Gravel pit expansion plan will be reviewed

Commissioners to consider idea today

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What: Routt County Board of Commissioners hearing to consider an expansion of the Camilletti gravel pit southeast of Hayden

When: 3 p.m. today

Where: Commissioners' hearing room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave.

Call: Routt County Planning Department at 879-2704 for more information

— Connell Resources' plan to expand the Camilletti gravel pit southeast of Hayden by 13 acres will be reviewed by the Routt County Board of Commissioners at 3 p.m. today.

Commissioner Doug Monger, who does accounting work for the landowner, will recuse himself from the proceedings. If approved, the expansion also would extend the life of the pit from 2010 to 2014. It originally was permitted in 1987 and expanded by 11 acres in 2000. Mining in the expanded area would begin in summer 2009, and Connell Resources would be required to conduct reclamation concurrently with mineral extraction.

The Routt County Planning Commission approved the request, 9-0. There was no public comment at that hearing, and county planner Ross Easterling said he has not received any letters or other correspondence opposing or supporting the special use permit. Gravel pits are commonly a contentious subject.

"This one doesn't seem to be" controversial, said Easterling, who noted there also is an associated asphalt plant at the pit. "We don't have any complaints the whole time it's been there. : In terms of gravel pits, this might be a pretty good place for one."

The pit is near Yampa Valley Regional Airport on Routt County Road 51A. A ridge north of the pit shields its from view from nearby U.S. Highway 40.

Ty Thompson, of Applegate Group, who represents Connell Resources, said the pit site would return to ranchland following reclamation.

"It's going to be a five-year operation," Thompson said. "It's just a really quick mining and then it returns to grazing."

In a matrix of Routt County pits dated 2002-03, Connell Resources' Camilletti operation scored above average when it came to mitigating issues such as visual impacts, air quality, water quality and traffic.

In its approval of the special use permit, the Planning Commission included a list of 29 conditions such as limiting the size of stockpiles, restricting hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and prohibiting extraction on Sundays and national holidays.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210 or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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