Mamm Creek gravel pit wins county OK: it’s ready to rock
The Mamm Creek gravel pit approval process wasn’t exactly a gold rush.The gravel pit was first proposed by a local business consortium in 2001, but Garfield County handed back the special use application, saying it was incomplete and lacked permits from other agencies.After working on the application through 2001 and into 2002, the applicants, Roaring Fork Resources, Inc., received unanimous Garfield County Commission approval on Monday.After the meeting, Commissioner Walt Stowe denied that his vote had been influenced by campaign contributions from two of the gravel applicants.The approval comes with more than 20 conditions, including sharing of costs between the county and gravel pit operator if County Road 346 must be upgraded because of operations.”I want to make the extractive industry the very best possible,” said Garfield County Commission Chairman John Martin. “I believe the owners will run a very good operation.”The operation includes a sand and gravel pit, and concrete and asphalt batch plants on 110 acres north of the Garfield County Airport along Interstate 70 at the Mamm Creek interchange.The application called for a maximum of 400,000 tons of gravel to be mined per year, but the final approval lowered that to 200,000 tons.The county commissioners will also review the special use permit in one year, and can take actions after that if there are permit violations.The only opponents to the gravel pit were Doug and Dan Grant, who operate a gravel pit about one mile east of the Mamm Creek pit. Aided by a land use planner, attorney and other consultants, the Grant brothers argued against the application without success at last week’s county commission meeting.Only Doug Grant attended Monday’s meeting, and made no remarks. After the meeting, he said, “No comment,” when asked whether he will fight the gravel pit approval in court.The special use permit applicants include John C. Martin (no relation to county commissioner John Martin) and Scott M. Balcomb, according to the application. Balcomb and Martin contributed $250 and $100 respectively to the election campaign of incumbent County Commissioner Walt Stowe”I think that stinks,” said Sherry Caloia, the attorney who represented the Grant brothers.Stowe defended his decision to accept the donations, which he said he received in early and mid-September. Stowe said he held a fundraiser at his house on Sept. 7 which attracted about 200 supporters, but Balcomb and Martin did not attend. In all, the event raised about $10,000.”Look at the size of their contributions in regard to the fundraiser,” Stowe said.Stowe said he made it clear to supporters their contributions were accepted with no strings attached, but admitted the gravel pit approval process might have come at an inopportune time. “But I have no problem with the contributions,” he said.In other business at Monday’s county commissioner meeting:-The commissioners unanimously approved a special use permit for William Pinkham to operate a dog kennel on 40 acres five miles southeast of Glenwood Springs off County Road 125. The application said the dogs will be used for sledding and racing, and for dog sled tours. The commissioners attached several conditions to the approval. One condition calls for Pinkham to remove dog feces in sealed containers. There was no public opposition at Monday’s meeting.-The commissioners granted Spring Valley Development, Inc. a four-month extension on its preliminary plan approval, first approved on Oct. 29, 2001. The planned unit development, called Chenoa, includes 577 residential units plus two golf courses and equestrian facilities on 5,948 acres at Spring Valley south of Glenwood Springs. The applicant asked for a one-year extension to get its final plat approved.
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Warmer than average temperatures and a lack of snowfall could push back Sunlight Mountain Resort’s opening day, but staff remain hopeful for a Dec. 10 opening, a Sunlight spokesperson said.