Proposed concrete plant brings concerns; developer says it could help ease housing crisis
The hearing for a mobile concrete batch plant near Colorado Adventure Park has been continued while the county seeks more information.
Grand County commissioners opened a Tuesday hearing regarding a conditional use permit for Cornerstone Holdings’ proposed concrete batch plant from applicant Clark Lipscomb. The requested permit would be for five years, operating 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Community Development Director Robert Davis outlined the proposed permit to commissioners, explaining concerns about water rights, traffic, air pollution and more. Approval of the permit would come with 18 conditions that must be fulfilled before the concrete plant could begin operating.
The county required a traffic study for the project, but it was not submitted until Friday, which meant staff did not have much time to review it. However, Lipscomb contended that the concrete plant would not put more concrete trucks on the road; rather he said it would divert them from other parts of the county.
According to the permit, concrete plant traffic would be limited to County Roads 72 and 721 unless they’re making a local delivery. Those roads are owned by Fraser, so the applicant will also be required to meet a number of requirements outlined by the town.
Fraser Town Manager Ed Cannon spoke to commissioners during the hearing, emphasizing the town’s requests for documentation on a number of details.
“Fraser is not against a concrete batch plant in this location — we’re not,” Cannon said. “There is a need for concrete in the area. However … we want to make sure that we’re protecting the citizens of Fraser in this operation.”
The permit requires the plant submit an Air Pollution Emission Notice along with any other applicable state and local permits prior to beginning operations.
Water use for the concrete plant was also a concern. Lipscomb expressed confidence in his plan to use a nearby pond, along with backup plans if that does not work. Commissioners wanted to ensure that Lipscomb would have a legal right to use that water and to see that clearly documented.
A number of members of the public spoke up in opposition to the proposed plant, citing the developer’s history of conflicts in the community, concerns about water and wastewater, along with the air quality and traffic impacts of the concrete plant.
“They say the future can be predicted by past performance,” resident Graham Powers said, referencing a water pollution notice issued earlier this year against Grand Park, another one of Lipscomb’s projects.
Other residents cited the incomplete buildings along US Highway 40, known as the Market Street project, that have seen a stall in construction. County commissioners repeatedly said the Market Street buildings were not relevant to the concrete plant permit.
In response, Lipscomb pointed out that his home would be closer to the proposed concrete plant than any other house, so he would have a personal interest in mitigating its impacts. Lipscomb described the opposition as a small group’s continued effort to interfere with his work.
“The demonization of the applicant with false allegations is rather ridiculous,” Lipscomb said referencing himself. “It’s been going on for years by these same people and not one thing that they’ve ever come up with or said otherwise has been proven true or accurate.”
Lipscomb emphasized that his work would be legitimate and that impacts from the small plant would be minimal. He stressed that the concrete plant could help address the housing crisis by producing essential building materials locally.
“The notion that we don’t care about this community? It seems to me we’re the only ones trying to address major, major issues in the community associated with housing,” Lipscomb said.
With the need for more information and evaluation, county commissioners unanimously approved continuing the hearing to 1 p.m. Aug. 3, adding that if the needed materials are not submitted, the hearing could be continued again.
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