Commissioners to decide on gravel pit extension |

Commissioners to decide on gravel pit extension

Western Mobile Northern Inc. asking for nine additional months to sell its stockpile

Gary E. Salazar

— The Routt County Commissioners will decide whether a company will get an extension for a longtime gravel pit in the south Yampa Valley.

Tonight, the Routt County Commissioners will decide if they will give Western Mobile Northern Inc. nine additional months to sell existing stockpiles once its 10-year permit expires in March.

Commissioners expect for residents to attend the 7 p.m. meeting to voice opposition to the request by the Lafarge subsidiary to use the pit that has been in operation for about 30 years.

“For the Planning Commission hearing, there was some opposition,” Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said Monday. “I expect there will be some opposition” tonight.

Against the proposal is the city of Steamboat Springs. City officials sent a letter to the county in September asking the county to reject the extension.

Reasons the city cited include noise pollution, dust control and visual and wildlife impacts.

Despite the city’s opposition, the Routt County Planning Commission unanimously approved to extend the use permit until Dec. 1, 2002.

If granted, the nine-month extension will allow the company to sell and ship out product that is on the floor of the pit. The work will not include mining of the pit, which is four miles south of Steamboat Springs on Colorado 131.

Although the company received the commission’s approval, it will have one less workday.

Planning commissioners decided to allow the pit to operate Monday through Friday and exclude Saturday, which is currently a workday.

The commissioners also ordered the daily operations of the pit to cease at 4 p.m. during the fall and winter months and 4:30 p.m. during the spring and summer months.

The commission also made it clear to Lafarge officials that its reclamation plan needs to be improved.

The company plans to transform the pit into a lake, but commissioners indicated they would like to see a plan that contains additional vegetation and is comparable to the reclamation plan of a prior pit in the northern part of the county.

The commission also ordered the company to work with adjacent property owners and submit a new reclamation plan to county staff.

Commissioners stressed the reclamation plan needs to be aesthetically pleasing because it is an entryway into Steamboat Springs. They also stressed the plan must be up to par because the company is proposing a new pit in the southern part of the Yampa Valley.

Last week, Lafarge proposed to the Planning Commission of operating a new pit on 100 acres on the More Ranch, east of Colo. 131, six miles south of Steamboat.

Commissioners commented about the validity of the plan. Lafarge will have to meet with the Planning Commission one more time and the Routt County Commissioners twice before a decision is made.

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