use permit for gravel operations after the operator failed to sign an amendment by Tuesday’s meeting.
Reclamation Ridge has operated a gravel pit in west Granby for decades under a conditional use permit, meaning gravel mining operations are not a use by right on the property. The town had previously given the pit permission to operate with conditions.
In December, the town board found the gravel pit to be in violation of its permit for operating what the trustees believed to be a junk or scrap yard at the pit, which is not allowed by the permit or by right under its industrial zoning.
The board gave the operator Ken Evans until Jan. 7 to clean up the pit. At the town board meeting earlier this month, the site cleanup hadn’t been finished due to the holiday snowstorms. Trustees understood the circumstance and gave Evans until last Friday to finish.
At the Jan. 11 meeting, the board also amended the conditional use permit to make it clear that the gravel pit operations could include what was listed in the permit and any uses by right. Because Evans did not sign a previous amendment to the permit until more than a year and a half after the board approved it, trustees added that this revision would need to be signed by Tuesday’s meeting.
Town Manager Ted Cherry informed the board that he had visited the site again and clean up was nearly complete, with the final truckload about to leave. However, Cherry said he emailed Evans on Jan. 12 to sign the amended permit and, according to Cherry’s read receipts, Evans never opened the email, though it was delivered.
Evans did not attend Tuesday’s meeting or respond to Sky-Hi News’ emailed request for comment.
Trustees expressed confusion over why Evans had not signed the amendment, which they thought actually benefited the gravel pit. The board also expressed frustration at what they perceived as a pattern of disregard for the town.
“I think we’ve been very patient in this particular matter,” Mayor Josh Hardy said.
Trustee Kristie DeLay put the matter more bluntly.
“We have spent enough staff time and our own time here with semantics,” she said.
The town attorney explained that by not entering the amended permit by the deadline, the gravel pit was technically in breach. With a breach, the town board has the option to again amend the permit, fine the permit holder, suspend the permit or terminate it.
Trustee Nick Raible moved to suspend the permit until the town received a signed amendment, but the motion was not seconded and died.
Mayor Pro-Tem Deb Shaw then moved to terminate the conditional use permit, which Trustee Rebecca Quesada seconded. The motion passed with Raible opposing.
The town attorney explained during discussions that he wasn’t aware of any town regulations that would prohibit the gravel pit from immediately reapplying for the conditional use permit, but the approval would have to go through a new permit process and a hearing with the town board to be approved again.
Reclamation Ridge previously went to court against the town when the gravel pit was found in violation of its permit in 2019 for allowing stockpiled materials to be visible from neighboring properties. The court ultimately ruled in the town’s favor despite a few errors made by the board during the public hearing process.
In other business:
• Trustees held a workshop on parking regulations. The current town code has conflicting regulations, one requiring no commercial parking for new downtown developments and one requiring what staff thought was an excessive amount of parking for new downtown developments. The town’s fee in lieu of parking is also only $1,000 when staff said it should probably be more like $9,500.
The board asked staff to bring forward a proposed ordinance change that would require some amount of parking and increase the fee in lieu of parking.
• The board discussed a couple revisions to the budget for the year, starting with a consideration of whether to bring back five day summer camps with the Recreation Department. Recreation Director Julie Martin explained that with half the child attendance on Fridays, it didn’t make sense staffing-wise to have five-day summer camps.
She added that she’s hoping to extend the capacity this summer for the four-day camps from 40 to 45 children. The board agreed that keeping the days at four in the summer was ideal.
• After deciding to not include the regular $5,000 donation to the Grand Enterprise Initiative during budget time last year, trustees reconsidered. With facilitator Patrick Brower’s promise to begin providing quarterly updates to the board, the trustees agreed to the donation. The money will come from a supplemental budget.
Trustees also approved a mosquito-spraying contract that covers all of Granby without extra charges to various developments.
• The Public Arts Committee asked to allocate $4,500 of their budget to build a separate website, but the town board wondered if the committee website should be hosted on the town’s. The board requested more information from the committee before making a decision.
• The board OK’d an update to the town’s liquor regulations related to festivals and delivery to align with new state laws. The liquor licensing for festivals has expanded to other types of liquors licenses beyond winery. The alcohol takeout and delivery permits allows certain liquor license holders to offer takeout and delivery of alcohol with an $11 permit.
• Trustees were agreeable to an amendment on the county’s special use permit with Flintstone Gravel and Trucking. The amendment, which adds 29 acres to the lease on the property for business purposes if approved by the county, does not change the condition that business traffic for the pit cannot go on Granby’s streets unless it is delivering to somewhere in town.
• The board appointed Mikey Cross and Tina Holley to the two vacancies on the Public Arts Committee.
• The board awarded a contract for updating the town’s design standards for $50,000 to the Community Matters Institute.
• The trustees approved an easement to Mountain Parks Electric on a small piece of land near River Run for underground power supply.
• The town board adopted the state’s model traffic code and a code of conduct and ethics for town entities.
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