Letter to the Editor: Area resident asks County Commissioners to deny asphalt plant
January 2, 2018
Area resident asks County Commissioners to deny asphalt plant
My name is Tom Moore. My family has owned and operated a farm in northwestern Weld County for more than 100 years. In May 2017, we noticed a portion of the hay field next to us was being leveled to create a hard surface. Wyoming-based Simon Contractors was setting up a temporary asphalt/concrete ready-mix facility on the 31-acre parcel.
On Oct. 3, the Weld County Planning and Zoning Board held a hearing on the application, and, by ordinance, only had to notify residences within 500 feet of a proposed permanent site. With only one objector (me and my lawyer) at the P&Z hearing, Commissioners voted 4 to 1 to approve the application.
The next meeting was three weeks later. With help from a friend, we sent notices to many neighbors. They, in turn, contacted more folks. Having been told the plant, now operating, was just temporary, it came as a rude awaking this asphalt/ready-mix plant was going to grow bigger and be with us forever. The neighbors came out in force to voice their objections before commissioners at the Oct. 25 hearing on the asphalt plant's permanency.
Tetra Tech gave its well-rehearsed presentation. Commissioner Cozad asked how many would like to speak. Hands shot up. Seeing how many wished to object, Ms. Cozad allowed each of us three minutes to defend our homes and farms. Even at that, it took another meeting to give everyone their three minutes. Overall, more than 30 neighbors presented. In total, 1,000 pages of objections are in the public record. Tetra Tech asked for a continuance so Simon could hold a neighborhood meeting to address our concerns.
At the meeting, someone asked how Simon picked the site. A Simon representative stated the site was the "most economical for Simon." Rather than select a true industrial zoned site for its heavy construction work, the company selected the cheapest site possible.
Recommended Stories For You
It seems to me and the neighbors, the commissioners have no choice but to deny this application. The problems with the irrigation canal and traffic alone make the site unsuitable and notably incompatible with our agricultural area.
— Thomas K. Moore