An ongoing lawsuit between the town of Granby and a local gravel pit continues to move through the court system in Grand County with no immediate resolution in sight.
Earlier this year, in late March, the plaintiff in the case, Reclamation Ridge, LLC, filed an amended complaint against the town. The amended complaint follows an initial complaint filed by legal counsel representing Reclamation Ridge in late October 2018, shortly after the town ruled that Reclamation Ridge was in violation of a conditional use permit that governs operations at the pit.
In late August 2018, the Granby Board found Reclamation Ridge in violation of its conditional use permit in relation to gravel and other stockpiled pit materials being visible from neighboring properties. In late September 2018 the Town levied a $2,500 fine on Reclamation Ridge for the violation. Less than a month later, on Oct. 23, attorneys for Reclamation Ridge filed a lawsuit in 14th Judicial District Court in Grand County.
On March 25, attorneys for Reclamation Ridge filed an amended complaint that lists 12 specific claims which they contend support their argument that the Town of Granby “abused its discretion and exceeded its jurisdiction” when it found Reclamation Ridge in violation of the conditional use permit. Among the 12 specific points are claims such as the town “allowed non-residents, who do not have standing, to file complaints against the Plaintiff” and “the Town of Granby abused its discretion by putting the burden on the Plaintiff.”
Also filed on March 25 by attorney’s representing Reclamation Ridge was a plaintiff’s opening brief. The 18-page document outlines Reclamation Ridge’s arguments and includes six separate issues presented for review. In the brief, attorney’s for the pit argue, amongst other arguments, that Reclamation Ridge committed no actual violations of the conditional use permit and that Granby failed to give the pit the opportunity to rectify issues the town deemed to be violations. The brief claims that no “competent evidence” exists in the record to sustain the finding of the board and that the conditions in the permit are vague and violate the pit’s procedural due process rights. It also argues that Granby relied upon “outside evidence and experience in a manner that prejudged the situation.”
In early December, legal counsel representing the Town filed a response to Reclamation Ridge’s initial complaint filing. That response notes that Granby denied all allegations listed in the complaint. As of late last week Granby’s legal representatives had not yet filed a response to the amended complaint or the Plaintiff’s Opening Brief. According to court officials Granby currently has until May 28 to file their response to the brief. The town can also seek an extension of time from the court to file their responses.
The incidents at the heart of the legal dispute represent the second time in two years Granby ruled that Reclamation Ridge had violated its conditional use permit. In August 2016 Granby also ruled the pit was in violation of its permit, in relation to the pit’s permitted operational hours, and fined the business $1,500.
The gravel pit is also in the midst of seeking an updated conditional use permit for gravel pit operations from the town. A public hearing was held on the subject last Tuesday night that ended inconclusively after local citizens raised a series of concerns about the verbiage within the permit.
One local citizens even raised the issue of the height of stockpiled materials during comments he made to the Board of Trustees, however the board informed the citizen that the Town and Reclamation Ridge were “in litigation about that issue” and quickly moved on to discuss other topics contained within the conditional use permit.