Speak Out Against Gravel Pit Application
by Janice Wheeler, Montrose County
Jun 06, 2013 | 1050 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Editor:

I write in regards to the Special Use Permit Application for the Uncompahgre Pit south of Montrose.  We as a Community do not have accurate information to make an informed and responsible decision at this time.  

For example the County application states 19 trucks a day accessing the highway, but the Air Pollution application states 87 loads/day (then the trucks return for their next load, add 40 water truck trips and it's way over 200), resulting in traffic more than 10 times what the Planning Commission was told. The CDOT study has not even begun.

No other entity statewide has given approval for this operation, as many as 14 approvals are necessary. This is not an iconic gravel pit that will in 10 years becomes a pond; it’s a 250-acre, 105-year industrial strip mining operation that would be seen, heard and smelled for miles – asphalt production most of the summer and a concrete plant. Colorado Air Pollution Control inspects these mines every six to eight years; that should make you uncomfortable having this in your south valley.  Our Zoning Resolution clearly prohibits the inclusion of 'Heavy Industrial Uses' in special use permits to keep these processes away from our homes and farms. Heavy Industrial Uses are Aggregate Processing, asphalt and concrete plants, and fuel storage tanks, all of which are included in this project.

After reading the Road and Bridge audit it seems clear that the Land Use Department exhibits a similar culture – favoring a few entities or businesses at the expense of the majority. These effects are both monetary in the case of property values and taxes, and in regard to the health, welfare and quality of life which our Mission Statement vows to protect. The Land Use Director has stated that “It doesn’t matter if people are upset” and “it’s always been done this way.”  Hopefully our last County audit demonstrated that the way it’s always been done is not necessarily the best way. 

This Application is incomplete, inaccurate, incompatible and includes items specifically prohibited by the County Zoning Resolution. Speak out to your County Commissioners in the many ways available: publicly June 17, 1:30 at Friendship Hall. If not denied, continue until all studies are in place, very importantly how do you safely get 200-plus semi trucks a day onto very dangerous Highway 550 south?

To sign the petition opposing, visit  http://chn.ge/10CBALd 

 

– Janice Wheeler, Montrose County

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