Eagle County suggests reduced gravel pit hours
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado The development of the Stratton Flats affordable housing project is prompting the county commissioners to consider trimming back the operating hours for a neighboring gravel pit.A decision on extension of the special use permit for the Gypsum Sand & Gravel (LaFarge) pit, located across Highway 6 from the Eagle County Airport, has been delayed until Tuesday.At a hearing last week, the operating hours proved to be the sticking point in the extension of the pits permit for another 10 years. The pit was originally permitted in 1997, with the understanding that it would be a 20-year mining operation. However, the operators are required to come in for a new permit for each of six phases.For the past 10 years, the pits operating hours have been 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. The county staff suggested a 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekday schedule on April through November; and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. December through March. Weekend hours would be even further restricted; with Sunday operations limited to six times per year.In the past several years, the county has been placing those operating hours on all mining-related applications.Eric Rakentine of LaFarge told the commissioners that the pit operation needs an early morning start so that the asphalt plant and concrete plants can serve clients in Vail.County Commissioner Peter Runyon, however, noted that the neighborhood is changing, with development of Stratton Flats, a 226-unit affordable housing project.Lots of houses are cropping up in Stratton Flats before winter. The condition seems to make sense, he said.Fellow Commissioner Sara Fisher, however, suggested that the county should not force a change in hours until the true impacts on the housing can be determined.It would be like pulling the rug out from under them to change hours now, she said.