Transfer station process could be Trash Gate
In the Dec. 23 Board of County Commissioners meeting minutes, when the county bought the Hot Sulphur Springs site specifically for the Transfer Station, they knew they would be hearing a zoning change on the property minutes before agreeing to purchase it. Many people believe this is extremely improper, especially when that zoning change results in not having to issue a Special Use Permit for a potentially hazardous site that affects the town and its residents. According to the Grand County Zoning Regulations a Transfer Station should be zoned Forest & Open, requiring a permit. Under the current Business zoning, Light Industrial is a very generic term, does not require a permit, and is a very loose interpretation of a Transfer Station. Other examples of businesses not requiring a permit is a florist and a bakery and they certainly dont compare with a Transfer Station.After much contention by the Town of HSS and its residents, and only after the Town of Kremmling wrote a letter saying they want the station at the Kremmling landfill, the county will consider a Special Use Permit at that site, a site they previously dismissed along with the Granby landfill. But, the BOCC still maintains no permit is required for the HSS site at the entrance of the town.In a recent written response to the Town of HSS the BOCC vowed, no special use permit is required and we will adhere fully to our regulations. We question whether they adhered to their regulations in the first place. Why does one site require a permit and the other doesnt for the exact same enterprise? Shouldnt a transfer station be a transfer station no matter where its located, notwithstanding convenient loopholes found in the zoning regulations? Now the town will file a zoning appeal for the BOCC to try and get it right again. But the BOCC have already said they have muddied the waters and cant do a fair hearing. Late February, we were asked to submit suggestions for a site. Some were rejected for legitimate reasons and others were rejected because of trucks waiting for trains at RR tracks, possible sliding land where there was no data to support it, a we were told that land wasnt for sale even though the owner says it is, and fault lines. It was pointed out wherever you have mountains you have fault lines. Plus, there were listings on the MLS that meets their requirements. Now, they say its too late to consider any other site because they want the station operational by the end of this year.There are several more discrepancies in their research. At their February presentation, the BOCC and staff stated the Scenic Byway Committee gave them their blessing for the station in Hot Sulphur. But we find this is not accurate. In a written letter to the BOCC, the Byways coordinator recommended further studies be done with the ultimate goal of placing this facility in another location not located on the Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway. How could this be misunderstood? A Commissioner told me last week the Baden-Baden area near the HSS cemetery was never considered for the Transfer Station. They were considering that property for Habitat for Humanity and not a Transfer Station. Maps show the county owns the equivalent of three entire blocks in this area. BOCC minutes do show the county manager will contact the town regarding the Baden-Baden area. Indeed, town records show that, last August, county staff contacted the town to consolidate property near the cemetery for a Transfer Station and the town responded this was not in their best interest. When the county bought the current HSS site in Dec. what made them think the town response was going to be different? At the very least there is a huge disconnect between the BOCC and staff and many other contradictions in addition to those listed here. We dont know whats accurate and what isnt and apparently they dont either.Further, there is no plan for construction debris, recycling, or public review before they build the station. There is no method for reasonable conditions on the operation, no mitigation plan for the undesirable effects of rodents, noise, and blowing trash just to name a few, and no periodic review. Their only plan is someone will monitor the six-foot perimeter fence to pick up loose trash but what about their neighbors? And if they looked at how sound travels uphill they might discover the station is facing the wrong way and will actually perpetuate increased noise. All of this is part of a Special Use Permit. They have basically said trust us – you will love it. They give more weight to a central location than they do their constituents. We werent on the list of criteria to begin with and they still refuse to put us on it. Pardon us if we have lost all confidence in the BOCC and staff in this matter. You have to wonder if the BOCC and staff are incompetent in this area, is it calculated, are they covering themselves, or all three. Do we have a Trash Gate? Does the county really think we believe they are going to seriously consider the Kremmling landfill? If they had wanted to put it there we would have a big hole in the ground now. It will be no surprise when Waste Management gives a cost estimate too prohibitive for hauling trash to Kremmling. Bottom line is the people and Town of HSS are going to get the shaft at the expense of their property values, home equity, and quality of life with the Transfer Station at the edge of town all because the BOCC and staff in their haste are unable or refuse to get their act together and obtain or consider all the facts or options. At least I can pick up a dozen flowers and doughnuts when I drop off my trash. Ken AndersonHot Sulphur Springs
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