Weld County commissioners again postpone decision on controversial asphalt plant | MyWindsorNow.com

Weld County commissioners again postpone decision on controversial asphalt plant

Tyler Silvy

Weld County commissioners have again postponed a decision on a proposed asphalt and concrete plant, marking the second such postponement and stretching the ongoing land-use case to four months.

The decision, hinted at fairly early during Wednesday's hearing, grew out of commissioners receiving more than 1,000 pages of documents from the company in the past two weeks, which commissioners said put them in an impossible position.

Commissioners used words like overwhelmed, and stunned, to describe the document dump.

"I'm going to tell you again, every single one of us has a responsibility to review these documents," Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer said. "I haven't had time."

The documents center on resident complaints and commissioner questions about a proposed permanent asphalt and concrete plant southeast of Colo. 14 and Colo. 257, and include information about everything from particulate matter to water quality to a variety of development standards commissioners could enforce as part of approving the plant.

The meeting was continued to 10 a.m. Feb. 5, but first, commissioners allowed Simon Contractors a chance to respond to resident concerns and commissioner questions from the previous meeting in November.

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Simon Contractors trotted out numerous experts to testify about the plant's safety and compatibility with surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Commissioners peppered those experts with numerous questions. The most contentious point came at the end of the meeting, when commissioners discussed whether to allow residents to submit more information in response to information Simon Contractors has submitted since November.

Such a move would have been contrary to the way commissioners typically handle land-use cases, which goes like this:

A company or person applies for a use by special review; county staff gives a recommendation after reviewing relevant materials; the applicant makes opening comments, with board members asking clarifying questions. A public hearing happens with resident comment; the applicant then can respond, and then commissioners discuss among themselves, and ask questions of the applicant and staff.

The land-use case has been going on since October, and commissioners worried allowing another round of back-and-forth would open up a sort of endless process and potentially expose the county to complaints about due process. So commissioners won't take any new information.

— Tyler Silvy covers government and politics for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at tsilvy@greeleytribune.com. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.

Up next

The Board of Weld County Commissioners will take up the use by special review application for an asphalt and concrete plant at 10 a.m. Feb. 5. This is the second time commissioners have continued the case, which dates back to this past fall.