County Planning Commission Approves Gravel Pit
by Watch Staff
May 30, 2013 | 1161 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONTROSE – By a vote of 4-1, the Montrose County Planning Commission last week approved a special use permit for the controversial Uncompahgre gravel pit, in its final consideration. The Montrose Board of County Commissioners has scheduled a public hearing for June 17.

Rocky Mountain Aggregate and Construction, LLC is proposing to build and operate the Uncompahgre Gravel pit on nearly 250 acres on top of Moonlight Mesa, nine miles south of Montrose and approximately one mile west of Hwy. 550, at the end of Montrose County’s T Road. The land is zoned general agricultural in the Montrose County Master Plan.

In April, after the planning commission had heard four-and-a-half hours of presentations and divided public comment and discussion, the hearing was continued to last week, when the commission finally handed down its approval. Planning commissioners Lana Kinsey, Roger Rash, David Deymour and Paul Schultz were in favor, and Gary Garren represented the lone dissenting vote.

The gravel pit mining plan proposes to produce up to 100,000 tons of gravel a year over the next 105 years. Over the course of that lifespan, the proposed gravel mining will occur in five stages. Stages 1-4 will create a pit 25-35 feet below the current terrace, creating a berm and natural visual impact shield around the gravel pit. Per one new condition, the company has one year in which to get all of its equipment out of sight, below the height of the berm.

Stage 5 will take an estimated four years, while the berm is mined and the terrace elevation is lowered to the bottom pit level.

Rocky Mountain Aggregate and Construction is proposing to operate both an asphalt and concrete batch plant in the pit, as well. A number of conditions in the permit have been modified from the original application, including changing the number of days the company can batch concrete from 40 to 120 days per year, and calling for flexibility from both the company and landowners concerning visual impacts from the operation. (The 24 permit conditions can be viewed at www.montrosecounty.net.)

In the meantime, the company is working to meet state highway and federal mining regulations.

The Montrose county commissioners will hold a public hearing in the Pioneer Room at Friendship Hall, 1001 North Second Street in Montrose Monday June 17, at 1:30 p.m.

The application text and maps can be reviewed at Montrose County Land Use Office, 317 S. Second Street, in Montrose, during regular business hours. Send written comments to Montrose County Board of County Commissioners, c/o Planning and Development Director, 317 S. Second Street, Montrose, CO 81401, or to swhite@montrosecounty.net.
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