Residents illegally create speed bump
August 31, 2018
GRANBY — Some Grand Elk residents found one way to control speeders in its subdivison as they unlawfully installed a speed bump for lead-footed drivers.
The illegal traffic control device prompted a lively discussion for Granby trustees during their regular meeting Tuesday evening, centered around potential solutions to address concerns related to speeding traffic in the Granby subdivision.
To combat problems related to speeders, local residents installed a speed bump on Thompson Road near its convergence with County Road 56. Local authorities later removed the speed bump. Chief Jim Kraker with the Granby Police noted that while Thompson Road is a privately maintained road it is designated as a public access road and as such traffic control devices, such as speed bumps, cannot be installed without the approval of the town of Granby.
The problem stems from a unique dynamic created by the convergence of County Road 56 and Thompson Road. Thompson Road runs from the stoplight near City Market to the west through the southern section of Grand Elk before technically terminating at County Road 56. County Road 56 continues west from Grand Elk to a segment of unincorporated Grand County that is only accessible from Grand Elk.
The convergence point of the asphalt paved Thompson Road and the dirt surface of County Road 56 is marked by a cattle crossing guard. There is no posted speed limit on CR 56. According to officials from the Granby Police Department the road is designated as an open mountain highway. Under state statutes the speed limit on an open mountain highway is 40 mph unless otherwise posted. The speed limit on Thompson Road is 25 mph. Grand Elk residents raised concerns that drivers coming off County Road 56 would continue down Thompson Road, through what is essentially a residential neighborhood, at speeds much higher than are allowed under the road's speed limit.
No formal decision was taken though town officials, Grand Elk HOA members and residents of County Road 56 expressed support for the installation of a speed limit – radar sign that shows the speed of an approaching driver and flashes when a vehicle is speeding.
Gravel pit found in violation of permit regulations
Granby trustees heard nearly two hours of public hearing regarding alleged violations of a conditional-use permit for the operation of Reclamation Ridge Gravel Pit, located on Meadow Road a short distance north of East Grand Middle School. The public hearing was prompted by a series of complaints lodged by local citizens who live in the vicinity around Reclamation Ridge, largely off of County Road 61.
The public hearing featured a series of complaints against the pit made by its neighbors related to hours of operation, dust, traffic, and gravel pit equipment and material being visible from neighboring properties.
Pit owner Ken Evans rebutted the complaints, citing local, state and federal reports from inspections conducted on Reclamation Ridge. Several citizens, including former pit owner Larry Thompson, expressed support for Evans and the pit's ongoing operations.
The board unanimously found Reclamation Ridge in violation of the pit's conditional-use permit as it relates to equipment and material being visible from "neighboring properties."
Evans voiced his opposition to the ruling, claiming the pit's materials and equipment are not visible from adjacent properties while acknowledging that there are nonadjacent properties in the area from which materials and equipment are visible. He explained he believed the term "neighboring" in the permit referred only to adjacent properties.
The board had several options they could take after finding Reclamation Ridge in violation of their permit. They could terminate the permit, suspend operations until violations are fixed, modify the terms of the permit, or impose a fine. The board voted to modify the current permit but did not decide what those modifications would look like Tuesday night. Board members said they wanted an opportunity to personally check out the neighboring properties from which the pit's materials and equipment are visible, with an eye towards possibly exempting some properties the pit's requirements related to visible materials and equipment.
This is not the first time officials from Reclamation Ridge have had to appear before the Granby Board to address complaints lodged by their neighbors. In August 2016, the gravel pit's owners were fined $1,500 by the board for violating the pit's permitted hours of operation.