Platte Sand & Gravel began this permit process back in November, 2000. A normal Use by Special Review (USR) process in Weld County, Colorado takes from 90-120 days start to finish. We're now at about 300 days with this permit process. Does that suggest perhaps..."what's wrong with this picture?"
From our perspective as immediate neighbors and residents, we see an application that has been significantly flawed and incomplete from the beginning. We believe that the applicant hoped to push the application through unnoticed and unchallenged. But that didn't happen. As surrounding property owners and neighbors we organized ourselves at the grassroots of our community. We have been united in our opposition to this permit from the outset 10 months ago.
The applicants have a significant amout of money tied up in this land...purchased for $4 milion. They are banking on the mineral resources to finance this sand & gravel venture. The applicants have no experience in sand & gravel mining. Their present business is in the Denver area and operates under the name of Central Ready-Mix or Concrete Management Corp. They pimarily provide concrete batch to construction sites in the Denver area. They do not presently have their own aggregate resources and this property was purchased with the intention of obtaining those mineral resources. This was not stated to the previous landowner who is active in our neighborhood group, but that is water under the bridge at this point.
When the intitial application was made we made an effort to enter into a dialogue with the applicants. They did come and speak with our neighborhood group back in early February, but the discussion was more monologue. They told us what they planned to do and how they planned to do it. Not much room for discussion.
Later on the applicants hired a local consultant to help them through the permit process when it appeared they may have difficulty with their original application. This consultant is very savvy to the permit process in Weld County and has a very good reputation in successfully walking applicants through the permit process. However, this is the first sand& gravel permit he has attempted.
With sound advice from the local consultant the applicants began to rethink their original application which was incomplete and had way too many holes. When the County Planning Commission heard the permit case first on June 5,2001 the presentation was made primarily from the applicants' lawyer, Fred Ginsberg. The end result was that the Planning Commission voted to recommend denial to the County Commissioners by a unanimous vote, 7-0. Since that time the consultant, Tom Haren, has worked diligently on behalf of the applicants to "fix" this application. So far, he has been successful in making just enough revisions in the application to have the County Commissioners remand the application back to the Planning Commission with the mandate to seek input a second time from all of the referral agencies & municipalities who commented intially last winter. In the meantime the consultant is going back to each of these agencies or municipalities to lobby them for a better referral. Our neighborhood group is also attempting to speak with these agencies regarding our specific concerns. This is a big effort for us as you can imagine. What we need right now is NEW LETTERS of opposition sent to the County Planning Commission via the Planing Department. These letters may be sent to Mr. Kim Ogle, Weld County Planning Dept., 1555 N. 17th Street, Greeley, Co 80631. The Planning Dept. will hear this case again on October 2nd. Letters are best postmarked to arrive by Sept. 24th in Mr. Ogle's office. That way they will be sent in the review packets to the members of the Planning Commisison. Otherwise letters received up to Oct. 1st will be accepted but not read by the Planning Commission. If you are so inclined this letter writing would be most helpful! Please state your specific concerns and offer your ideas about how to preserve the Fort Saint Vrain site and its immediate surroundings. Mention USR#1306 in your opening line of your letters. I thank you very much for this opportunity to talk with you on this site. Feel free to contact me with specific questions you might have. I'll post again soon, Bruce Rippe
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