Routt County Twentymile Coal Co. hopes to show the Routt County Planning Commission that its request for an amendment and extension of a special use permit is just part of mining as usual.
The coal mine is asking planning commissioners to recommend the approval of an amendment to a special use permit so it can extend a 69-kilovolt electric line from existing infrastructure 10,600 feet to a new area that is being mined. The area in question is a piece of land off of County Road 33, north of C.R. 27 intersection.
The Rout County Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. today in the courthouse annex hearing room, 136 Sixth St. Other issues that will be covered at the meeting: Steve Myler, for the Sky Valley Lodge, seeks a recommendation of approval for an amendment to a planned unit development to create five lots and five acres of open space on Rabbit Ears Pass; Keith and Diane Barnett will petition for a special use permit to build an indoor equestrian arena on their land near Hayden; Brent Romick of Lynx Basin Estates will seek a recommendation of approval for a preliminary subdivision plan and a final subdivision plat for a 13-lot development on 71.2 acres just south of the Stagecoach Reservoir; Scott Campbell will petition for a zone change and replat of two lots near Steamboat Lake; The U.S. Forest Service will give planning commissioners a presentation on the bark beetle problem in the Routt National Forest.
Once the line is extended, a hole would be drilled into the earth and the line threaded through it to provide power to underground mining equipment in the area.
Twentymile needs the amendment to string the power line because of its size, County Planning Director Caryn Fox said.
The 69-kilovolt line is the same size that was built to provide energy for the Stagecoach community, she said.
"That is the size they need to power their equipment," Fox said.
Twentymile also is asking for a 10-year extension on its special use permit for mining, which covers 21,551 acres of land owned by the coal company.
The permit isn't up for extension until 2003, but the company wanted to deal with the issue while it is asking for the amendment.
Twentymile received the permit in 1993.
"This is just an extension of the normal mining process," Twentymile Human Resources Manager Ron Spangler said.
Twentymile has already mined half of the 21,551 acres covered by the special use permit and is preparing to extend its efforts into the rest, he said.
If the amendment and extension are approved, a portion of the work will happen under a section of C.R. 33.
As a condition of the permit, Twentymile will pay for erosion control on portions of the road to prevent rocks from falling if the ground settles because of the mining.
"It's just an ordinary part of the mining business," Spangler said.
Fox doesn't foresee any problems with extension and amendment applications, but she said the electric line and poles will be fairly visible.
As part of the Routt County Zoning Resolution, which the mine must comply with, the mining site cannot be visible to surrounding residents or potential growth areas.
Fox didn't see that as big issue because of the low numbers of residents in the area.
"It's pretty far out there," she said.
Furthermore, mining companies usually have their bases covered when dealing with the Planning Commission.
"Usually, the coal mine can work pretty smooth through the process," Fox said.
To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail email@example.com