Glenwood Springs wants to join county’s fight with RMR |

Glenwood Springs wants to join county’s fight with RMR

Matt Langhorst and other Glenwood Springs city officials talk about the impacts on Transfer Trail if RMR were to expand.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Glenwood Springs hopes to intervene in quarry owner RMR Industrial’s lawsuit against Garfield County.

Attorneys for the city filed a motion to intervene in the case Monday, arguing that the quarry’s lawsuit poses a threat to Glenwood Springs’ ability to enforce regulations.

RMR, which owns and operates the limestone quarry about a half-mile north of Glenwood Springs city line, sued Garfield County after the board of county commissioners determined it was violating a special use permit.

Glenwood Springs “has a direct and concrete interest in this litigation to protect its municipal interests, its recreational and aesthetic characteristics and economic revenue,” city attorney Karl Hanlon wrote in the court filing.

While the quarry is outside Glenwood Springs’ boundaries and not subject to city permits, the alleged violations to the county’s permit affect the city, according to Hanlon.

For example, one alleged violation of the county’s permit relates to the Transfer Trail road leading to the quarry.

Transfer Trail begins within Glenwood Springs boundaries, but RMR was allegedly using larger trucks than allowed on the road, and drivers are suspected of not obeying speed limits.

The trucks also add to congestion, and the city is concerned if the court rules in RMR’s favor and decides the county lacks authority to regulate truck traffic, an increase in quarry traffic could bother residents and hamper emergency vehicles.

To be added to the case as an interested party, the city has to show that their concerns are not adequately represented.

“The county has no interest in protecting Traver Trail (a city street) and the City’s open space properties,” the filing states.

The city also is concerned with protecting its economic health, mainly tourism, which could be affected if the quarry flouts county regulations.

 “The outcome of this litigation could impair the City’s ability to protect its interests in the regulation of RMR, the protection of its surrounding natural resources, its economy, and other proprietary municipal interests,” Hanlon wrote.

RMR has argued that the county has no jurisdiction to enforce regulations that differ from or are more stringent than the Bureau of Land Management’s permit.

If the city’s motion is granted, Glenwood Springs would be a party of interest in the lawsuit, and participate in the litigation with Garfield County. The county has no objection to the city joining the lawsuit, according to the filing.

RMR is seeking to expand the quarry significantly, and the BLM is considering the proposal.

Glenwood Springs and other municipalities in Garfield County have passed resolutions opposing the proposed expansion.

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