Blue Gravel Pit expansion before Garfield County again |

Blue Gravel Pit expansion before Garfield County again

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – The owners of the Blue Gravel Pit on Highway 82 are holding an open house from 4-6 p.m. today at Carbondale Town Hall to outline a proposed expansion of the pit operations.

The pit, near the junction of Crystal Springs Road (County Road 103) and Highway 82, occupies part of a 284-acre ranch owned by the family of the late Jean Blue and his widow, Delores “Dee” Blue. The ranch has been the site of an 83-acre gravel mining operation since 1981.

In 2010, the Garfield Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a 23-acre expansion of the pit, less than half of the 64-acre expansion applied for.

In addition, the BOCC imposed a 20-year time limit for the pit operations.

The limited expansion was viewed by the BOCC as a compromise between the pit’s proponents and opponents.

The opposition came mainly from residents of the nearby Wooden Deer subdivision.

The existing pit was believed at the time to have at least nine years worth of mining left before it would exhaust its permit area, according to a statement by Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson on Oct. 17, 2011, after further discussions about the expansion proposal.

The new application seeks development approval for a 65-acre expansion to the existing pit, the same proposal that was rejected in 2010, according to Western Slope Materials manager Sean Mello.

Mello, in an email to the Post Independent, said the company had never commenced operations based on the 2010 approval, “due to the restrictive conditions which made the execution of the permit impractical.”

An opponent of the 2010 pit expansion plan, John Fitch, said on Wednesday that some from the group would attend the open house.

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